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Barn notes 2/15

Barn notes 2/15

Wet Work for Adirondack King Ahead of Southwest Try

 

Adirondack King and trainer John Servis have lived by the Postal Service creed since arriving last weekend for Monday’s $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn. Neither rain, nor snow, etc., has kept them from preparing for action, including a half-mile workout Wednesday morning in driving rain.

 

“When I got here the first day you had snow,” said Servis, making his return to Arkansas where eight years ago he and Smarty Jones rocketed to stardom and a near sweep of the Triple Crown. “Today it was pouring rain. Thank goodness the forecast is clearing up.”

 

Adirondack King, a 3-year-old son of 2006 Arkansas Derby winner Lawyer Ron, logged his breeze under Carlos Marquez Jr. just after 9 a.m. Despite heavy rains and orders to be careful, horse and rider skipped over the muddy track in 49 2/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.

 

The Theba Thing: Women who like MMA

The Theba Thing: Women who like MMA

"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.

I have watched Mixed Martial Arts for years now.  How did this happen?  Well, I was channel surfing one night and caught two men in this cage-like thing - called The Octagon - not just boxing; but kicking, wrestling and engaged in all of these other creative and amazing maneuvers.  I’m sure my interest to stop on this channel also had something to do with these incredibly-built, bare-chested men. I’m not going to lie.  
 


Nevertheless, I was amazed by the sport itself, because it’s so action packed. You couldn't count anyone out.  A guy could be taller or smaller; have major muscles or look like he’s never lifted a barbell. You just never knew who was going to win with a punch, a submission, a kick, or a leg-lock.

California invaders arrive safely, including Breeders’ Cup Winner Secret Circle

California invaders arrive safely, including Breeders’ Cup Winner Secret Circle

The roar of the Tex Sutton retro-fitted Boeing 727 never fails to charge up Hot Springs Municipal Airport and Tuesday was no different as four shippers from California arrived safely including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle and his Bob Baffert-trained stablemate Castaway.

Also on the early-morning flight out of Ontario International west of L.A. was Longview Drive for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Unbridled’s Note for trainer Steve Asmussen. All are expected to square off in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20, Presidents Day.

Barn notes 2/10

Barn notes 2/10

On Fire Baby Will Point to Honeybee

 

Anita Cauley’s dual Grade 2-winning filly On Fire Baby will be pointed toward the $125,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn March 10 as trainer Gary ‘Red Dog’ Hartlage seeks the best schedule to get the talented 3-year-old to peak at Churchill Downs in the first week of May.

 

“It’s all about the best road for getting to Louisville,” Hartlage said. “I have no problem waiting a few more weeks with the way she’s been training if this puts on that road.”

 

On Fire Baby was considered for races this month after finishing third against males in the Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16. She was among six fillies nominated to the Triple Crown and another start against males in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 was one option, but after consulting with Cauley, Hartlage is preparing to keep as many options open next month rather than potentially closing doors at this point.

Barn notes 2/9

Barn notes 2/9

Team Lukas Firing Bullets Ahead of Stakes Shots

It was not difficult to find the fastest workers from the last couple days in the Oaklawn barn area. Just head to the two-barn complex occupied by last year’s training champion, Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.

The bullet brigade began Tuesday when Pippin Stakes-winner Absinthe Minded posted a half-mile breeze in 48 1/5 as she prepares to defend her title in the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes Feb. 18. Four of her five career wins have come in Hot Springs, and her latest workout is the latest example of how much she likes it at Oaklawn.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way she is training right now,” said Lukas Thursday morning of the   5-year-old Briland Farm mare. “She is putting on weight and really maturing. She has liked it here all along, but she manages to look better and better. I’m very excited to run her again.”

Oaklawn to increase purses Thursday

Oaklawn to increase purses Thursday

Good Weather Fuels Strong Field Sizes and Crowds

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012) – Mother Nature has blessed Oaklawn with much better weather this season and as a result, the track is raising overnight purses $5,000 per day beginning with Thursday’s 9-race card. Oaklawn was due some good fortune in the weather department after losing a record eight days to cold, snow and ice in 2011.

Through Sunday, Feb. 5, the 16th day of the 56 day meet, the Oaklawn was enjoying a 42% increase in attendance compared to 2011 and a 40% increase in on-track handle. Off-track handle is up 47%. At the same point during the 2011 racing season, Oaklawn had only been able to race 10 of its scheduled 16 days.