​Oaklawn Park Horse Racing Picks for Friday 1/22/21

There are nine races at Oaklawn Park, including the Kentucky Derby prep race Smarty Jones Stakes. Which horses should you bet on at TVG?

It's a great time to dive into horse racing, and TVG gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 1:30 p.m. EST, we have nine races at Oaklawn Park. Using TVG and other race projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions).

Smarty’s Angel and Gold N Sexy, Race 7

TVG Racing Odds: 7/2 and 10/1

Oaklawn Park moves into a new era Friday with the start of its 57-date meet running through May 1 and featuring 33 stakes races. Race 4 features Maiden state-bred three-year-old fillies sprinting 6 furlongs. The favorite at the Hot Springs track is Arkansas Bling (5/2), who finished third in her only race in September. Guaranteed Tip Sheet has a best bet on Smarty’s Angel (7/2), who ran faster in her debut when finishing fifth in October.

Rachie Rach (4/1) has a pair of third-place finishes in two starts. Gold N Sexy (10/1) is a fine-looking filly who stopped on the track in her debut but is working well for her return and 2021 debut.

Caddo River, Race 8

TVG Racing Odds: 5/2

Race 8 is the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for three-year-olds going 1-mile. The race offers points (10-4-2-1) to the top four finishers towards qualifying for the Kentucky Derby, and seven sophomores will compete in the Road to the Kentucky Derby event. The favorite and top pick of Guaranteed Tip Sheet is Cowan (9/5), who has finished runner-up in three straight stakes races while posing high 90’s speed figures. He’s a consistent late runner who also finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. Steve Asmussen trains Cowan and stablemate Big Thorn (9/2), who makes his first start for the Hall of Famer trainer.

Moonlight Strike (4/1) has won two straight races for EPO trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. The talented son of Liam’s Map has been favored in all three of his starts. Caddo River (5/2) comes in loud off his maiden romp at Churchill Downs at very short odds for EPO trainer Brad Cox. He hit 104 on the speed gun which followed two runner-up finishes to start his promising career.

Charlie’sArchangel and Coach Adams, Race 9

TVG Racing Odds: 5/1 and 10/1

Opening day concludes with a full field in a Starter Allowance race for older horses going 1-mile. Coach Adams (10/1) and Bodes Maker (8/1) are potential threats, according to Horse Racing Radar data. Coach Adams has run first and second with identical 87 speed figures in his two recent races at Penn to close 2020.

Charlie’sArchAngel (5/1) has run to 92 and 98 speed figures in his two recent races that included a win in November at Churchill Downs. He also finished second at Oaklawn 11 months ago in similar Allowance conditions. He’ll be pressing the pace but looks like he can carry the speed to the finish.