Louisiana-bred String King put away tough pacesetter Gentleman's Kitten and carried on to a well-earned victory Jan. 17 at Fair Grounds, taking the $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) to become a graded winner.
Only five older horses passed the entry box for Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), which along with the Apple Blossom (gr. I) kicks off the Racing Festival of the South at the Hot Springs, Ark. track.
Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park is shaping up as a showdown between the speedy Crafty Shaw, winner of the race in 2002, and Pie N Burger, a late comer to the race when a field of eight was entered Thursday.
Favored Ten Most Wanted, ridden by Pat Day, turned in another outstanding performance Saturday, disposing of a game Soto to post a half-length victory in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs.
Wild and Wicked, despite having only two lifetime starts and none in stakes company, has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown. Preakness runner-up Midway Road is the second choice at 8-5.
Lightly-raced Dynever collected his third straight win with an impressive 1 1/2-length victory over graded stakes winner Most Feared in Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Saturday's Arkansas Derby has 12 colts scheduled to contest its nine furlong distance for a shot at the $500,000 purse.
McKeever Racing Stable's Crowned King, a 36-1 shot ridden by Chandra Rennie, wore down 3-5 favorite Great Notion in mid-stretch and went on to win the $125,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
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