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Whiting Has Three-Year-Olds Poised For Early Impact

Whiting Has Three-Year-Olds Poised For Early Impact

Trainer Lynn Whiting, best known for 1992 Kentucky Derby winner and Arkansas Derby runner-up Lil E. Tee, is wasting no time getting two of his top 3-year-olds in action this meet. Saturday, he will start Charles J. Cella’s Lady Stonewall in the $60,000 Dixie Belle Stakes and he has Officer Alex on target for his seasonal debut in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 21, the feature on the special Martin Luther King Jr. Day card.

Lady Stonewall, a Harlan’s Holiday filly, will not only be making her first start of the year, but her stakes debut in the six-furlong Dixie Belle, where she drew post seven of seven. In her two starts as a juvenile, she finished second at Keeneland and then proved a gutsy winner, taking a tough maiden special weight at Churchill Downs by a head. She will be ridden by Robby Albarado, who is returning to Oaklawn to ride full-time for the first time since being leading rider in 1997.

Veterans Win Willy and Endorsement Head Opening Day Feature

Veterans Win Willy and Endorsement Head Opening Day Feature

Oaklawn’s highly anticipated 2013 live racing season gets underway Friday with a nine-race card highlighted by the $75,000 Fifth Season Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile race for older horses drew a field of nine led by fan-favorite Win Willy and multiple stakes winner Endorsement, who is among the horses trainer Eoin Harty sent to Oaklawn for the first time this year.

Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, who won the race in 2011, will likely be the sentimental choice as his biggest career wins have come at the Hot Springs track, including the 2009 Rebel Stakes and 2011 Oaklawn Handicap. The 7-year-old Monarchos horse will once again be partnered with jockey Alex Cintron, who was aboard for all three of his victories last year, including two stakes. He prepared for the race with a five-furlong breeze in 1:03 1/5 Tuesday.

Texas Bling Settling in Well at Oaklawn

Texas Bling Settling in Well at Oaklawn

When trainer Danele Durham looked at the Remington Park tote board the night of Dec. 9 before the Springboard Mile she thought surely it was broken. How else could the odds for her horse, Texas Bling, be flashing 99-1?

Fortunately, the homebred of the Hall’s Family Trust didn’t know his odds, rewarding his connections with a 1 ¾-length victory and his backers with a $259.60 win payoff.

One day after the win, he was on his way to Oaklawn to begin preparations for this 3-year-old campaign. His first major objective comes in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Monday, Jan. 21.

Texas Bling warmed up for the one-mile race by working a half-mile in 52 1/5 Saturday, his first since the Springboard, and has another work planned for Sunday.

Win Willy Gearing Up for Another Go in 2013

Win Willy Gearing Up for Another Go in 2013

Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, a fan favorite at Oaklawn since upsetting the 2009 Rebel Stakes (G2) at odds of 56-1, is preparing to kick off his 7-year-old season with a start in the $75,000 Fifth Season Stakes, the opening day feature Friday, Jan. 11. Win Willy, who won the Fifth Season in 2011, worked five furlongs Thursday in 1:03 4/5 over a fast track.

“It was okay from what I could see,” said trainer Mac Robertson. “We’ll probably work him again before he runs. It looks like the Fifth Season is about right.”

In addition to winning the 2011 Fifth Season, the Monarchos horse also won the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) that year, but was unable to duplicate that form in 2012 at Oaklawn. However, he did have one of the best summers and falls of his career. He won three stake races at Delaware between June and October and most recently finished fourth in the $100,000 Swatara Stakes at Penn National.

Oaklawn Barn Notes

Oaklawn Barn Notes

Brown Almighty Prepares to Answer Important Questions

Even before Brown Almighty headed into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November as a top contender, the plan was to come to Oaklawn in 2013 to try the dirt and hopefully legitimize himself as a possible    Triple Crown contender. The first chance for the Big Brown colt to start working on those goals will be the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Monday, Jan. 21, the anchor of Oaklawn’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day card. On Monday, Dec. 31, he worked six furlongs in 1:16 over a fast track, his third since coming to Hot Springs.

State Weeks lets visitors 'share the fun'

State Weeks lets visitors 'share the fun'

HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE – Share the Fun During State Week! Visitors play at resident rates with a valid driver’s license. Upcoming State Weeks are listed below:

Sept. 30-Oct. 6: California
Oct. 7-13: New York
Oct. 14-20: Wisconsin
Oct. 21-27: Michigan

As a token of appreciation, Hot Springs Village Property Owners will receive one round of golf FREE in 2012 for bringing in a visiting guest. So “Share the Fun” – invite a friend or relative to play in the Village! (Limit one complimentary round of golf per resident in 2012. Residents sign in at any HSV POA Golf Pro Shop with your visitor and we will mail you a golf coupon. Please schedule your FREE round by calling 501-922-2858 or emailing teetimes@hsvpoa.org).

Stall Applications Now Available for 2013 Season

Stall Applications Now Available for 2013 Season

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012) – Stall applications are now available for Oaklawn’s 2013 live meet, which will be the richest in the track’s 109-year history with purses totaling close to $20 million during the 56-day season. Oaklawn, which runs Friday, Jan. 11 – Saturday, April 13, announced a record $5.7 million stakes schedule several weeks ago.

Racing Secretary Pat Pope is busy putting together the most lucrative condition book in the track’s history, featuring maiden allowance races at $53,000; open allowance races as high as $56,000 and increases in key categories as high as 50% when compared to the first condition book of the 2012 season.

“We were thrilled last year when we were able to offer $40,000 for maiden allowance races,” Pope said. “For that number to climb to $53,000 this year is just phenomenal.”