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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).
Until now, the Whithams' best runners have primarily been older horses, but 2016 marked a change. In addition to McCraken, they own Linda, a four-year-old filly who captured the Mrs. Revere (Gr. II) at Churchill Downs last year.
- By Alicia Wincze Hughes
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Kentucky
As the regular rider for McCraken, the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3), jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. could find his current groundswell of momentum dwarfed by what could come his way should his mount prevail.
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.
Calumet Farm will introduce four new stallions in 2017, led by 2015 champion turf male Big Blue Kitten.
Multiple grade I winner Fort Larned will relocate from Florida back to Adena Springs Kentucky near Paris, Ky., along with King's Bishop (gr. I) winner Capo Bastone and City Wolf, the graded stakes-winning half brother to Ghostzapper and City Zip.
In our first installment we focused on the new stallions with a half-dozen or more yearlings in the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale. Here we will look at 11 other stallions—those that had 50 or more foals in their first crop.
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).
Cyber Secret, winner of the 2013 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) for Charles Cella, will move from Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla., to Dr. Linda Robbins' Starfish Stables near Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2016 breeding season.
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.
TimeformUS looks at the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. read blog
Robert Evans' Unitarian will attempt to become the fourth horse to win the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn (gr. IIT) in consecutive years April 18, when he faces 10 rivals at Keeneland.
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.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Alternation||Donnie K. Von Hemel||
|Atigun||James A. Jerkens||
|Cyber Secret||Lynn S. Whiting||
|Fort Larned||Ian R. Wilkes||
|Golden Ron||Marcos G. Medrano||
|Sabercat||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Unstoppable U||Sandino R. Hernandez, Jr.||
|Win Willy||McLean Robertson||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Arlington Classic S. (G3T)||AP|
|Paradise Creek S.||BEL|
|Keertana Overnight S.||CD|
|Winning Colors S. (G3)||CD|
|Valentine Memorial S.||FAI|