Close Hatches will try to add a third top-level victory to her resume in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), in which she meets four opponents, including last year's winner On Fire Baby, April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
Citing robust January business, Oaklawn Racing and Gaming announced it will increase all overnight purses by as much as $2,000 per race starting with the Saturday, Feb. 8 card.
Oaklawn Park stewards have suspended jockey Joe Johnson three days for his winning ride aboard On Fire Baby in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). The suspension runs April 17-19.
Grade I winner Grace Hall, seeking her first win of the 2013 campaign, will face six opponents in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 12 at Oaklawn Park as the 118-pound top weight.
Tiz Miz Sue upset the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park last year at odds of 8-1, and this season she did it again. The Cresran homebred ran down top contenders My Miss Aurelia and Don't Tell Sophia to get the job done.
Don't Tell Sophia was a $1,000 yearling purchase in 2009. On Feb. 16 she ran them off their feet at Oaklawn Park, easily putting 6 1/2 lengths over her nearest competitor in the $98,000 Bayakoa Stakes.
Plum Pretty hadn't been out in more than five months but her class showed through as she strolled to a comfortable win in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 13 at Oaklawn Park.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace tops the list of horses nominated to the stakes extravaganza that, along with the Arkansas Derby (gr. I), comprise the "Racing Festival of the South" at Oaklawn Park April 11-14.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace closed out her New Orleans winter vacation with a five-furlong workout April 1 and is being prepared to ship to Oaklawn Park, trainer Larry Jones reported.
Chilean Horse of the Year Belle Watling brings plenty of international flavor to the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 15, and trainer Patrick Biancone hopes it's the right time for her to show her true ability.
Havre de Grace will try to solidify her status as a division leader when she goes for her first grade I win against a short field in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) in Hot Springs, Ark.
Jess Jackson, principal owner of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, announced March 14 that the 4-year-old filly will not face Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park April 9.
Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra posted her fourth workout of 2010 when she covered five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Fair Grounds while Zenyatta drilled six furlongs in 1:14 over the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park.
Fueling speculation that it is setting the stage for a first-ever matchup between Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and champion older mare Zenyatta, Oaklawn Park will announce "A Race for the Ages."
Proud Spell will miss the April 4 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, according to trainer Larry Jones.
Champion Proud Spell returns to the races March 12 at Oaklawn Park, making her 2009 debut in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming event. Her regular rider, Gabriel Saez, will be aboard as the 4-year-old filly prepares for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 4 at Oaklawn.
Hystericalady, the 3 1/2-length winner of the Azeri (gr. III) last month at Oaklawn Park, will not return for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 5, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.
Live racing in the heart of Hot Springs, Ark., kicks off Jan. 18 as the 56-day Thoroughbred meet gets under way at Oaklawn Park. The historic facility first hosted racing in 1905.
Arthur and Stephanie Preston's Ermine rallied four wide under Eddie Castro to win the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) going away by 1 1/4 lengths before a crowd of 26,003 on Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn Park.
Fox Hill Farm's Round Pond, winner of last year's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and five of six career starts at Oaklawn Park, will return with her "home court advantage" as she heads a tough field of eight older mares in the 42nd running of the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 7.
Fox Hill Farm's Round Pond, winner of the 2006 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and five of her six career starts at Oaklawn Park, is expected to return for her "home court advantage" next month. She heads a list of fifteen older fillies and mares nominated for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap.
Hobeau Farm's homebred Miss Shop shot through a gap along the inside coming off the far turn and turned the $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park into a stroll while spoiling the return of 2006 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Round Pond on Sunday.
Frank Stronach has retired grade I winners Spun Sugar and Amorama to his Adena Springs broodmare band near Versailles, Ky.
While there will be no rematch between Round Pond and Happy Ticket in Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), the 1 1/16-mile race will not lack for excitement, with a field of six older fillies and mares scheduled to run.
James Weigel's front-running Dream of Summer not only held off favorite Ashado in winning Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), she also successfully fended off the challenges of two outsiders, unlucky Star Parade and Shadow Cast, in the final strides at Oaklawn Park.
Champion 3-year-old filly Ashado, who won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I) in her last outing, will make her 4-year-old debut in Saturday's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
Champion Ashado, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) last fall, heads the list of 19 nominations to the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handiap (gr. I), going 1 1/16 miles April 9 at Oaklawn Park.
Following a successful opening month at Oaklawn Park, including record growth in the Instant Racing pari-mutuel wagering system, the track announced an across-the-board purse increase, beginning with the races of Feb. 24.
Azeri, North America's all-time leading money-earning female, has been retired from racing. Michael Paulson, who heads his father's Allen Paulson Living Trust that raced Azeri, made the decision to retire the 6-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter rather than race her a few more times, as was under consideration.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas brought former champion Azeri all the way back Saturday to capture the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) in smart front-running fashion over a strong field at Oaklawn Park.
The Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park Saturday promises to be one of the more intriguing matchups of the year as six older fillies and mares have been entered, including grade I winners Azeri, Wild Spirit, Island Fashion, and Star Parade.
Everest Stable's multiple grade I winner Island Fashion will make her next start in Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, trainer Marcelo Polanco said.
Mike Smith came to a fork in the road with Lion Heart and Azeri and has decided on Lion Heart. Both horses are scheduled to run in grade I stakes on April 3, Lion Heart in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby and Azeri in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
Champion mare Azeri worked seven furlongs in 1:24 3/5 at Santa Anita Friday, trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirming the move is in preparation for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park on April 3.
My Trusty Cat, impressive winner of a local allowance test in her first start of 2004, hopes to continue the momentum in the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Oaklawn Park. Among the challengers in the March 13 event is Spectacular Lisa, two-for-two in stakes this year.
Azeri breezed five furlongs in :58 3/5 Wednesday at Santa Anita under the watchful eye of owner Michael Paulson.
No filly has ever won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), but Island Fashion could become the first in 67 runnings of the 10-furlong race on March 6.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, had her first official workout in the care of her new trainer, D. Wayne Lukas Sunday morning, breezing three furlongs in :35 1/5.
Jockey Mike Smith received a three-day suspension from Santa Anita stewards for his ride aboard Ulloa in Saturday's second race.
Nominations have closed for the four races at Oaklawn Park during its Racing Festival of the South. Medaglia d'Oro and Congaree are nominated to the Oaklawn Handicap.
Alex Solis, who won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) aboard Affluent but opted to get off of her to ride Got Koko in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), will be back aboard the daughter of Affirmed when she meets Horse of the Year Azeri in the April 5 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
Kris & John Richter's Bien Nicole, who won five races in a row at five different racetracks last year before finishing third in the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT), will carry high weight of 123 pounds in Saturday's $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III).
Horse of the Year Azeri drilled four furlongs in :47 flat Saturday morning at San Luis Rey Downs, the first work for the 5-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter since she won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) last Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.
Horse of the Year Azeri is scheduled to make her 5-year-old debut in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park on April 5.
Only six fillies and mares passed the entry box for Saturday's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, but oh, what a cast. Of the six, all are grade I winners.
The connections of Caressing and Atelier have opted to skip Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), part of a double-header with the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) in Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of the South.
Oaklawn Park raises the curtain on its 54-day meet Friday in the heart of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. The oval first saw racing in 1905.
Gourmet Girl tracked pacesetter Asher through the early going en route to a 4 1/2-length win in Sunday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. Lu Ravi finished second in the race for the second consecutive year, this time finishing a half-length ahead of Lazy Slusan. Last year's winner and this year's 8-5 favorite Heritage of Gold finished in tenth place, with Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Spain fourth.
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