- The Oaklawn Handicap will replace the Kentucky Derby on May 2
- There are $600,000 on the line, offering great betting potential
- Improbable, Mr Freeze and Tacitus are listed as strong favorites
The Run of the Roses has taken the central stage with Oaklawn Park moving the Oaklawn Handicap race to the first Saturday of May, traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby. However, since the first of the Triple Crown races has been pushed back to September, although a virtual race, hosted by Inspired Entertainment and Churchill Downs will take place as well, new horse racing thrills are in demand.
The noise and confusion around the Kentucky Derby aside, the Oaklawn Park is hosting the Run of the Roses on May 2, and this comes with an opportunity to place a successful wager.
Naturally, there is also the Arkansas Derby, and we will talk about that as well, but the Oaklawn Handicap might just prove a little more auspicious from the perspective of someone looking to wager.
2020 Oaklawn Handicap Odds to Win
|By My Standards||+750|
*Odds taken April 29
Who’s Going to Win the 2020 Oaklawn Handicap?
With a field of competitors as gifted as the present one, it’s hard to imagine that you can carve the name of the winner in stone and put your money down without giving it a second thought.
Yet, Bob Baffert’s Improbable (+400) has been delivering a steadfast performance throughout the last few years, and even though he didn’t quite make it in the lead at the Kentucky Derby in 2019, he did very well in the Oaklawn Mile.
Yet, for all his strengths and great performance, Improbable will start at post number 14, or at the fringes, which could prove an additional issue for the horse and jockey team which is looking at mile-eight race.
We still feel very dubious about Improbable chances to finish first, though. He could perhaps make his way to a Trifecta bet, but hardly as the winner, even though the odds suggest as much.
Curiously enough, Improbable is matched with Mr Freeze (+400) when it comes to odds, but in terms of performance we want to give Mr Freeze the upper hoof, as it were. He managed to place first or second in nine out of 12 races he participated in.
Back in 2018, Mr Freeze won the West Virginia Derby, and let’s face it, the horse has already become a millionaire out of racing – well, at least Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister are. Jake Talamo, son of Joe Talamo, is going to give it his all on Saturday, in a bid to cross the proverbial finishing line first, and the odds seem to favor him.
Oaklawn Park, Saturday, May 2, 2020 – Horses & Jockeys
|1||Chess Chief (VA)||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||114||Dallas Stewart|
|2||Trophy Chaser (KY)||Samy Camacho||115||Juan Carlos Avila|
|3||Bravazo (KY)||Miguel Mena||115||D. Wayne Lukas|
|4||Mr Freeze (KY)||Joseph Talamo||118||Dale L. Romans|
|5||Identifier (KY)||Stewart Elliott||116||Oscar M. Gonzalez|
|6||Warrior’s Charge (FL)||Florent Geroux||118||Brad H. Cox|
|7||Combatant (KY)||Joel Rosario||120||John W. Sadler|
|8||Sky Promise (KY)||Orlando Mojica||114||Robertino Diodoro|
|9||Tacitus (KY)||John R. Velazquez||121||William I. Mott|
|10||Captivating Moon (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||113||Chris M. Block|
|11||Tax (KY)||Kendrick Carmouche||117||Danny Gargan|
|12||By My Standards (KY)||Gabriel Saez||118||W. Bret Calhoun|
|13||Night Ops (KY)||Javier Castellano||116||Brad H. Cox|
|14||Improbable (KY)||Martin Garcia||119||Bob Baffert|
What Then About the Rest of the Field?
So, Tacitus is listed pretty close to the top, and given (+450), but we haven’t seen much of Tacitus this year to be fair. He placed fifth in the Saudi Cup, and frankly, that the only race the horse participated in. He was beaten by Maximum Security who notched up the trophy. By My Standards (+750), a horse who lost two races outside Fair Grounds, did in fact perform quite well despite the fact.
Trainer Bret Calhoun said that he expected great things from By My Standards who has been phenomenal, Calhoun said, and specifically: “His work this past Saturday was phenomenal. He worked a half-mile, went off easy, and finished up sensationally.”
With a lot of unknowns for this iteration of the Oaklawn Handicap, one thing is certain, Bettors would do well to keep the race on their radar and Mr Freeze as one of their preferred bets for winning the race altogether.