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The way jockey Geovanni Franco was riding Randy Howg's Inside Straight during the final turn of the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2), it looked like he was sitting on a mountain of horse.
Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. This week we have the final preps for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at Oaklawn Park and Keeneland.
This raiding trip to Oaklawn Park for a run at the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) comes on the heels of a game runner-up finish in the March 11 Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (G1).
Multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome will target the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 for his 4-year-old debut, trainer J.R. Caldwell said Jan. 10.
Effinex, who may have been the top handicap horse in the country at the end of last season, secured another big win April 16 with a one-length score in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
- By BloodHorse Staff
- Thoroughbred Racing, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
The Owners Concierge will be onsite to help Oaklawn provide hospitality to owners and their connections.
Effinex was made the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) favorite against a field that also includes Razorback Handicap (gr. III) winner Upstart and several other stakes winners.
The Clark Handicap (gr. I) winner will contest the April 16 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) before returning to New York, where he was recently named New York-bred Horse of the Year. He breezed five furlongs April 7.
Multiple stakes winner Discreetness worked an easy half-mile in :50 over a fast track Feb. 10 at Oaklawn Park, his final major move for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) coming up Feb. 15.
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).
Oaklawn Park has made several enhancements to its 2016 stakes schedule, most notably increasing the purse of the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) from $750,000 to $900,000.
Matthew Schera's Race Day is proving to be a bargain after taking the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park on April 11.
Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Tapiture will look to rebound in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 11 at Oaklawn Park. Race also features Razorback Handicap (gr. III) winner Race Day.
Last year's 3-year-old filly champion looks to bounce back from a defeat in the Azeri Stakes in the Apple Blossom Handicap
The $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) is now on the radar as a next possible start for champion Shared Belief.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said champion Untapable exited her runner-up effort in the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) March 14 in good condition and will remain in training at Oaklawn Park until early April.
Shared Belief will likely look toward the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 11 for his next race, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said March 8, a day after a dominating win in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).
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.
Cyber Secret, a multiple graded stakes winner by Broken Vow, will stand the 2015 breeding season at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Ocala-based Journeyman Stud.
Relive moments from the racing career of Will Take Charge.
Evan Hammonds recaps the victories of Will Take Charge, Dance With Fate, and Danza. watch video
2013 Champion 3-year-old colt has now earned $3,665,148. More
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge notched his first victory of the season in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 12 at Oaklawn Park, surviving multiple claims of foul and a lengthy inquiry.
Will Take Charge won the 3-year-old championship, but speedster Moreno was surprisingly right there with him in the summer months before going to the sidelines after the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Reigning 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge and stablemate Strong Mandate both worked April 1 at Oaklawn Park, while Southwest Stakes winner Tapiture was also on the Arkansas oval's tab.
Commissioner, headed for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I), is among three horses multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher plans to send to to Oaklawn Park for the last day of the Racing Festival of the South.
Every morning D. Wayne Lukas sends the first set out over the Arkansas oval, their hooves sinking softly in the freshly harrowed ground. On March 14, he supervised Rebel contender Strong Mandate and champion Will Take Charge.
Owner Rick Porter has picked out a couple of stakes options for Normandy Invasion following the colt's record-breaking return to action in allowance company Feb. 22 at Gulfstream 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.
Purse increases to 19 of 31 stakes races and the creation of a Racing Festival of the South Preview Day are among the highlights of Oaklawn's 2014 stakes schedule.
Oaklawn Park specialist Cyber Secret ran away with the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) for track owner Charles Cella April 13 as heavily favored Fort Larned folded.
An unfortunate stumble at the start of the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) last month cost Fort Larned his seasonal debut, but the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner is back in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Trainer Ian Wilkes said he is leaning toward the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) for Fort Larned after last fall's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner breezed an easy half-mile at Palm Meadows Training Center March 21.
The Pimlico Special (gr. III), returning to the Pimlico racing calendar after a three-year hiatus, has drawn a sold field of 10 handicap horses, headed by Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) winner Alternation.
Alternation shocked a strong field in the $400,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 14 at Oaklawn Park, leading all the way for his third consecutive stakes win of the meet.
Recent grade I winners Hymn Book and Ron the Greek head a strong field of eight for the $400,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 14.
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.
Caleb's Posse worked March 27 for a run in Aqueduct's Carter Handicap (gr. I) April 7; Scatman goes a half in :49 in first move since running third in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II).
For Rick Porter and Larry Jones, Plan A is to run Havre de Grace in the Apple Blossom Handicap April 13. However, the connections have also made one thing clear: They will only do so under the right weight conditions.
This was nothing like the 56-1 stunner he pulled off in the 2009 Rebel (gr. II), but Win Willy's one-length victory over odds-on favorite Misremembered in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 9 still qualifies as a major upset
Led by grade I winner Misremembered, a small but strong field of six was drawn for the $350,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 9 at Oaklawn Park.
Following a ruling by the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, the Estate of Edmund A. Gann has returned the winning purse from the 2009 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), originally paid to the connections of It's a Bird.
Oaklawn Park has announced a 32-stakes program totaling $4.6 million for the 56-day meet that begins Jan. 14, 2011.
Duke of Mischief made the right move at the right time to get the jump on favored Win Willy and hold him off late to win the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park April 3.
Win Willy, a sharp winner in the Razorback Handicap (gr. III) last month, will try for his fifth victory at Oaklawn Park when he faces six in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 3.
- By Ron Mitchell
It's a Bird, winner of the Lone Star Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day, could lose the purse from his April 4 victory in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) as the result of a positive test for the prohibited substance naproxen, an anti-inflammatory medication.
Back on the fast track he prefers, the Florida shipper It's a Bird swept past pacemaker Jonesboro on the turn for home and left his rivals in the dust, romping to a six-length victory in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 4 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Three of the main players from last month's New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) will return for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), a wide-open event for older horses at Oaklawn Park on April 4.
Tiago nipped favored Heatseeker by a head after a stirring stretch battle in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), capping a $1 million stakes day at the Arkansas track for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith.
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