As trainer Tim Ritchey watched aboard the stable pony Tuesday morning, Afleet Alex signaled that he is ready for Saturday's $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II), zipping through a fast half-mile workout at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn Park stewards suspended jockey Donnie Meche through Oct. 15 and fined him a total $1,500 for two separate violations cited in an April 8 ruling.
Sharp Lisa, who was scratched from Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) because of an injury, is scheduled to run in Friday's Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, according to her trainer, Doug O'Neill.
Oaklawn Park has raised all overnight purses by $1,000 effective April 9, when the Racing Festival of the South begins.
Champion 3-year-old filly Ashado, who won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I) in her last outing, will make her 4-year-old debut in Saturday's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer John Servis made a phone call Monday morning, a phone call he didn't really want to make. Servis called the Keeneland racing office to nominate Rockport Harbor to the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) scheduled for April 23 at the Lexington, Ky. track.
Murphy's Law continues to plague Fox Hill Farm's Rockport Harbor, who now has come down with an undetermined ailment, forcing trainer John Servis to cancel his scheduled work Saturday and putting his status for the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) in question.
Champion Ashado, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) last fall, heads the list of 19 nominations to the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handiap (gr. I), going 1 1/16 miles April 9 at Oaklawn Park.
Suspended jockey Donnie Meche has been asked to appear before the Oaklawn Park stewards March 31 to respond to the allegation of attempting to bribe a track official.
The picture above the month of November in the 2005 New York Racing Association wall calendar shows the stretch run of last year's Remsen Stakes (gr. II) in which Rockport Harbor held off Galloping Grocer to complete his 2-year old season undefeated. Notable about the photo is the wide smile on the face of Rockport Harbor's jockey, Stewart Elliott.
Saturday's $250,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will be televised on ESPNEWS at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Trainer Cole Norman tied an Oaklawn Park record March 11 when he saddled five winners, including a $58.20 bomb, on the 10-race program.
California shipper Fencelineneighbor moves into Hot Springs to challenge five other older fillies and mares in the $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III). Formerly known as the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Handicap, the traditional prep for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) was renamed this year for the three-time winner of the Apple Blossom, thrice an Eclipse champion older mare, and 2002 Horse of the Year.
With Willie Martinez up and trainer John Servis looking on from the frontside press box, Rockport Harbor went to the Oaklawn Park racetrack at 7:00 Friday morning for a mile work.
Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex will make his 3-year-old debut in the Saturday's Mountain Valley Stakes, going six furlongs at Oaklawn Park.
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated Rockport Harbor served notice that he is fully recovered from the foot bruise suffered last week by working seven furlongs at Oaklawn Park Friday in 1:27 2/5 over a fast track as he progresses toward his 3-year-old debut in the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III).
Following a successful opening month at Oaklawn Park, including record growth in the Instant Racing pari-mutuel wagering system, the track announced an across-the-board purse increase, beginning with the races of Feb. 24.
Instant Racing--pari-mutuel wagering machines that closely resemble video lottery terminals--had its first $1-million day in handle Feb. 21 at Oaklawn Park. Instant Racing, a product of RaceTech, first began operating at the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack in 2000.
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated Rockport Harbor, who suffered a foot bruise on Feb. 20, has shown dramatic improvement and is already back jogging, the colt's owner, Rick Porter, said Tuesday.
Hard to believe that it's been precisely a year since Smarty Jones scored a hard-fought victory in the $100,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Jockey Calvin Borel made racing history when he rode his 4,000th career winner at Oaklawn Park Wednesday.
Cash Is King Stable's Afleet Alex, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and runner-up in the voting for 2-year-old champion, had his first work of the year at Oaklawn Park Wednesday, drilling a sharp half in :47 flat with jockey Jeremy Rose aboard. It was the second fastest of 40 works at the distance.
Trainer Tim Ritchey confirmed Monday morning that Afleet Alex, runner-up for the 2-year-old championship, will have his first work of his 3-year-old season later this week at Oaklawn Park.
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.
By James E. Bassett III -- When one thinks of Charles J. Cella, a myriad of descriptions flash by. "Indescribable" comes easily to mind, overshadowed by "indomitable" or perhaps "indestructible," followed by "unpredictable" or almost surely "unpersuadable." But lest we overlook the obvious, certainly it would be "unforgettable."
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., lifts the lid on its 55-day racing season Friday, with the feature race showcasing 3-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs in the 65th running of the $50,000 Dixieland Stakes.
Fox Hill Farms' Rockport Harbor, undefeated winner of the Remsen (gr. II) and Nashua Stakes (gr. III), is recovering nicely from a severe gash to his back foot and is scheduled to leave Philadelphia Park for Oaklawn Wednesday.
Robert Gaffglione, who rode for 41 years, died Dec. 5 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Oaklawn Park is planning a full-blown 'Smarty Party' for June 5 when the track's adopted son, Smarty Jones, goes for the Visa Triple Crown and second $5-million bonus in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella traveled from Arkansas to Pennsylvania Monday to hand-deliver a $5 million check to Roy and Pat Chapman, owners of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones.
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella wanted to do something big to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the racetrack that had been a part of his family since 1904. So big, in fact, the sport of horse racing has never seen anything like it.
Wild Spirit, the second-place finisher in the April 3 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. II), was disqualified to third Tuesday by the Oaklawn Racing Commission for a bumping incident with Star Parade at the top of the stretch.
After Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones returned from a gallop over the sloppy Churchill Downs track Friday morning, trainer John Servis said "he is doing fantastic. I wish the race were tomorrow."
Last year trainer Bobby Frankel saddled Medaglia d' Oro to win the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II). This year Frankel hopes Peace Rules, who is listed as even money on the morning-line, can emulate his stablemate's success in Saturday's $500,000 race going 1 1/8-miles.
Oaklawn Park will increase purses for all non-stakes races by $1,500 through closing day, April 10, Eric Jackson, the general manager of Oaklawn Park, announced Saturday.
Someday Farm's Smarty Jones, unbeaten in five career starts, heads a record list of 152 nominations for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 10 at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/8-mile stakes is the highlight of the eighth and final day of the Racing Festival of the South, and also closing day of the live meet at the Hot Springs track.
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules and Mr. and Mrs. William Warren Jr's Saint Liam, the one-two finishers in the Feb. 29 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, and the past two Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winners--Private Emblem (2002) and Sir Cherokee (2003)--head a list of 17 horses nominated for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 3.
Smarty Jones likes Oaklawn Park, as proven by his win there in the Southwest Stakes, but the colt will give weight to all of his competitors in Saturday's Rebel Stakes.
My Trusty Cat, impressive winner of a local allowance test in her first start of 2004, hopes to continue the momentum in the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Oaklawn Park. Among the challengers in the March 13 event is Spectacular Lisa, two-for-two in stakes this year.
Trainer Bobby Frankel is shipping a quartet of runners for Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of South, including Peace Rules, who will look to defend the trainer's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) title. Frankel won the 2003 Oaklawn Handicap with Medaglia d'Oro, who is pointed toward the March 27 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Instant Racing, which combines pari-mutuel wagering with video gaming technology, had its best month ever at Oaklawn Park when patrons poured $5.82 million through the machines in February.
When a squall line ripped through Hot Springs, Ark. Thursday evening at 7 p.m., the results "raised the roof" of Barn 25 in the Oaklawn Park stable area, depositing it largely on Barn 28 and a pair of unsuspecting trucks.
Sir Cherokee, knocked off stride in a roughly run New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 29 at Fair Grounds, returned to his Oaklawn Park base after having suffered body soreness and superficial cuts. But his trainer, Mike Tomlinson, isn't particularly happy with the events of the day.
The $100,000 Southwest Stakes, the second of three local preps for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on April 10, lured a field of 10, including a pair of two-horse couplings, Feb. 28 at Oaklawn Park.
Pro Prado and Wildcat Shoes, the one-two finishers in the Mountain Valley Stakes on Jan. 24, and the undefeated New York invader Smarty Jones, head the field for Saturday's $100,000 Southwest Stakes at one mile at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Instant Racing, a pari-mutuel gaming system currently available at wagering outlets in Arkansas and Wyoming, will be expanded in those two states early this year.
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.
Read the Footnotes, Minister Eric, and Tapit top a record roster of 140 Early Bird nominees for the Rebel and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park. The Rebel and Arkansas Derby are the first two legs of Oaklawn's $5-million three race bonus with the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) being the final leg.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
Turn to Lass battled with All Electric throughout before prevailing in the stretch to win the $50,000 Martha Washington, featured race on the President's Day card Monday at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
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