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Determination Lands Gallant Secret in Oaks

It took plenty of determination – from breeder/owner James Fortney and trainer James Jackson – to get the filly Gallant Secret into Friday's Kentucky Oaks. Now she gets her shot at the big girls. "We're here to win," says Fortney.

Oaks Hope Gallant Secret Works at Keeneland

Trainer James Jackson said Elkhorn Oaks Inc.'s Gallant Secret, a contender in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), breezed five-eighths of a mile over the Keeneland training track Saturday morning in 1:03 3/5.

Wine Tycoon Jackson Takes Bluegrass by Storm

In an Associated Press article published last year, one of Jess Jackson's employees called the California wine tycoon a whirlwind. But based on what's been happening in Central Kentucky lately, that description was an understatement. Jackson, 75, is roaring through the Bluegrass with the strength of a Category 5 hurricane.

Centennial (Cella)bration: Oaklawn Turns 100

Brainstorming for ideas to celebrate Oaklawn Park's centennial in 2004, track owner Charles Cella turned into the $6-million man late last summer. At the ripe old age of 67, Cella stunned his colleagues when he said he was going to offer a $5-million bonus to any 3-year-old that swept Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and then won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He also raised the purse of the Arkansas Derby to $1 million.

Washington Stallion Desert Wine Dead

Washington stallion and millionaire Desert Wine, who ran second in the 1983 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), died Oct. 15 of a heart attack at Gary and Christine Jackson's St. Hilaire Farm near Yakima.

Valhol Possible for Texas Mile

Valhol is being prepared for a start in the April 27 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park. Since finishing a disappointing eighth in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), the 6-year-old gelded son of Diazo has been sidelined with a foot ailment.

Oaklawn and Turfway Increasing Purses

Good weather and higher handles are driving up purses at Oaklawn Park and Turfway Park. Oaklawn will increase purses by $1,000 per race starting Saturday, while Turfway Park will increase purses 7% beginning with Friday's card. Both purse increases exclude stakes races.

Valhol Wins New Orleans Handicap Prep

James Jackson's Valhol rallied from just off the pace then held Parade Leader safely at bat to win the $125,000 Whirlaway Handicap at the Fair Grounds. On a fast track, the 6-year-old gelded son of Diazo completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.94.

Michigan-Bred Juvenile Filly Breaks Course Record in Debutante

Michigan-bred Cashier's Dream remained undefeated when posting a 3 1/2-length win in Saturday's $110,500 Debutante Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. The 2-year-old daughter of Service Stripe led all the way and stopped the timer in 1:02.52 after completing the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track under Donnie Meche. The winning time eclipses Leelanau's track record of 1:03.11 established earlier in the meet.

Valhol Preps for Meadowlands Cup with Bullet Work

James Jackson's Valhol put in a bullet work at Colonial Downs Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday night's $400,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II). The 4-year-old gelded son of Diazo will be making his second start since bone chip surgery following his third-place finish in the 1999 Ohio Derby (gr. II).

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