The 3rd Annual Racing Dudes Oaklawn Awards

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Will Take Charge Winning the Oaklawn Handicap was the Moment of the Year

Horse of the Meet: Close Hatches – This was a tough award to decide on this year, but in the end it had to be Close Hatches who won based on the fact that she was the only horse to win more than one Graded Stakes race this meet.  With no standout three-year old, and Will Take Charge only running atOaklawn once, Close Hatches is the most worthy of the group.

Older Male of the Meet: Will Take Charge – He was our three-year old horse of the meet last year, and now he is our older horse of the meet this year!  Even though he only ran once at Oaklawn, he proved much the best out of the other horses in the Handicap Division.  He also put on a show for the locals every morning during training hours, as he was the first horse to hit the track each morning.  Many thanks to Willis Horton and D Wayne Lukas for running the horse once at his home track.

Older Female of the Meet: Close Hatches – Obvious choice here as she won both the Azeri and Apple Blossom.  The last horse to accomplish this feat was Havre De Grace, who went on to win horse of the year.

3 Year Old Male of the Meet: Tapiture – Another tough award to decide on, but in the end Tapiture got the nod over Ride On Curlin and Danza.  Tapiture wo nthe Southwest Stakes, nearly won the Rebel, and finished a decent fourth in the Arkansas Derby.  He now has lost some hype heading to Kentucky, but still made his presence felt in Hot Springs.

3 Year Old Female of the Meet: Sugar Shock – She was a courageous winner of the Fantasy Stakes, and crossed the line first in the Honeybee before being disqualified.  She’ll go up against much tougher next time out in the Kentucky Oaks, but there is no doubting that she was the best of the bunch at Oaklawn Park.

Sprinter of the Meet: Alsvid – Even though he didn’t win any of the sprint stakes at Oaklawn this meet, his consistent performances land him this award.  He was a solid second in the King Cotton, Hot Springs, and Count Fleet while others in the division had up and down moments.  You can bet this horse is due for a win soon.

Owner of the Meet: Danny Caldwell – An absolutely dominating performance by Caldwell as he won the owners title by nine races.  We had the privilege to get to know Danny early on in the season, and after meeting him it’s easy to see why he’s so good at what he does.  He’s one of the best claimers in the game, and puts in the time and effort it takes to be successful.  The award couldn’t have been won by a nicer guy.  Caldwell will be heading to Prairie Meadows next!

Trainer of the Meet: Steve Asmussen – Amongst all the controversy, Asmussen just kept on winning.  As usual he took the last two weeks by storm and crushed his competition once again.  This is Asmussen’s second straight Racing Dudes Award.  Also Asmussen’s assistant Darren Fleming deserves a mention as well as he looked over the stable for most of the year and always does a great job.

Jockey of the Meet: Ricardo Santana Jr. – Another guy who is receiving his second straight Racing Dudes Award.  Santana proved that last year was no fluke as he easily won the jockey’s title for the second straight year.  This is a guy who is getting better and better with every mount, and is a rising star in the game.

Flop of the Meet: Strong Mandate – It’s painful for us to admit it…but Strong Mandate never lived up to the expectations we had for him.  After running decent in the Southwest and Rebel, he was last in the Arkansas Derby and now sits on the outside looking in as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned.  Hopefully he can regroup and regain his form.

Favorite Moment of the Meet: Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap – He pretty much stole the show on Derby day.  It was a thrill to see the home town horse win in front of all his fans.  Major shout out to Brady Lukas for allowing us get in the winners circle with one of our favorite horses of all time!

Restaurant of the Meet: TIE – Hawgs and Jahna’s – That’s right…we like to eat. The Dudes have been to many places in Hot Springs over the years, but Hawgs Pizza and Jahna’s Italian easily are the two best.  We highly recommend them to anyone who visit’s the Hot Springs area.

Race of the Meet: The Rebel Stakes –

 

Oaklawn Report #14

Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap

Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Will Take Charge (KY) – The home town horse didn’t disappoint his 63,000+ fans when he won the Oaklawn Handicap in typical heart stopping Will Take Charge fashion!  Up the back stretch there were some anxious moments as at one point he fell to last place, but at the top of the stretch he made his signature move and passed them all while holding off a late run from Revolutionary to win by a length.  He also survived a lengthy inquiry for interference in the stretch, which is a topic that is still being debated today.  Never the less the Oaklawn Handicap was the moment of the meet, as this horse will go down as one of the most popular horses to ever run at Oaklawn Park.

– 2nd Star: Danza (KY) – What a shocker!!  Danza went off at 41-1 in the Arkansas Derby, and romped to a four and a half-length victory.  Jockey Joe Bravo was able to give Danza a flawless rail skimming ride, and when asked the question he simply left the others in the dust.  It’s hard to say whether he can bring that kind of effort next time out in the Kentucky Derby, but if he does he could be a real threat.  Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn’t have the best of records in the Derby, but this colt could be peaking for him at the right time.

– 3rd Star: Close Hatches (KY) – This champion returned to Oaklawn after taking the Azeri last month, and basically ran the same exact type of race in the Apple Blossom, winning once again.  There is no questioning this is one of the star older female in the group, and should be able to compete successfully against heavy hitters Princes of Sylmar and Beholder as the season goes along.  Close Hatches will be pointed towards the bigger races in New York over the summer, perhaps starting off on Belmont Day.

Flop of the Week

Tapiture (KY) – Considering that almost everyone thought at the very least this horse would run respectable, it was quite the surprise when Taptiure ran a flat fourth in the Arkansas Derby.  He made a decent move on the turn, but was just unable to make any kind of late run down the stretch.  Perhaps the added distance hurt him which is something we’ve seen with Tapit colts in the past.  He’s still qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but this loss was troubling.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 157 35 32 18 $1,859,450 22% 85 54%
2 Federico Villafranco 82 25 18 8 $590,127 30% 51 62%
3 Chris Richard 89 23 11 12 $607,695 26% 46 52%
4 Brad H. Cox 70 18 11 13 $683,976 26% 42 60%
4 Cody Autrey 112 18 22 19 $564,877 16% 59 53%
6 Chris A. Hartman 91 17 18 11 $621,412 19% 46 51%
7 Joseph R. Martin 87 13 9 15 $278,958 15% 37 43%
8 Ron Moquett 109 12 10 8 $479,032 11% 30 28%
9 D. Wayne Lukas 91 11 9 10 $939,788 12% 30 33%
9 Randy L. Morse 86 11 10 10 $412,414 13% 31 36%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 292 59 49 30 $2,561,193 20% 138 47%
2 David Mello 216 35 31 26 $896,278 16% 92 43%
3 Ramon A. Vazquez 181 32 24 22 $912,786 18% 78 43%
4 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 235 31 33 35 $1,169,595 13% 99 42%
5 Jon Kenton Court 178 26 19 18 $999,460 15% 63 35%
5 Terry J. Thompson 202 26 22 24 $942,814 13% 72 36%
7 Luis S. Quinonez 173 22 19 17 $837,749 13% 58 34%
8 Ken S. Tohill 172 22 31 19 $819,373 13% 72 42%
9 M. Clifton Berry 149 21 13 18 $793,547 14% 52 35%
10 Jareth Loveberry 197 19 23 19 $559,735 10% 61 31%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 80 24 18 8 $579,267 30% 50 63%
2 Maggi Moss 53 15 8 8 $298,260 28% 31 58%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 55 13 9 4 $351,710 24% 26 47%
4 Steve Landers 68 11 12 12 $221,335 16% 35 51%
5 Steven M. Asmussen 39 9 10 5 $163,041 23% 24 62%
6 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 35 8 5 3 $185,314 23% 16 46%
7 Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 20 7 5 1 $623,626 35% 13 65%
7 Zayat Stables, LLC 34 7 4 3 $378,337 21% 14 41%
7 Martin Brothers, Inc. 35 7 4 2 $105,391 20% 13 37%
10 William Stiritz 47 6 3 1 $206,856 13% 10 21%

Arkansas Derby Race Replay

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Oaklawn Report #13

Sugar Shock Wins the Fantasy Stakes over Kiss Moon

Sugar Shock Wins the Fantasy Stakes over Kiss Moon

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Sugar Shock (KY) – This time she decided to run straight, and it worked out quite well!!  After crossing the finish line first in the Honeybee Stakes you could see the talent this horse had, but unfortunately she veered out terribly in the stretch run and was DQ’d to second.  However, this time in the Fantasy Stakes she was able to set fast fractions and still run straight through the entire stretch to get the victory over Kiss Moon.  The win obviously propels Sugar Shock to the Kentucky Oaks, where she’ll face what looks to be two super star fillies in Untapable and My Miss Sophia.  Whether or not she can compete with those types remains to be seen.

– 2nd Star: Speedinthruthecity (KY) – She was consider the lesser of the two Asmussen entries by the morning line odds maker in the Carousel Stakes, but the betting public made her the even money favorite and she didn’t disappoint as she won by three lengths.  This horse has progressed nicely, and could now be ready to give it a go against graded company next time out.  With continued improvements like these she might be a rising star in the female sprint division.

– 3rd Star: Kiss Moon (KY) – It looked as though Kiss Moon was going to wear down Sugar Shock the entire length of the stretch in the Fantasy, but she just couldn’t get the job done.  Still, her clear-cut second place victory was a big run, and also showed the addition of blinkers was a great move.  She earned enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Oaks if she wants to go, but she may be a cut below the very best in this division.

Flop of the Week

Please Explain (KY) – Another big stakes at Oaklawn, another disappointment.  Please Explain was a tough luck third in the Honeybee two starts back, but this time in the Fantasy she was just a total no-show.  After showing speed for most of her career, Please Explain was last again up the back side in the Fantasy, but unlike the Honeybee she made no move whatsoever and finished second to last as the post time favorite.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 132 27 29 14 $1,392,961 20% 70 53%
2 Federico Villafranco 76 25 17 8 $582,691 33% 50 66%
3 Chris Richard 86 23 11 10 $575,792 27% 44 51%
4 Cody Autrey 104 18 20 16 $545,107 17% 54 52%
5 Chris A. Hartman 80 17 15 11 $542,086 21% 43 54%
6 Brad H. Cox 62 15 11 10 $537,936 24% 36 58%
7 Joseph R. Martin 82 13 8 14 $263,361 16% 35 43%
8 Ron Moquett 101 12 10 6 $455,726 12% 28 28%
9 Randy L. Morse 77 10 9 8 $362,964 13% 27 35%
9 Roger A. Brueggemann 44 10 7 5 $293,097 23% 22 50%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 259 49 44 24 $2,096,351 19% 117 45%
2 David Mello 215 35 31 25 $866,178 16% 91 42%
3 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 227 31 33 32 $1,118,785 14% 96 42%
4 Ramon A. Vazquez 157 28 21 20 $771,173 18% 69 44%
5 Terry J. Thompson 183 23 17 22 $834,883 13% 62 34%
6 Ken S. Tohill 150 22 28 18 $734,338 15% 68 45%
6 Jon Kenton Court 162 22 16 18 $682,310 14% 56 35%
8 Luis S. Quinonez 158 19 17 17 $750,372 12% 53 34%
8 M. Clifton Berry 130 19 10 15 $697,830 15% 44 34%
8 Jareth Loveberry 170 19 20 15 $510,347 11% 54 32%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 74 24 17 8 $571,831 32% 49 66%
2 Maggi Moss 51 15 8 7 $296,357 29% 30 59%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 55 13 9 4 $351,710 24% 26 47%
4 Steve Landers 64 11 11 10 $212,265 17% 32 50%
5 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 34 8 5 3 $183,714 24% 16 47%
6 Steven M. Asmussen 33 7 9 4 $134,970 21% 20 61%
6 Martin Brothers, Inc. 33 7 3 2 $101,629 21% 12 36%
8 Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 16 6 5 1 $530,766 38% 12 75%
8 Zayat Stables, LLC 29 6 2 3 $261,337 21% 11 38%
8 William Stiritz 47 6 3 1 $206,856 13% 10 21%

Preview to Next Week

– Thursday: The Count Fleet Stakes (Grade 3) – 4 Year Olds and Upward – 6 furlongs – Purse: $300,000

– Friday: Bachelor Stakes – 3 Year Olds – 6 furlongs – Purse: $100,000

– Friday: The Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade 1) – 4 Year Old and Upward Fillies and Mares – 1 1/16th Miles – Purse: $600,000

– Saturday: Instant Racing Stakes – 3 Year Olds – Six Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

– Saturday: Northern Spur Stakes – 3 Year Olds – One Mile – Purse: $100,000

– Saturday: The Oaklawn Handicap (Grade 2) – 4 Year Old Males and Upward – 1 1/8th Miles – Purse: $600,000

– Saturday: The Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) – 3 Year Olds – 1 1/8th Miles – Purse: $1,000,000

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Oaklawn Report #12

Delta Flower is our First Star of the Week

Delta Flower is our First Star of the Week

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Sea N Suds (AR) – It was Arkansas Bred Stakes week at Oaklawn, and Sea N Suds stole the show on Sunday winning the Rainbow Stakes by a nose.  After a tough trip from the rail, Sea N Suds was able to get to the outside down the stretch and wear down Devilishly Clever and He Is a Roadster.  For the third straight race the horse demonstrated toughness and heart, two qualities that are great to have no matter what state you were bred in!  With Kelly Von Hemel as trainer, you would think Prairie Meadows will be the next time we see this one.

– 2nd Star:  Delta Flower (AR) – She was the easiest of winners Saturday in the Rainbow Miss Stakes, as she broke sharp and never looked back winning wire to wire by almost four lengths.  The race just confirmed her talents, as the race before was a blowout maiden score.  This one might have enough talent to try out-of-state company next time out if they can find the right spot.

– 3rd Star: Mallard’s Bro (AR) – He may be our third star, but there is no doubt his win was the most dramatic of the week!  After hanging out toward the back of the back the entire race, Mallard’s Bro gained momentum in the stretch, and was just able to nose past Devil and a Half at the wire.  The win was his first in three tries this year, and it was his first win ever at Oaklawn.  He’s now earned over 100k for his career, and will most likely resurface at Louisiana Downs next time out.

Flop of the Week

Trace Creek (AR) – He ended up being the favorite in the Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes on Friday after a ton of hype, but in the ended he was a well beaten 9th.  Considering you don’t get many chances to run against Arkansas breds once Oaklawn closes, this one has to be disappointing to the connections.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Federico Villafranco 68 22 16 7 $485,977 32% 45 66%
2 Steven M. Asmussen 114 21 26 11 $1,201,073 18% 58 51%
2 Chris Richard 73 21 11 8 $541,046 29% 40 55%
4 Cody Autrey 98 18 19 16 $538,449 18% 53 54%
5 Chris A. Hartman 71 16 13 10 $483,040 23% 39 55%
6 Brad H. Cox 57 14 9 9 $491,636 25% 32 56%
7 Joseph R. Martin 70 12 8 13 $247,560 17% 33 47%
8 Ron Moquett 93 11 10 6 $434,332 12% 27 29%
9 Randy L. Morse 66 10 9 4 $351,636 15% 23 35%
10 D. Wayne Lukas 82 9 8 10 $484,433 11% 27 33%
10 W. Bret Calhoun 41 9 3 6 $397,106 22% 18 44%
10 Roger A. Brueggemann 43 9 7 5 $268,497 21% 21 49%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 234 43 40 20 $1,934,943 18% 103 44%
2 David Mello 187 32 30 22 $795,855 17% 84 45%
3 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 217 31 30 32 $1,095,486 14% 93 43%
4 Ramon A. Vazquez 135 24 18 18 $630,021 18% 60 44%
5 Terry J. Thompson 168 23 13 19 $733,526 14% 55 33%
6 Ken S. Tohill 130 20 22 16 $615,428 15% 58 45%
7 M. Clifton Berry 114 18 9 12 $671,071 16% 39 34%
7 Jon Kenton Court 142 18 15 18 $587,884 13% 51 36%
9 Luis S. Quinonez 144 17 15 15 $644,302 12% 47 33%
10 Channing Hill 110 15 14 13 $744,895 14% 42 38%
10 Jareth Loveberry 146 15 18 14 $398,067 10% 47 32%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 66 21 16 7 $475,117 32% 44 67%
2 Maggi Moss 41 13 8 5 $263,775 32% 26 63%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 53 12 9 4 $327,050 23% 25 47%
4 Steve Landers 59 11 10 10 $206,147 19% 31 53%
5 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 30 7 4 2 $165,570 23% 13 43%
6 Zayat Stables, LLC 26 6 1 3 $236,934 23% 10 38%
6 William Stiritz 46 6 3 1 $205,026 13% 10 22%
6 Martin Brothers, Inc. 28 6 3 2 $89,373 21% 11 39%
9 Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 19 5 6 3 $260,437 26% 14 74%
9 Craig Drago 18 5 1 4 $168,795 28% 10 56%
9 Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC 28 5 3 5 $134,984 18% 13 46%
9 N P H Stable 11 5 1 2 $73,407 45% 8 73%

Preview to Next Week

– Saturday: The Fantasy Stakes (Grade 3) – 3 Year Old Fillies – 1 1/16th Miles – Purse: $400,000

– Sunday: The Carousel Stakes – 4 Year Old Fillies and Mares – 6 Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

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Blinkers Off 066: Florida and Louisiana Derby Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page.

COMING SOON: In the coming weeks stayed tuned for our brand new website and logo update! It will be a major upgrade across the board and we hope you all will enjoy it!

Blinkers Off 066: Florida and Louisiana Derby – March 28, 2014

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the Grade I Besilu Stables Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, discuss the highly controversial PETA video and preview Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

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Oaklawn Report #11

Brewing Wins the Gazebo Stakes

Brewing Wins the Gazebo Stakes

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Brewing (FL) – Isn’t it strange that Brewing became the first D Wayne Lukas three-year old to earn our first star of the week?  If I would have told you that before the meet I probably would have been laughed at by everyone, including his trainer!  However, Brewing has come on in a big way at Oaklawn, winning a maiden race and then the Gazebo Stakes in easy wire to wire fashion.  His running style suggests six furlongs could be his limit, and it looks like the Bachelor Stakes on closing weekend is where he will be pointed to next.

– 2nd Star: Glacken Too (FL) – This one hasn’t run a bad race yet, although his Sunday allowance win was definitely the best race of his young career.  The win was in wire to wire fashion, as he pulled away from all competition late to win by just over two lengths in the end.  Just like Brewing, a race like the Bachelor or Northern Spur Stakes could be a nice fit for this horse next time out.

– 3rd Star: Jake Mo (KY) – Jake Mo certainly is no stranger to Oaklawn as he ran in the Smarty Jones, Southwest, Rebel, and Arkansas Derby in 2012, and also ran here twice in 2o13.  What he has been a stranger to at Oaklawn is the winners circle, but that changed Friday when he won the feature race of the day.  The win gives Jake Mo two wins in a row, and now he could be pointed back to stakes competition next time out.  He had went a long time in between wins, but has found his form once again.

Flop of the Week

Dunkin Bend (KY) – His seventh place effort in the Gazebo Stakes this Saturday was very disappointing, especially considering the fact that projected heavy favorite Boji Moon had scratched from the race.  After the race is was found that Dunkin Bend has a breathing issue that will require surgery, so that explains the poor effort.  Still, he’s no doubt the flop of the week.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 105 21 25 9 $1,179,147 20% 55 52%
1 Federico   Villafranco 63 21 14 7 $457,337 33% 42 67%
3 Chris   Richard 69 20 10 7 $519,636 29% 37 54%
4 Cody   Autrey 91 18 18 13 $517,179 20% 49 54%
5 Chris A. Hartman 65 15 13 7 $460,616 23% 35 54%
6 Ron   Moquett 86 10 10 6 $413,257 12% 26 30%
7 Brad H. Cox 47 9 6 9 $341,936 19% 24 51%
7 Joseph R. Martin 63 9 8 13 $185,270 14% 30 48%
9 D. Wayne Lukas 76 8 8 10 $471,538 11% 26 34%
9 W. Bret Calhoun 40 8 3 6 $360,506 20% 17 43%
9 Randy L. Morse 58 8 8 3 $292,569 14% 19 33%
9 Roger A. Brueggemann 39 8 7 4 $250,197 21% 19 49%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo   Santana, Jr. 214 40 39 17 $1,817,137 19% 96 45%
2 Norberto   Arroyo, Jr. 202 31 29 29 $1,066,049 15% 89 44%
3 David   Mello 170 30 25 20 $735,322 18% 75 44%
4 Ramon A. Vazquez 121 21 17 18 $575,834 17% 56 46%
5 Terry J. Thompson 153 19 12 18 $637,276 12% 49 32%
6 Ken S. Tohill 114 18 20 12 $558,890 16% 50 44%
7 Jon Kenton Court 128 16 12 17 $504,569 13% 45 35%
8 Channing   Hill 105 15 13 13 $729,360 14% 41 39%
8 M. Clifton Berry 106 15 8 12 $557,944 14% 35 33%
8 Luis S. Quinonez 130 15 14 15 $549,174 12% 44 34%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 61 20 14 7 $446,477 33% 41 67%
2 Maggi   Moss 37 12 7 4 $241,975 32% 23 62%
3     Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 48 11 9 3 $307,840 23% 23 48%
3 Steve   Landers 56 11 9 9 $190,867 20% 29 52%
5     Ulwelling, Al and Bill 26 7 4 2 $162,582 27% 13 50%
6     Zayat Stables, LLC 23 6 1 3 $235,059 26% 10 43%
6     Martin Brothers, Inc. 27 6 3 2 $88,448 22% 11 41%
8     Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 18 5 6 2 $257,437 28% 13 72%
8 William   Stiritz 41 5 3 1 $192,398 12% 9 22%
8 Craig   Drago 17 5 1 4 $168,555 29% 10 59%
8     Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC 24 5 3 3 $124,914 21% 11 46%
8     N P H Stable 11 5 1 2 $73,407 45% 8 73%

Preview to Next Week

– Friday: Arkansas Breeders Open Division Stakes – 3 Year olds and upward (Arkansas Bred) – 1 1/16th miles – Purse: $75,000

– Saturday: Rainbow Miss Stakes – 3 Year Old Fillies (Arkansas Bred) – 6 furlongs – Purse: $75,000

– Sunday: Rainbow Stakes – 3 Year Old Colts (Arkansas Bred) – 6 furlongs – Purse: $75,000

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Oaklawn Report #10

Close Hatches won the Azeri Stakes this Weekend

Close Hatches won the Azeri Stakes this Weekend

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Close Hatches (KY) – She shipped in and stole the show from the three year olds!  Sometimes horses struggle with the Oaklawn surface when shipping, but Close Hatches proved to be a champion Saturday when winning the Azeri Stakes and turning back several worthy challengers in the stretch run.  When you consider her race record, and also considering when she did lose last year it was to some seriously good horses, this one could be turning into a super star.  You’d think they’ll come back now for the Apple Blossom, and unless someone ships in with some serious class it could be lights out for everyone else who enters.

– 2nd Star: Hoppertunity (KY) – It’s a Rebel Stakes that we’ll be talking about for a long time, but through all the bumping, grinding, and controversy it was Hoppertunity who came out on top.  Is Hoppertunity the best horse moving forward?  That’s certainly up for debate, but it also doesn’t matter when it comes to this particular race.  All the credit must be given to jockey Mike Smith for this one as he made things as difficult as possible for Tapiture and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.  Santana rode a brave race himself, but the veteran Smith did just enough to make the difference.  Hopefully we’ll see the top four finishers of this one all come back for the Arkansas Derby.

– 3rd Star: Golden Lad (KY) – Pletcher’s success at Oaklawn isn’t as strong as many of the other tracks he comes too, but Golden Lad broke that trend as he dominated the Razorback Handicap over a field that looked evenly matched.  The field is probably not the best Grade 3 you’ll find, but it still included several horses that like Oaklawn and were highly touted.  Who knows where he’ll pop up next, it could be virtually anywhere.  It would be nice to see him back in a month to run in the Oaklawn Handicap…but will he come to challenge Will Take Charge?

Flop of the Week

Govenor Charlie (KY) – He was bet down to the 2-1 favorite and thought of by most as being the better of the two Baffert horses that had shipped in for the weekend, but Govenor Charlie didn’t run a step in the Razorback step.  He was out-ran from the beginning, and never got into the race at any point.  With the track starting to play strangely his connections could point to that as an excuse, but to me it looks like he’s not a true two turn horse.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 92 21 20 6 $1,117,655 23% 47 51%
2 Chris   Richard 61 19 5 6 $472,416 31% 30 49%
2 Federico   Villafranco 58 19 13 7 $394,153 33% 39 67%
4 Cody   Autrey 81 17 16 11 $477,911 21% 44 54%
5 Chris A. Hartman 59 15 10 6 $441,515 25% 31 53%
6 Ron   Moquett 76 9 9 6 $389,282 12% 24 32%
6 Brad H. Cox 43 9 6 7 $335,329 21% 22 51%
8 D. Wayne Lukas 72 7 8 10 $410,471 10% 25 35%
8 Kellyn   Gorder 30 7 5 2 $285,976 23% 14 47%
8 Randy L. Morse 54 7 8 3 $278,087 13% 18 33%
8 David R. Vance 28 7 4 1 $162,441 25% 12 43%
8 Joseph R. Martin 58 7 7 11 $156,050 12% 25 43%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo   Santana, Jr. 195 37 34 14 $1,721,982 19% 85 44%
2 Norberto   Arroyo, Jr. 183 28 27 24 $973,504 15% 79 43%
2 David   Mello 149 28 18 19 $658,411 19% 65 44%
4 Ken S. Tohill 99 18 16 10 $526,001 18% 44 44%
5 Ramon A. Vazquez 108 17 17 16 $492,874 16% 50 46%
6 Terry J. Thompson 135 16 12 16 $555,867 12% 44 33%
7 Channing   Hill 98 14 11 13 $691,055 14% 38 39%
7 Alex   Birzer 165 14 20 14 $530,800 8% 48 29%
7 Jon Kenton Court 112 14 11 14 $412,090 13% 39 35%
10 Luis S. Quinonez 121 13 13 15 $489,342 11% 41 34%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 56 18 13 7 $383,293 32% 38 68%
2 Maggi   Moss 32 12 3 4 $226,655 38% 19 59%
3 Steve   Landers 51 10 9 8 $175,719 20% 27 53%
4     Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 43 8 8 3 $244,740 19% 19 44%
5     Ulwelling, Al and Bill 24 6 4 2 $149,162 25% 12 50%
6     Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 15 5 5 2 $238,737 33% 12 80%
6 William   Stiritz 40 5 3 1 $191,852 13% 9 23%
6     Zayat Stables, LLC 21 5 1 3 $174,792 24% 9 43%
6 Craig   Drago 15 5 0 4 $162,780 33% 9 60%
6     Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC 22 5 3 3 $124,436 23% 11 50%
36     N P H Stable 11 5 1 2 $73,407 45% 8 73%

Preview to Next Week

– Saturday: The Gazebo Stakes – Three Year Olds – Six Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

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Oaklawn Report #9

Euphrosyne "Wins" the Honeybee Stakes

Euphrosyne “Wins” the Honeybee Stakes

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Work All Week (IL) – All this guy does is win races!  Saturday’s Hot Springs Stakes was his first Stakes race outside of Illinois bred company, but that didn’t matter as he scored a decisive win over a fast closing Alsvid and Apprehender.  The win makes this horse an incredible nine for eleven lifetime, and a winner of six straight races.  Now that he’s passed this latest test, you’d have to think graded stakes company could be next in the Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn during the Racing Festival of the South.

– 2nd Star: Euphrosyne (KY) – It was a wild running of the Honeybee Stakes this Saturday, and in the end it was Euphrosyne who got the money via a disqualification of Sugar Shock.  Sugar Shock looked like she was going to be the winner deep into the stretch, but then took a severe right turn and nearly ran over Euphrosyne, which made for a clear decision for the stewards.  It was one of the more curious stretch runs in race history, and could set up for an interesting rematch later on down the road.  However for now, Euphrosyne sits atop the leader board of Oaklawn three-year old fillies.

– 3rd Star: Carve (KY) – What a comeback race for Carve!  The hard knocking honest horse had a nice 2013 running well in several graded stakes races, but Sunday’s allowance win at Oaklawn may have been his best race yet.  It’s clear the horse has improved since last uear, and you have to wonder if a race like this one could spring-board him into the Oaklawn Handicap next time out.  The waters would obviously be deeper in that one, but after his last race it’s clear that he could be ready for the challenge.

Flop of the Week

Taris (KY) – The Maryland shipper came in hyped, and surprisingly the tote board hinted that she was more highly thought of than Florida shipper Please Explain.  Neither of the shippers were able to get the job done in the Honeybee, but Taris was by far the lesser of the two.  After seemingly having a perfect trip up front, Taris faded badly and finished sixth. Maybe the class jump was too high, or perhaps she didn’t handle the track.  Either way, it was a big disappointment for a highly thought of horse.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 75 18 17 5 $904,259 24% 40 53%
1 Chris   Richard 55 18 4 6 $456,308 33% 28 51%
1 Federico   Villafranco 54 18 12 7 $348,153 33% 37 69%
4 Cody   Autrey 78 17 16 11 $476,851 22% 44 56%
5 Chris A. Hartman 54 13 10 5 $389,600 24% 28 52%
6 Brad H. Cox 41 9 5 7 $305,129 22% 21 51%
7 Ron   Moquett 65 8 8 5 $360,729 12% 21 32%
8 D. Wayne Lukas 64 7 6 10 $366,557 11% 23 36%
9 Mark E. Casse 42 6 4 7 $328,548 14% 17 40%
9 Randy L. Morse 48 6 8 3 $236,269 13% 17 35%
9 Roger A. Brueggemann 35 6 7 4 $212,813 17% 17 49%
9 David R. Vance 23 6 3 1 $145,102 26% 10 43%
9 Michael E. Biehler 23 6 3 2 $141,262 26% 11 48%
9 Joseph R. Martin 50 6 6 9 $135,697 12% 21 42%
9 J. R. Caldwell 27 6 4 6 $96,517 22% 16 59%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo   Santana, Jr. 167 33 31 12 $1,493,095 20% 76 46%
2 Norberto   Arroyo, Jr. 163 28 25 22 $907,067 17% 75 46%
3 David   Mello 123 23 15 17 $539,475 19% 55 45%
4 Terry J. Thompson 124 15 11 15 $532,518 12% 41 33%
4 Ramon A. Vazquez 96 15 14 16 $419,302 16% 45 47%
6 Alex   Birzer 147 13 18 12 $492,490 9% 43 29%
6 Luis S. Quinonez 106 13 11 13 $462,483 12% 37 35%
8 Channing   Hill 88 12 9 10 $581,464 14% 31 35%
8 Ken S. Tohill 82 12 15 9 $419,523 15% 36 44%
10 Jon Kenton Court 96 11 10 12 $341,772 11% 33 34%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 52 17 12 7 $337,293 33% 36 69%
2 Maggi   Moss 31 11 3 4 $215,855 35% 18 58%
3 Steve   Landers 49 10 9 8 $174,739 20% 27 55%
4     Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 40 8 7 3 $239,935 20% 18 45%
5     Ulwelling, Al and Bill 21 6 2 1 $135,662 29% 9 43%
6     Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 15 5 5 2 $238,737 33% 12 80%
6 William   Stiritz 38 5 3 1 $191,568 13% 9 24%
6     Zayat Stables, LLC 19 5 1 2 $168,488 26% 8 42%
6 Craig   Drago 13 5 0 3 $158,205 38% 8 62%
10 John C. Oxley 24 4 2 4 $216,169 17% 10 42%
10     Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC 18 4 3 2 $106,690 22% 9 50%
10     Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. 24 4 3 2 $99,016 17% 9 38%
10     Martin Brothers, Inc. 21 4 2 2 $62,147 19% 8 38%
10     N P H Stable 10 4 1 2 $54,507 40% 7 70%

Preview to Next Week

– Saturday: The Rebel Stakes (Grade 2) – 3 Year Olds – 1 1/16th miles – Purse: $600,000

– Saturday: The Razorback Handicap (Grade 3) – 4 Year Old Males and Upward – 1 1/16th miles – Purse: $200,000

– Saturday: The Azeri Handicap (Grade 3) – 4 Year Old Fillies and Mares and Upward – 1 1/16th miles – Purse: $200,000

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Oaklawn Report #8

Oaklawn Park

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Valid Commander (AR)  – The Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes was the only stakes race carded this weekend at Oaklawn, and it was Valid Commander who made the most of his opportunity to shine.  He was able to take advantage of a fast speed duel out front between Humble Smarty and Mallet, and got the perfect stalking trip to win by a length at odds of 8-1.  Even though this was an Arkansas Bred Stakes race, the time was fairly fast so perhaps Valid Commander could be finding his groove.  The win was his second in a row, and first stakes win of his career.

– 2nd Star: Back Forty (KY) – Thursday’s feature allowance race could have been the toughest race of the week, but Back Forty was able to handle the field nicely to win by three-quarters of a length over Frederico.  Back Forty has now won three of six races at Oaklawn, which easily looks to be his favorite track.  Look for him in another Oaklawn allowance next time out, or perhaps a small stakes at Delaware where he also excels.

– 3rd Star: Adrianne G (KY) – After finishing fourth in a Stakes last time out at the Fair Grounds, Adrianne G returned to allowance company at Oaklawn Saturday was victorious for the third time in four starts.  She held a perfect stalking position early on, and was able drive clear with ease in the stretch to win by a little over one and half lengths.  The win could propel her into Stakes company again next time out.

Flop of the Week

Bull Dozer (FL) – The local fan favorite couldn’t put on a show for all his fans on Thursday, as he was the well beaten heavy favorite in the feature allowance race.  The track was playing strangely on Thursday which could have caused some problems.  You can bet he’ll regroup and will probably be backed pretty well next time out.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Chris   Richard 49 17 4 4 $422,970 35% 25 51%
2 Steven M. Asmussen 65 16 13 5 $728,199 25% 34 52%
2 Federico   Villafranco 50 16 11 7 $319,766 32% 34 68%
4 Cody   Autrey 67 15 12 9 $400,691 22% 36 54%
5 Chris A. Hartman 47 11 8 5 $299,522 23% 24 51%
6 Brad H. Cox 35 8 5 6 $257,569 23% 19 54%
7 Ron   Moquett 62 7 8 5 $322,827 11% 20 32%
8 D. Wayne Lukas 56 6 6 10 $336,541 11% 22 39%
8 David R. Vance 22 6 3 1 $137,602 27% 10 45%
8 J. R. Caldwell 21 6 3 6 $91,084 29% 15 71%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo   Santana, Jr. 146 27 24 12 $1,202,368 18% 63 43%
2 Norberto   Arroyo, Jr. 137 25 20 17 $774,538 18% 62 45%
3 David   Mello 106 20 13 12 $465,051 19% 45 42%
4 Terry J. Thompson 109 14 10 13 $471,354 13% 37 34%
5 Ramon A. Vazquez 82 13 12 14 $376,374 16% 39 48%
6 Channing   Hill 79 11 8 9 $515,234 14% 28 35%
6 Luis S. Quinonez 96 11 11 13 $416,695 11% 35 36%
6 Alex   Birzer 127 11 15 12 $400,931 9% 38 30%
9 Alex   Canchari 85 10 12 12 $353,575 12% 34 40%
9 Ken S. Tohill 71 10 12 9 $323,045 14% 31 44%
9 Jareth   Loveberry 74 10 9 9 $210,610 14% 28 38%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 48 15 11 7 $308,906 31% 33 69%
2 Maggi   Moss 27 10 3 3 $195,567 37% 16 59%
3 Steve   Landers 42 9 7 7 $151,779 21% 23 55%
4     Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 36 7 6 3 $171,012 19% 16 44%
5 William   Stiritz 31 5 2 0 $171,071 16% 7 23%
5     Zayat Stables, LLC 15 5 1 2 $161,773 33% 8 53%
5     Ulwelling, Al and Bill 19 5 2 1 $115,852 26% 8 42%
8 John C. Oxley 23 4 2 4 $214,309 17% 10 43%
8     Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 13 4 5 1 $198,137 31% 10 77%
8     Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. 23 4 3 2 $97,666 17% 9 39%

Preview to Next Week

– Saturday: The Honeybee Stakes (Grade 3) – 3 Year Old Fillies – 1 1/16th Miles – Purse: $150,000

– Saturday: The Hot Springs Stakes – 4 Year Olds and Upward – Six Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

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