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More than 13 months after his last victory, Michael Lund Petersen's Mor Spirit returned to the winner's circle with style March 18 in the $250,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
- By Claire Novak
Mor Spirit looks to regain winning form in his third start off the layup March 18, when he carries highweight assignment of 121 pounds in the $250,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
The Essex will also have a purse increase, as will ten other stakes races.
Following a five-furlong workout earlier this week at Oaklawn Park, trainer Mark Casse said John Oxley's Noble Bird continues to progress toward his first major objective this year, the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Ride On Curlin, under regular exercise rider Bryan Beccia, worked an easy half mile in :49 3/5 after the break the morning of Feb. 11 in preparation for the $100,000 Essex Handicap to be run Feb. 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Billy Gowan had several options for the 4-year-old debut of Ride On Curlin, but he decided to take what he believes is the path of least resistance: a second-level allowance Jan. 15 in the ninth race at Oaklawn.
Pin Oak Stable's Alternation earned the Oaklawn stakes victory that eluded him last year when he authoritatively captured the $100,000 Essex Handicap Feb. 4.
Pin Oak Stud's regally bred son of Distorted Humor, now 4, returns to Oaklawn ready to redeem himself in the $100,000 Essex Handicap where he was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite and is the 118-pound high weight.
Kate's Main Man, third behind Win Willy in a stakes at Oaklawn Park last month, turned the tables on his rival with a front-running win in the $100,000 Essex Handicap under clear skies at Oaklawn Park Feb. 13.
Oaklawn Park, which has lost six full race cards because of weather since the beginning of the meet, will increase the number of daily races from nine to 10 beginning with its Feb. 10 program.
Front-running Racing Bran, thanks to a heady ride from Chris Emigh, ran away from odds-on choice Win Willy and the rest of the field in the $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park Feb. 6.
Michael Langford's 6-year-old Jonesboro, winner of the 2007 edition of the Essex Handicap, will defend his title when a field of 11 hits the Oaklawn Park oval in this year's running of the $100,000 event Feb. 9.
S & S Stables' Silent Pleasure, coming off a narrow victory in the April 28 Texas Mile (gr. III), stretches out to 1 1/8 miles and looks to extend his four-race winning streak when he heads up a field of 10 as the 121-pound highweight in Saturday's running of the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Prairie Meadows.
Michael Langford's Jonesboro was gunned right to the lead by Calvin Borel from his outside post, and was never challenged as he raced to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) before a crowd of 16,602 on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.
Elona Whetstone's Mr. Pursuit, fresh off a second-place finish in the Maxxim Gold Cup Handicap at Sam Houston on Jan. 27, is the 118-pound high weight among 11 older horses entered for Saturday's featured $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Even-money favorite Rockport Harbor, making his first start in more than nine months, put away the challenge of Cougar Cat in the final eighth of a mile to post his first win since 2004 in the $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
Greater Good and Rockport Harbor, who provided the most exciting finish of the 2005 Oaklawn meet in the Rebel Stakes (gr. III), square off again at the Arkansas track Saturday in the $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III).
The first leg of Oaklawn Park's stakes program for older runners will kick off with Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III). Discreet Hero will be seeking his first 2005 victory as the 115-pound topweight in the 1 1/16 mile-event.
Private Emblem shook off a victory draught of nearly 11 months to post a 1 1/4-length triumph in Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III), keeping his record perfect in four starts at Oaklawn Park.
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.
Irish Acres Farm's homebred Colorful Tour stormed down the rail to tally by 1 1/2 length over Ask The Lord in Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Defending champion Crafty Shaw heads a field of 10 for Saturday's featured $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III), the first hundred-grand stakes of the 2003 season at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn Park track officials announced that the Essex Handicap (gr. III), for 3-year-olds and upwards at 1 1/16 mile, scheduled for Feb. 22, will be contested for a purse of $100,000 guaranteed.
Mr Ross settled in sixth-place after the opening half mile before launching a wide rally to win the $75,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) by 1 3/4 lengths on a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. Remington Rock finished second, followed by Maysville Slew, Gatewood, Mister Deville, and Lights On Broadway. Dust On the Bottle dumped rider Tim Doocy after breaking awkwardly from the gate.
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