TimeformUS Weekend Plays from Oaklawn and Santa Anita read blog
Two-time leading rider Cliff Berry got the 2013 Oaklawn Park season off to a good start Jan. 11 by guiding Donoharm to the horse's fourth consecutive victory in the $75,000 Fifth Season Stakes before 19,633 on opening day.
Jer-Mar Stable's Win Willy, a fan favorite at Oaklawn Park since winning the 2009 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at odds of 56-1, is preparing to kick off his 7-year-old season with a start in the $75,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 11.
Odds-on choice Win Willy unleashed his terrific stretch kick to win the $75,000 Fifth Season Stakes by a neck over Stachys with a well-timed ride from Cliff Berry at Oaklawn Park Jan. 16.
A winter storm dumped about five inches of snow on Hot Springs, Ark., and forced the cancellation of training at Oaklawn Park Jan. 10, but improving conditions should produce temperatures in the 40s by opening day Jan. 14.
Able to clear the field before reaching the first turn, Mauk Four was never headed while winning the $100,000 Fifth Season (gr. III) for older horses at Oaklawn Park Wednesday.
Friday's Alysheba Stakes is open to 3-year-olds, but a sizable group of older horses will go to the gate for the 8 1/2-furlong event including Kodema, Spanish Empire, Perfect Drift, and Sarava.
Favored Spanish Empire overtook Crafty Shaw in the stretch and held off a couple of late challenges to win the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn officials have announced that the purse for the Fifth Season Stakes, for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/6 miles on April 9, has been raised to $100,000 guaranteed. The race was originally scheduled at $50,000 guaranteed.
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