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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.

 

Oaklawn announces third purse increase

Oaklawn announces third purse increase

Allowance Races and Maiden Special Weights Now More Than $50,000

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Thursday, March 8, 2012) – The good fortune continues at Oaklawn with racing and Instant Racing/gaming both seeing double digit increases in February and as a result, the Hot Springs track is announcing the third purse increase of the meet effective with Friday’s nine-race card. In addition, the purses for the four remaining Arkansas-bred stakes – the Rainbow, the Rainbow Miss and both divisions of the Arkansas Breeders’ – will be increased from $50,000 to $60,000.

On-track handle improved 30% in February compared to 2011, while off-track handle grew 33%. The Instant Racing/gaming operations saw similar increase during the same time period. 

Barn notes 3/2

Barn notes 3/2

Mr. Bluegrass Music Shakes Illness To Start In Gazebo

 

A bout with a virus kept Mr. Bluegrass Music from jumping into the 3-year-old stakes fray last month, but trainer Rick Jackson says the gray colt is ready to reload with a start in Saturday’s $60,000 Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn.

 

Owned by Jac Mac Stable and Cedar Lakes Stables, Mr. Bluegrass Music was last seen finishing third    behind eventual Southwest Stakes (G3) runner-up Scatman in a tough optional allowance sprint Jan. 29. Jackson said the son of Bluegrass Cat would have followed Scatman into that major stop on the Arkansas Derby (G1) trail, but plans had to change in February.

 

Barn notes 3/1

Barn notes 3/1

Exfactor Now Focused On Sprinting With Gazebo Reboot

 

Trainer Bernie Flint has been dealing with a cold, but doctors will clearly be able to rule out a diagnosis of ‘Derby Fever’ as he ships Graded stakes-winner Exfactor to Oaklawn for Saturday’s $60,000 Gazebo Stakes, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds.

 

The veteran New Orleans-based conditioner got a stark indication that the Stoneway Farm’s 3-year-old colt will find his best success in sprint races after an 11th-place finish in the two-turn LeComte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds Jan. 21.

 

“Fortunately, he’s got talent, unfortunately, he doesn’t want to go long,” said Flint, who entered and put the son of Exchange Rate on a van to Hot Springs Thursday morning. “We took our shot, but if you look at him, he definitely looks like a sprinter.”

 

Barn notes 2/29

Barn notes 2/29

Lauer & Scatman ‘Back in Routine’ After Splashy Second in Southwest

 

Not much has changed for trainer Michael Lauer more than a week since saddling Scatman to a game runner-up finish in the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn, other than needing to keep his mobile phone battery charged with all the phone calls he’s received.

 

“We’re back in the routine,” said Lauer, who has toiled in the relative quiet of barn 33 in the back corner of Oaklawn’s stable area for three years now. “Things have picked up, though. The phone rings a lot more and I’ve got reporters coming by.”

 

Barn notes 2/24

Barn notes 2/24

Comedero Recovers In Time To Defend No Double Crown

 

The leading Arkansas-bred in training, Comedero, is returning to defend his title won in Saturday’s $50,000 No Double Breeders’ Stakes at Oaklawn despite a dangerous infection that hobbled him late last year.

 

Trained by Michael Stidham for Peter Redekop, the son of Posse was bred in the Natural State by McDowell Farm, but has distinguished himself beyond Arkansas with graded stakes wins all over the map. He won the No Double last year and followed up with a victory in a stakes in Delaware but then tailed off with a three-race losing streak. While on the comeback trail, his life and career took a dangerous turn.