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Oaklawn has record purse increase

Oaklawn has record purse increase

OAKLAWN ANNOUNCES RECORD PURSE INCREASE

Second Increase Bunps Total Overnight Purses by $100,000 a Week

 

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012) – A history-making Presidents Day weekend and continued strong business propelled by good weather have allowed Oaklawn to make the single largest purse increase in track history starting with Thursday’s 9-race card. Overnight purses will be raised by $100,000 per week through the end of the meet and the $800,000 addition to the overnight purse account will bring the total purse distribution to nearly $18 million for the 56-day meet, a track record.

 

Barn notes 2/23

Barn notes 2/23

Absinthe Minded Won’t Mind the Challenge From Havre De Grace

 

Last year at this time, eventual Horse of the Year Havre de Grace was gradually building up her fitness training at Oaklawn. Other local rivals had reason to feel the major stakes for fillies and mares would be very challenging.

 

This season, with Havre de Grace training out-of-sight-but-not-quite-out-of-mind in New Orleans, it has been Briland Farm’s Absinthe Minded who has blossomed into a dominating mare and her Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas isn’t backing down now that Havre de Grace is targeted for the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (G3) March 17.

 

“We knew races like the Azeri and the Apple Blossom were going to get a lot tougher,” said Lukas. “I had no illusions that some of those horses would be interested, and we might see even more horses like her end up in there before too long.”

 

Barn notes 2/22

Barn notes 2/22

Horse of the Year Havre de Grace Targeting Oaklawn Return

 

Oaklawn stands to once again provide the stage for superstar champions with the Wednesday announcement that Fox Hill Farm’s 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace will return to Hot Springs for the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (G3) March 17.

 

Trained by Larry Jones, Havre de Grace started her campaign last year with a win in the same race and also conquered the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn. She went on to wins in Delaware and New York including a victory over males in the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga last September. She finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in her most recent start in November and was named Horse of the Year in January.

 

Dual Southwest Stakes set for Monday afternoon

Dual Southwest Stakes set for Monday afternoon

WHAT:          Oaklawn Park will make racing history today when it runs two divisions of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. Each race will have the original $250,000 purse and the graded status, allowing for twice as many horses to receive graded earnings, a determining factor in making the Kentucky Derby field. The last time a significant Kentucky Derby prep was split was the 1993 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, but neither division carried the full original purse.

WHEN:          4:41 p.m. – 8th  Race, Division 1 of the Southwest Stakes

5:15 p.m. – 9th  Race, Division 2 of the Southwest Stakes

WHERE:       Oaklawn Park, 2705 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901

Barn notes 2/17

Barn notes 2/17

Longview Drive Tunes Up for Southwest, Entries to Determine Split

 

Steve Beneto’s Longview Drive, one of four horses to arrive this week from Southern California for Monday’s $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), got a good test over the Oaklawn track Friday, breezing a half mile in 48 1/5, the second fastest of 50 at the distance.

 

Longview Drive, who is scheduled to be ridden by Martin Garcia, winner of the 2010 Southwest aboard Conveyance, will be making his second start of the season after a third-place finish in the Jan. 7 Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita. He finished just a half-length behind runner-up Secret Circle, who was also on the plane to Hot Springs for the Southwest.

 

Barn notes 2/16

Barn notes 2/16

Reckless Jerry Primed For Southwest after Work

PHOTO ATTACHED Credit: Coady Photography/Oaklawn

 

Two days of wet weather pushed trainer Kenny Smith to hold off working Smarty Jones Stakes runner-up Reckless Jerry, but after hitting the track Thursday, he feels the Dream Walkin’ Farm’s colt is in perfect position to take down Monday’s $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn.

 

“I think we caught a lot better surface by going today,” said Smith after sending the son of Cactus Ridge a half-mile in 49 4/5 over a ‘good’ track. “Based on the last three days, I know we made the right call. Now it’s time to get tied on for Monday.”