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.
Morning-line favorite Misremembered will take on graded stakes winners It Happened Again, Win Willy, and Winslow Homer in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn Handicap, which anchors the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack’s 11-race program. Post time is slated for 5:52 p.m. CDT.
Misremembered, bred in Kentucky by Bob Baffert and owned by Baffert’s wife, Jill, and George Jacobs, had no problem returning from a one-year layoff when winning his season debut by three lengths in the March 6 Santana Mile at Santa Anita. It was the first race for the Candy Ride ridgling since he scored the 2010 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).
Misremembered, who will carry top weight of 119 pounds, has breezed three times at Santa Anita since the Santana Mile. He arrived at Oaklawn Park on April 4 and seems primed for another big effort.
“He’s freaky right now,” said Bob Baffert of the 5-year-old. “He got behind the schedule a little bit, but he’s back on time right now. He’s changed so much in the year since we got him back. I really can’t believe I could have ever bred a horse as good as he is. If you’ve followed my breeding program, it’s been pathetic, but this one came out of it. He’s a really good horse.”
Misremembered, who is out of Quack mare Beyond Perfection, will be ridden by Calvin Borel for the first time. Regular rider Martin Garcia will be riding Jaycito in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on Saturday. Misremembered and Borel will break from post 4.
With six wins from 12 starts including two additional graded stakes triumphs, Misremembered has earned more than $1.2 million in his career.
Maggi Moss’ It Happened Again, Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, B J D Thoroughbreds’ Double Threat, and Fox Hill Farms’ Winslow Homer all come out of the March 12 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn. It Happened Again scored that 1 1/16-mile contest by a half-length, with Win Willy finishing 1 3/4 lengths back in third, Double Threat checking in fourth, and Winslow Homer finishing sixth.
It Happened Again has won all three of his starts for trainer Steve Asmussen this year, as he has also romped in a pair of one-mile optional claimers. The 5-year-old Proud Citizen gelding was claimed by Asmussen for Moss for $20,000 last October. He has won seven of 23 starts in his career. Michael Baze will ride.
Of Win Willy’s six lifetime wins, four have come at Oaklawn. His biggest one came in the 2009 Rebel (gr. II) when he pulled off a 56-1 upset for trainer Mac Robertson. In 2011, the 5-year-old son of Monarchos has won once in three tries, that coming in a Jan. 16 starter handicap. Cliff Berry will be in the irons once again.
Winslow Homer, who is best known for his win in last year’s Holy Bull (gr. III) at Gulfstream, returned from an eight-month layoff in the Razorback. Gabriel Seaz will ride for Larry Jones.
Completing the field is Stachys, winner of the Zia Park Derby in December and runner-up last out in the March 5 Maxxam Gold Cup at San Houston.
$350,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II, Race 10, 5:52 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Win Willy (KY),M C Berry, 115, M Robertson
2. Winslow Homer (KY), G Saez, 114, J L Jones
3. Double Threat (FL), T J Thompson, 110, R Moquett
4. Misremembered (KY), C H Borel, 119, B Baffert
5. Stachys (KY), E Martin Jr., 113 ,M E Biehler
6. It Happened Again (KY), M C Baze, 116, S M Asmussen