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Barn notes 2/8

Barn notes 2/8

 

Reckless Jerry ‘Perfect’ Leading Up to Southwest Rematch

 

After a less-than-perfect trip in the Smarty Jones Stakes last month, at least morning workouts have gone exactly to plan for Reckless Jerry as he prepares to avenge his close loss in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 at Oaklawn.

 

Trainer Kenny Smith sent the Dream Walkin’ Farms’ colt five furlongs Sunday morning in 1:02 2/5 in a drill that hit all the assigned marks.

 

“It was exactly what I asked for,” said Smith. “I wanted him to gallop out in 1:16 and he was right at that according to what I got. It was a nice maintenance work out.”

 

Barn notes 2/2

Barn notes 2/2

Asmussen Team Hoping Poor Trip Won’t Happen Again to It Happened Again

 

After an unlucky third-place finish in the Fifth Season Stakes, Maggi Moss’s It Happened Again will team with Oaklawn’s leading jockey Terry Thompson in Saturday’s $100,000 Essex Handicap.

 

The winner of the 2011 Razorback Handicap (G3), It Happened Again was the 4-5 favorite in the season-opening feature last month, but was stymied by traffic trouble and was unable to catch Color Me Blue or second-place Twice the Appeal.

 

“He’s been doing fine and very happy since the race,” said Mitch Dennison, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen in charge of the Oaklawn string. “The main thing is we hope he gets the trip that he deserves  because he loves Oaklawn.”

 

Barn notes 1/27

Barn notes 1/27

Apprehender Out to Capture Southwest After Flashy Debut

 

On a raw, stormy day, the Dream Farm LLC’s Apprehender was like a lightning strike in his debut at Oaklawn Thursday and showed he is a contender for the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20.

 

Calling the gelded son of Posse one of the best horses she’s ever trained, trainer Ingrid Mason needed to be convinced to race the 3-year-old in the 5 1/2-furlong maiden contest because of concerns about a muddy track and the short distance. Consider those concerns dismissed after a 7 ½-length romp under jockey Inosencio Diego.

 

“I knew he was a nice horse and I’ve thought highly of him since I got him, but I never expected him to freak like that,” said Mason the morning after what was her fifth win this season. “He’s a running fool, this horse, and I think he’s going to get better going longer.

Barn notes 1/27

Barn notes 1/27

Apprehender Out to Capture Southwest After Flashy Debut

 

On a raw, stormy day, the Dream Farm LLC’s Apprehender was like a lightning strike in his debut at Oaklawn Thursday and showed he is a contender for the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20.

 

Calling the gelded son of Posse one of the best horses she’s ever trained, trainer Ingrid Mason needed to be convinced to race the 3-year-old in the 5 1/2-furlong maiden contest because of concerns about a muddy track and the short distance. Consider those concerns dismissed after a 7 ½-length romp under jockey Inosencio Diego.

 

Barn notes 1/25

Barn notes 1/25

Easy Wednesday Works for Big Wednesday and Holy Heavens

 

Owner/trainer Joe Martin and his brothers Tim and Bill had stellar years in 2011. When Stephanie Got Even’s won the American Beauty Stakes at Oaklawn it attracted a too-good-to-pass-up sale price plus put the family on the radar of owners Drs. K.K. and Devi Jayaraman. Those events have Joe in position for even more success in the marquee divisions at Oaklawn this winter.

 

The sale helped the family upgrade their stock and they come up with Big Wednesday, winner of the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania last October. Getting a string from “Dr. J” and his wife brought last year’s Martha Washington Stakes winner Holy Heavens to Joe’s barn. Both posted workouts Wednesday despite rainy weather.

 

Barn notes 1/19

Barn notes 1/19

Haran Out to Build Strong Winter at Oaklawn

 

Owner/trainer John Haran has made a good living for himself multitasking and keeping his options open. With a construction business, two farms and a racing operation at Oaklawn, weighing choices comes with the territory, and he is doing that with Darland, a mare he may send into Saturday’s $75,000 Pippin Stakes.

 

“I’ve tried three times to find a race for her, but it hasn’t worked out,” said Haran, 50, with an Irish brogue tipping where the owner of Eagle Valley Farm in Kentucky is originally from. “Depending on the size of the field I may have to go into the stakes. It’s a little bit over her head, but there just doesn’t seem to be many fillies ready to go long yet to make an easier race go.”

 

Barn notes 1/16

Barn notes 1/16

Arienza Seeks Short Road Back to Confidence in American Beauty

 

Photo of Arienza’s March 6, 2011 victory at Oaklawn attached. Credit: Oaklawn/Coady Photography

 

Living up to a lofty family name hasn’t been easy for Arienza, but Robert and Lawana Low’s regally bred daughter of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri will get a chance to end a losing streak by sprinting in Sunday’s $50,000 American Beauty at Oaklawn.

 

The six-furlong sprint will mark the 4-year-old debut for Arienza as she attempts to get back to the form that saw her start her career in Hot Springs with two straight wins last winter including a win going a mile. She was no match for Joyful Victory in the Fantasy Stakes (G2) last April attempting to stretch out to 1 1/16th miles. Trainer Danny Peitz thinks and hopes she has top-level talent in longer races, but next weekend will be about changing the momentum.