Market Analysis Pointing Toward Oaklawn Mile
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Photo credit: Coady Photography
Market Analysis Pointing Toward Oaklawn Mile
A sharp two-turn allowance victory March 13 was enough to convince trainer Robertino Diodoro that Market Analysis deserves another chance in graded stakes company.
Diodoro said Wednesday morning that Market Analysis is being pointed to the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile (G3) for older horses April 2. Nominations to the Oaklawn Mile, which achieved graded status in just its fourth running, closed Friday.
A 5-year-old gelded son of Honor Code, Market Analysis began his racing career with Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and high-profile owners WinStar Farm and China Horse Club. After winning his January 2020 career debut at Gulfstream Park, Market Analysis finished sixth in his next start, the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) for 3-year-olds in March 2020 at Tampa Bay Downs. The winner, King Guillermo, returned to run second in the second division of the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) that May.
Diodoro said Market Analysis was privately purchased following a third-place finish in an Oct. 29 allowance sprint at Hawthorne and now races for Canadian owners Rick, Clayton and Lana Wiest and Gary Kropp.
“He’s running the way he trains,” Diodoro said. “He’s trained great since we got him. I wasn’t sure if he always trained like that or what and I still don’t know his past history because I didn’t know the horse. But he’s been training and working great. He’s another one that kind of keeps getting better. He was meant to be a good horse. The story is he had some kind of issue when he was 3 and they did a surgery on him and I don’t even know what it was.”
Market Analysis has won 2 of 3 starts – all at Oaklawn – since joining Diodoro’s barn. The gelding was a front-running 2 ¼-length allowance/optional claiming winner at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 22 and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, in a Feb. 19 allowance race at 1 1/8 miles. Market Analysis came from off the pace to win March 13, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.39, among the fastest times of the meeting for the distance.
“I always say, these horses are athletes,” Diodoro said. “I would say hockey, that you get these guys that go into the NHL and they’re fourth-liners and five years into the league, all of a sudden, they’re first-liners and on the all-star team. Just late developers, right? They had the talent, but whatever reason, maybe they’re immature mentally. Same way with these horses.”
Market Analysis has a 6-4-3 record from 18 lifetime starts and earnings of $266,710. The gelding originally sold for $250,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Diodoro also is scheduled to be represented in two other stakes races April 2, sending out Grade 2 winner Dream Lith in the $600,000 Fantasy (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles and millionaire multiple Grade 2 winner Lone Rock in the $150,000 Temperence Hill for older horses at 1 ½ miles.
Diodoro was Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2020 and entered Sunday with 28 victories at the 2021-2022. Diodoro pulled within one of 11-time local training champion Steve Asmussen after a triple Saturday.
Diodoro won the second race with favored Admirably ($4.80), fourth race with Palace Coup ($10.20) following the disqualification of Eastside Cool for stretch interference and the sixth race with Skate to Heaven ($18.20).
Diodoro began wintering at Oaklawn in 2015 and entered Sunday with 266 career victories in Hot Springs.
Back to Work
Arkansas-bred standout Gar Hole returned to the work tab Saturday morning, covering a half-mile in :48.60 for trainer John Ortiz and breeder/owner John Ed Anthony of Hot Springs. The track was fast.
Gar Hole was breezing for the first time since a powerful five-length victory in the $150,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes for state-bred sprinters. Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Gar Hole ran 6 furlongs in a meet-best 1:09.06. The 4-year-old gelded son of Tekton also became the meet’s first four-time winner.
Ortiz and John Gasper, Anthony’s racing manager, said next-race plans are pending for Gar Hole, but the gelding is under consideration to face open company for the first time in the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) for older horses at 6 furlongs April 16.
“Gar Hole is doing great,” Ortiz said. “Right now, just eating and training very well. Happy has can be in the barn. Right now, just sitting tight. Right now, the Count Fleet is probably going to be a targeted race. That’s most likely where we’ll head, but we have no rush to get him into open stake company.”
Ortiz entered March with several candidates for the Count Fleet, but that list has been trimmed in recent weeks. Ortiz said sharp Dec. 18 allowance winner Mucho is receiving a break at WinStar Farm in Kentucky and could resurface this summer at Saratoga. Hollis, who set Oaklawn’s 5 ½-furlong track record (1:02.17) in a Dec. 10 allowance race, finished a weakening fourth as the favorite in Saturday’s $200,000 Whitmore Stakes (G3) at 6 furlongs. Sandwiched around the track record and another powerful 5 ½-furlong allowance victory was a fifth-place finish in the $150,000 King Cotton Stakes for older horses at 6 furlongs Jan. 29.
“The Count Fleet’s still not out of the question and he’s got to keep competing in here if we want to win it,” Ortiz said.
Top Gunner, a Dec. 5 allowance winner, is scheduled to return in Friday’s eighth race, but Ortiz said he doubts he’ll be ready for the Count Fleet.
Millionaire Rated R Superstar earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 99 for his 2 ¼-length victory in the $500,000 Essex Handicap (G3) for older horses at 1 1/16 miles Saturday. Owner Danny Caldwell said he hopes to run Rated R Superstar in the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (G2) at 1 1/8 miles April 23. … Bob’s Edge received a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 98 – a career high – for his one-length victory in the $200,000 Whitmore Stakes (G3) for older horses at 6 furlongs Saturday. Trainer Larry Jones said Bob’s Edge will be considered for the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) for older horses at 6 furlongs April 16. … Grade 1 winner Maracuja worked 5 furlongs in 1:03.40 Sunday morning in advance of her 4-year-old debut for trainer Rob Atras. The track was fast. … Saturday marked jockey John Hiraldo’s first day as a journeyman. Hiraldo was a finalist for an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion apprentice of 2021 after winning 82 races and his mounts earning $2,183,224 in purse money. Hiraldo was Oaklawn’s leading apprentice this season through Friday with 16 victories. Chel-c Bailey was second with 12. Hiraldo entered Sunday with 94 career victories. … Bailey scored her 12th victory of the meet when Summer in Malibu ($25.40) broke his maiden in Saturday’s eighth race for 3-year-olds at 1 mile. Summer in Malibu marked the first victory at the meeting for trainer Tommy Vance of Hot Springs. His father, four-time Oaklawn champion David Vance, and younger sister, Trisha Vance Duncan, already had training victories at the meeting.