This week we take a closer look at Creator, winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) on April 16 at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn Park concluded the 2016 live racing season April 16 with across-the-board increases in handle, attendance, average field size, and Oaklawn Anywhere (the tracks advance-deposit wagering site) business.
Stepping into a stakes race for the first time proved little challenge for Stonestreet Stables homebred Terra Promessa, as the daughter of Curlin drew off to an easy win in the March 12 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III).
Cinco Charlie went gate to wire in an easy victory in the inaugural running of $100,000 William Walker Stakes April 25 on opening night of Churchill Downs' spring meeting.
Oaklawn Park's 2015 live meet ended April 11 with increases in total handle and record-setting purses despite losing seven days to bad weather.
Six-time leading Oaklawn Park trainer Steve Asmussen earned his 7,000th North American victory April 1, when Drama Coach won the second race at Oaklawn to also give the trainer the sweep of the early Daily Double.
Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's The Big Beast showed no signs of rust in his first race since winning the Ketel One King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 23 at Saratoga Race Course.
Returning to Oaklawn Park where he secured his first career stakes win, Golden Lad held off last year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Ride On Curlin to post a 1 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Essex Stakes.
Apprentice jockey Juan Saez, 17, died the night of Oct. 14 due to severe injuries sustained in a spill during the eighth race at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Churchill Downs concluded its 12-day meeting Sept. 28 with ties for the jockey and trainer titles and Ken and Sarah Ramsey extending their record as leading owners.
Lucky Player outfought stablemate Bold Conquest through the Churchill Downs stretch to win the $115,500 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) and give trainer Steve Asmussen the winning exacta Sept. 6.
Mister Pollard and rider Ricardo Santana Jr. were much the best in the $150,000 Governor's Stakes, winning by 7 3/4 lengths at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Aug. 6.
Lemon Drop Dream, tracking a blistering pace into the stretch, charged home to register a well-timed victory in the $294,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) in his graded stakes debut April 10 at Oaklawn Park.
Hoppertunity might not know much about racing yet, but his pure talent was enough to get the job done in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 15.
Ron Winchell's homebred Tapiture made his season debut a stirring one Feb. 17 when he galloped to a 4 1/4-length victory over Strong Mandate in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Street Story got the Oaklawn Park meet off to a fast start for 2013 leading jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and trainer Steve Asmussen by winning the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes before a rain-drenched crowd of 15,031 Jan. 10.
On the outskirts of boom-town Panama City, past tin roof houses and enterprising food vendors with their roadside stands, past soccer players who practice diligently in the cooler morning hours, Panama's only racetrack hums.
Maiden Tapiture put away early leader Laddie Boy in the stretch and then drew off to register a 4 1/4-length knockout victory in the $175,200 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 30 at Churchill Downs.
After tracking the leaders through the turn, Michael Langford's Dunkin Bend rallied three wide turning for home on his way to a clear victory in the $96,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 1 at Monmouth Park.
Favored Prayer for Relief turned the tables on his local nemesis Alternation and held off a determined run from Worldly by a head in the $175,000 Governor's Cup Stakes on the night of Aug. 17.
Zayat Stables' Prayer for Relief, second in his only two starts this year, broke through with a victory in the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino June 29.
In a near replay of last month's Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III), Master Rick galloped past stablemate Prayer for Relief in the stretch to win the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) by one length May 27.
After racing along the rail in the backstretch, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. angled Master Rick out in the far turn and the Master Command colt rallied from third in the stretch to win the $200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III).
Average daily attendance dropped 2.4% from 10,579 to 10,319, but daily average handle increased 2.3% from $2,780,943 in 2012 to $2,845,768 in 2013. Overall, total attendance for the 54 days was 557,250.
Vuitton came from well off the pace to edge favored Beat the Blues by a nose in the $100,000 Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 11, capping a sensational afternoon for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.
Ricardo Santana Jr., the leading apprentice rider in Panama, has arrived in the United States and will have his first mount Sept. 15.
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