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Racing Festival of the South

Racing Festival of the South

WHAT:                  Oaklawn Park will host the traditional Racing Festival of the South  Wednesday, April 11 – Saturday, April 14, closing day of the 2012 racing season. There will be nine stakes races culminating with the 76th running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on Saturday.

 

WHEN:                  Wednesday, April 11 – Saturday, April 14

                                Post times:         1:30 p.m. Wed. – Fri.

Nominations Released for Racing Festival of the South; Havre de Grace Tops List in Two Races

Nominations Released for Racing Festival of the South; Havre de Grace Tops List in Two Races

Oaklawn traditionally saves the best for last and 2012 won’t be an exception when the Hot Springs track hosts the Racing Festival of South over the final four days of the meet, April 11 – 14. Nominations for the four graded stakes that along with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) anchor the event were released Wednesday with 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, Sprint Champion Amazombie, Donn Handicap winner Hymn Book and early Kentucky Oaks favorite On Fire Baby among the most notable nominations.

 

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.