The Big Beast won't have to contend with Rock Fall, who beat him by a nose last time out in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I). But the seven-furlong Forego came up a tough race nonetheless, with a slew of new sprinters.
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.
Maggi Moss' Delaunay, a winner of more than $1.1 million, ended his streak of second-place finishes in the Iowa Sprint Handicap with a victory in the $125,000 event the evening of June 26 at Prairie Meadows.
Michael Langford's Carve, a determined neck winner of the 2014 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III), is back in the 2015 edition and looking for his second score of the season June 27 at Prairie Meadows.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a proclamation June 5 declaring Saturday, June 6, "American Pharoah Day" throughout the entire state.
Bloom Racing Stable's Majestic City made his trip from California to Texas worthwhile with a wire-to-wire victory in the $200,000 Lone Star Handicap at Lone Star Park May 25.
After winning the Texas Mile (gr. III) May 1 at odds of 24-1, Paul Rigali Jr.'s homebred Texas Air will look to provide another upset in the $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) May 25.
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.
American Pharoah will return to Oaklawn Park for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 11, owner Ahmed Zayat said March 20.
- By Claire Novak
Champion American Pharoah March 15 at Oaklawn after winning the Rebel (gr. II) by 6 1/4 lengths. watch video
American Pharoah bobbled at the break but never looked back, galloping gate-to-wire to win the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) by 6 1/4 lengths in his season debut March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Months have passed to the point that when American Pharoah makes his 3-year-old debut Saturday, March 14, in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, it will come just seven weeks before the Kentucky Derby.
The 2-year-old champ walks off the racetrack in Arkansas March 13 after galloping in preparation for the March 14 Rebel Stakes (gr. II). Watch Video
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Rebel Stakes (gr. II). read blog
Tom LaMarra and Frank Angst preview the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park featuring American Pharoah. Watch Video
This season Baffert comes in loaded for bear, with Zayat Stables' 2-year-old champion American Pharoah set to make his 2015 debut. American Pharoah has turned in a series of scintillating works at Santa Anita.
Take Charge Brandi will miss the March 14 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) with a non-displaced bone chip in her right knee. The injury will also prevent her from a run in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
As impressive as American Pharoah's workouts have been, trainer Bob Baffert seems most concerned about the weather going east for the 2-year-old champion male's 3-year-old debut.
Oaklawn officials said Take Charge Brandi appears headed for a showdown against top 3-year-old males in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14, as last year's champion 2-year-old filly will not race in the Honeybee (gr. III).
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hopes to breeze champion filly Take Charge Brandi March 2 at Oaklawn Park in preparation for her next start, possibly against males in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14.
American Pharoah may be more than ready to make his 3-year-old debut. The Zayat Stables-owned son of Pioneerof the Nile worked an eye-catching seven furlongs in 1:23 4/5 Feb. 27 at Santa Anita Park.
Owner Willis Horton confirmed Feb. 25 that the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14 is under consideration as a target for champion Take Charge Brandi, although a decision has not yet been made.
Zayat Stables' American Pharoah Drew an appreciative appraisal from trainer Bob Baffert as he continued to work in preparation for his 3-year-old debut the morning of Feb. 15 at Santa Anita Park.
A celebration of the career of Gary Stevens on the occasion of his 5,000th North American victory. View Slideshow
Spendthrift Farm's Awesome Patriot, a stakes-winning full brother to Preakness (gr. I) winner Oxbow, sired his first reported foal just after midnight Feb. 8. The colt was born at Windhorse Thoroughbreds in Middleburgh, N.Y.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Carve||Brad H. Cox||
|Delhomme||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Den's Legacy||Ron Moquett||
|Hardrock Eleven||Paul Douglas Fout||
|Oxbow||D. Wayne Lukas||
|Stormy Holiday||McLean Robertson||
|Super Ninety Nine||Bob Baffert||
|Texas Bling||Danele Durham||
|Title Contender||Anita Bolton||
|Treasury Bill||Louie J. Roussel, III||
|Will Take Charge||D. Wayne Lukas||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|I'm Smokin S.||DMR|
|Bird of Pay S.||NP|
|Evan Shipman S.||SAR|
|Del Mar Juvenile Turf S.||DMR|
|Del Mar Debutante S. (gr. I)||DMR|