Oak Tree Sprint Preview for Alameda County Fair

By Dennis Miller

This is the running of the Oak Tree Sprint, a 6-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up. With a purse of $75,000 the winner takes home $45,000. There will be eight horses going to post in this 6-furlong sprint. Post-time is set for 4:45 p.m.

Here is the field by post-position order:

1) Top Harbor (Tim McCanna trainer, Frank Alvarado jockey, 9/5). Is the morning line favorite and deserving of that honor as he has used his stalk and pounce style to hit the board in all eight starts at the distance, with four wins and four seconds. The last two starts have been a win in the Lost in the Fog, followed by a second in the Albany on the turf at GGF. Should get a strong enough pace to run at it here.

2) Cool Mountain Lad (Victor Trujillo, William Antongeorgi III, 7/2). He has won once and finished second twice at Pleasanton in three career starts. For starters he is the defending champ in this race, winning at almost 10-1 here last year. He flew home heroically to get the win. There has been only two wins since in nine starts with the latest coming in the most recent effort. It might be too of an much ask to repeat but the horse loves the track and will get a pace to run at here.

3)  Trumped (Blaine Wright, Alexander Chavez, 15/1) The horse has won three times in six starts this year and is one for one at the distance. Tackled a Grade III race in April at Santa Anita and ran last throughout, getting beat by 17 lengths. I am thinking too much here.

4) Gerlach’s (D Wayne Baker, Epifanio Garcia, 8/1). The horse has been off since November but did win here last year in an optional claimer. Has had some strong works for the return and does like the dirt but I just think this is too much for the return. Last race was a route race where he was beaten 17 lengths so will appreciate the drop back to a sprint.

5) Unraptured (Tim McCanna, Armando Ayuos, 9/2). He is coming off a gate to wire score at a lower level. Three back he was fourth in the Lost in the Fog at GGF but was handily beaten by two others who entered here.

6) Psycho Dar (No. 6). He last started in the Albany on the turf at Golden Gate Fields, running third behind two horses that are entered here. He has shown he can have early speed, but he is also successful coming off the pace. Interesting possibility considering the price you are going to get.

7) Larry Legend (Samuel Calvario, Santos Rivera, 10/1) Another runner in the Albany, this one was sixth on the turf but was second in the Lost in the Fog over the main track at GGF. Does have four wins in 16 career starts on the dirt but has not won a race overall since September of last year. That is a drought of 10 races although there has been four seconds along the way.

8) Evenerevenworse (Bill McLean, Evin Roman, 6/1) This runner has run four times this year and hit the board in all four including a win in his last start – the Albany at GGF. Will be in the lead or right there pushing it and will likely be the one to catch. Won five times last year in 11 starts, then one time this year, but has hit the board in all four starts this year. A player right here.

So, what happens: Top Harbor just seems like this sets up for him but with one worry. Friday the jockeys were guiding their mounts off the rail as it appeared thicker and slower the first two weeks of this meet. If that is the case again, then maybe outside to Evenerevenworse is the place to look. He won five races last year, so you must pay attention. I think Psycho Dar bears watching on a closing run if they got too fast out front, especially with the odds you might get. Face it – he will get a pace to run at and he closes like a monster. In the end I think Top Harbor fits too well here and will be your winner but I will spread here. Picks 1-8-6.