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Racing Festival of the South

Racing Festival of the South

"DAWN AT OAKLAWN” TO BE OFFERED EACH MORNING DURING THE RACING FESTIVAL OF THE SOUTH

 

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Wednesday, April 04, 2012) – The overwhelming success of the Saturday morning program “Dawn at Oaklawn” has motivated Oaklawn to extend the seminar to every day during the Racing Festival of the South, Wed., April 11 through Sat., April 14. Racing fans are invited to come out each morning from 8 – 9:30 a.m. to see the Festival horses in their morning training, catch a glimpse at the potential Arkansas Derby winner and hear from the sport’s most prominent horsemen.

 

Barn notes 3/22

Barn notes 3/22

No Mistaking Lukas’ Optimism Over Optimizer

 

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds records for Triple Crown race and Kentucky Derby (G1) starts and is in the Hall of Fame for his mastery of the marquee races over the last 30-plus years, yet Bluegrass Hall’s          Optimizer has the 72-year-old acting like a one-horse conditioner after his fast-closing runner-up finish in the $500,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) last week at Oaklawn.

 

“He’s down the shedrow packed in Styrofoam and I’ve set up a rollaway bed to keep an eye on him,” joked Lukas. “I have to take sleeping pills at night, because he’s got me awake at night with excitement. We’ll be keeping a very watchful eye on him this next month.”

 

Barn notes 3/21

Barn notes 3/21

Hymn Book Back To Breezing Toward Oaklawn Handicap Date

 

Stuart Janney’s Donn Handicap (G1) winner Hymn Book breezed Wednesday morning in Florida with Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey starting to crank up the son of Arch for a trip to Arkansas for the $350,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 14.

 

It was the second work for Hymn Book since his mild upset in the unofficial start of the handicap tour at Gulfstream Feb. 11. He breezed a half-mile in 49 2/5 at Payson Park in Florida, and according to McGaughey all systems are ‘go.’

 

“So far, so good after today. We’re planning on nominating and coming,” said McGaughey. “He’s the kind of horse who puts a lot into his races and does well with some spacing between them.”

 

The Theba Thing: Biking Bliss

The Theba Thing: Biking Bliss

"The Theba Thing" is about stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and trying the things that have been on my mind and heart.

In the fall of 2011, I was bitten by the bike-riding bug. I went biking at Two Rivers Park with my brother and his family visiting from Fayetteville. I knew I was going to “have to” go, because they’re big into outdoor activities.  So I rode one of their extra bikes and I absolutely had the time of my life.

I had no idea these wonderful scenic trails existed so close to where I lived. I sure have been living in a comfortable bubble, which usually means to me, where there are no bugs, no potential for bumps and scratches and plenty of air conditioning.

Nevertheless, I was hooked. I started planning how both my mother and I could enjoy bike riding together, and get my friends in on the action as well.  But first I had to convince mom that she would enjoy it as much as I did.

Barn notes 3/15

Barn notes 3/15

Adirondack King On ‘Go’ For Rebel Attempt

 

Southwest Stakes third-place runner Adirondack King is feeling strong ahead of his latest Oaklawn go-round in Saturday’s $500,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) according to trainer John Servis.

 

“We are ready. Just one day to go,” said Servis Thursday morning while eyeing his 3-year-old son of Lawyer Ron.

 

Owned by the Marchfore Thoroughbred partnership, Adirondack King is looking to build on his Oaklawn debut where he finished “best of the rest” behind front-runners Secret Circle and Scatman in the second  division of the Southwest Feb. 20. A winner of a restricted stakes last November at Parx Racing in Philadelphia, Adirondack King has been third in both his starts as a 3-year-old.

 

Barn notes 3/9

Barn notes 3/9

 

Baffert’s Southwest Stars Working Toward Return Trip for Rebel

 

With a stable full of Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is juggling talented 3-year-olds every weekend, but he’s counting on the strong performances by Secret Circle and Castaway in their split divisions of the Southwest Stakes (G3) to help him decide to whether to send them both back for the $500,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn March 17.

 

As they did in their two workouts prior to shipping from California, both are scheduled to breeze in company Saturday morning at Santa Anita with Baffert hoping to further solidify his plans for the stakes winners.

 

“They’re both great and they’ve worked well together before,” said Baffert Friday morning. “Both of them should like the mile-and-a-sixteenth and they both liked the track. If they work great again, then we know we have a plan.”

 

Barn notes 3/8

Barn notes 3/8

It Happened Again Hopes Name Fits In Razorback Title Defense

Photo attached: 2011 Razorback, Photo credit: Coady Photography/Oaklawn

 

Maggi Moss’s It Happened Again will need to elevate his game if he wants to defend the crown he won last year in the $125,000 Razorback Handicap (G3), but the gelding’s new trainer, Chris Richard, thinks he is positioned to pull it off.

 

Last season, the son of Proud Citizen found his best form and rolled through three straight wins, including the Razorback, for trainer Steve Asmussen. He started this season with a win in the Claiming Crown Jewel at the Fair Grounds in December but then had unlucky trips in Oaklawn’s Fifth Season Stakes and the Essex Handicap. Since his last performance, he moved across a road in barn area, but the shift is about the rest of the year and not about disappointment with Asmussen.