He isn't the most expensive horse in the Southwest Stakes, he hasn't raced at the track, and he ships in with a lack of two-turn experience. But he might just win this race.
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella said the owners of both champions agreed Feb. 11 to run their horses in the Apple Blossom Invitational Handicap (gr. I) on a new date of April 9, for a $5 million purse.
Jess Jackson said Rachel Alexandra won't run against undefeated champion Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom (gr. I), but he proposed a three-race series in which the two talented female runners would meet.
Summer Bird, last year's champion 3-year-old male, is one of 25 horses being transferred from trainer Tim Ice by Drs. K.K. Jayaraman and Vilasini Jayaraman. Ice currently is based at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
Oaklawn Park president Charles J. Cella has upped the purse of the April 3 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) to $5 million provided champions Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta both start.
Fueling speculation that it is setting the stage for a first-ever matchup between Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and champion older mare Zenyatta, Oaklawn Park will announce "A Race for the Ages."
A broad winter storm and cold temperatures forced the cancellation of live racing in the East and Midwest Jan. 30.
A power outage shortly before live racing was set to begin on Jan. 29 has caused the cancellation of both live and simulcast racing at Oaklawn Park.
Win Willy, winner of the 2009 Rebel Stakes (gr. II), signaled his readiness for a return to stakes action when he drew off for a 2 1/2-length win Jan. 21 at Oaklawn in a one-mile optional claimer.
Summer Bird, who received the Eclipse Award as the top 3-year-old male earlier in the week, was back in his stall Jan. 22 after a walk and being spoiled by his owners, Drs. K. K. and Vilasini Jayaraman.
Westrock Stable's Decelerator and Jay Em Ess Stable's Rapid Racer head a field of seven talented 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs in the $50,000 Dixie Belle Stakes as Oaklawn opens its 54-day meet Jan. 15.
A Kentucky lawmaker has again requested an opinion from the state attorney general as to whether Instant Racing machines are legal under pari-mutuel statutes.
A collision at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas injured jockey Tim Doocy and forced officials to euthanize two horses Dec. 7.
Tim Ice, trainer of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird, will shift his stable from Louisiana to New York following the end of the Oaklawn Park meet next spring, he said Nov. 2.
Stan Bowker, who has more than 40 years of race track experience, has accepted the position as state steward for the Arkansas State Racing Commission, director Ron Oliver announced Sept. 23.
Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, who sponsored the legislation that resulted in Kentucky's Breeders' Incentive Fund, has inquired about another method of garnering funds for the state's Thoroughbred industry.
Oaklawn Park realized an increase in handle and attendance during its 54-day meet that ended April 11, according to a published report.
Jockey Tim Doocy became the 25th rider to win 5,000 races when he guided Color Out to victory in the nightcap at Oaklawn Park on April 4.
Proud Spell will miss the April 4 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, according to trainer Larry Jones.
Citing continued success in all product lines during its current live racing season, Oaklawn Park officials March 21 announced a second purse increase.
Champion Proud Spell returns to the races March 12 at Oaklawn Park, making her 2009 debut in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming event. Her regular rider, Gabriel Saez, will be aboard as the 4-year-old filly prepares for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 4 at Oaklawn.
He had to work a little harder than the typical 2-5 shot has to, but Old Fashioned pulled clear late and came out on top in his 2009 debut Feb. 16 with a 3 1/4-length victory over a stubborn Silver City in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
The Horseplayers Association of North America has introduced this year a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Featured exclusively on BloodHorse.com is a countdown of the top 10 tracks. Oaklawn Park is #9.
Larry Jones might have one of the top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls this year, and he plans to bring the horse to Arkansas.
Delaware Park announced Dec. 8 that Pat Pope had been appointed racing secretary for the track's upcoming 72nd meet.
Advance deposit wagering outlets owned by TrackNet Media, TwinSpires.com and XpressBet, as well as Youbet.com, will be taking bets on the upcoming 2009 Oaklawn racing season under an agreement announced Dec. 31.
Add a little more distance and throw in a few extra runners, and a rerun of the May 3 La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) is essentially what you'll have in the $100,000 Dogwood (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Last year, Steve Asmussen and Robby Albarado teamed up with eventual Horse of the Year Curlin to clobber eight other contenders in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I). On April 12 at Oaklawn Park the trainer/jockey duo will collaborate again with Zayat Stables' Z Fortune, but this time their starter has a lot to prove.
Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner War Pass, current Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite Pyro, and filly sensation Eight Belles head a list of 110 nominations for the 72nd running for the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Every morning for more than four decades David Vance made the same trek up Interstate I-71 to Turfway Park. Beginning in 1966, his first year as a trainer, Vance's schedule was the same, waking up at the crack of dawn, jumping in his car, and venturing to the Florence, Ky., racetrack to tend to his stable of horses. But Dec. 9, while making the drive for who-knows-how-many-thousandth-time, life changed in an instant.
The ninth race at Oaklawn Park March 13 was declared a non-event when track workers were unable to move the malfunctioning starting gate out of the way in time for the stretch run of the 1 1/16-mile allowance heat.
The 3-year-old Dixie Union colt will either run in the WinStar Derby or Lane's End Stakes.
Due to harsh weather conditions, live racing at Oaklawn Park has been cancelled for Friday, Jan. 25. The facility will remain open for simulcasting.
Two colts by Holy Bull battled through the stretch at Oaklawn Park Jan. 21, and it was Kenneth Maier's Liberty Bull who earned a neck victory over Alex and Joann Lieblong's Isabull in the $50,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile.
John Morgan, a retired horseman who trained Thoroughbreds for approximately 35 years, died Dec. 16 in Hot Springs, Ark. According to a release from Oaklawn Park, the 76-year-old trainer succumbed to cancer.
Trainer Cole Norman was arrested and charged Nov. 26 with driving while intoxicated, hit and run, simple criminal property damage, and possession of the drugs Lortab and Xanax without a prescription in his hometown of Haughton, La.
The Race Track Chaplaincy of Arkansas has named Rev. John "TC" Megahan as chaplain for the 2008 racing season at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn Park has signed an agreement to allow TrackNet Media Group to manage the track's simulcast sales, it was announced Oct. 15.
Oaklawn Park officials have no immediate plans to expand the racetrack's gambling-machine offerings, but they said a Sept. 27 ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold a law that permitted electronic gaming devices at the track is a major step forward.
Services for Donna Trant, personal secretary to Oaklawn Park owner and president Charles Cella, will be held Tuesday, June 5, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mrs. Trant, 52, died June 1 of cancer.
Trainer Cole Norman is facing manslaughter charges in Hot Springs, Ark., for his role in a fatal accident that left an 86-year-old woman dead.
In spite of unsatisfactory weather conditions throughout much of the winter-spring, business at Oaklawn Park stayed strong on track through the 2007 live racing season. While attendance and daily average slipped, on-track wagering remained strong.
Fox Hill Farm's Round Pond, winner of last year's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and five of six career starts at Oaklawn Park, will return with her "home court advantage" as she heads a tough field of eight older mares in the 42nd running of the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 7.
The Hancock family's Claiborne Farm will be the presenting sponsor for HorseRacing TV's coverage of two important Kentucky Derby preps -- the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Arkansas Derby (gr. II). The Florida Derby will be March 31. The Arkansas Derby is April 14..
For the second time this season, Oaklawn Park has increased all overnight purses by $1,000. The latest purse increase, which will take effect with races carded for March 14, will bring the total increase in purses this year at Oaklawn to more than $1 million.
Jockey Beverly Burress, who led all apprentice riders at Oaklawn Park during the 2006 meet, suffered injury to her left knee in a training accident March 8 and will be out of action indefinitely. The horse she was riding in the training accident, Black Type Magic, was uninjured in the mishap.
Hard Spun has four of a kind going into Monday's Southwest Stakes. We see a straight flush coming.
Beginning Thursday, Jorge Lara will be the trainer of record of horses racing at Oaklawn Park now with Cole Norman, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Trainers Bob Holthus, Don Von Hemel, and Tim Ritchey were honored by the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Trainer Cole Norman was involved in a fatal head-on car accident Feb. 5 in Arkansas that left an 86-year-old Hot Springs, Ark., woman dead.
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