Arkansas Derby

Oaklawn Releases New Proposed Integrity Initiatives for ’21

Working in partnership with the Arkansas Racing Commission and the Arkansas HBPA (Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association), Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort has announced, subject to legislative approval, a series of significant proposed safety and integrity enhancements planned for the 2021 racing season. Key provisions include the prohibition of Clenbuterol within 60 days of a race, reduction in the maximum amount of Lasix without specific approval, and the mandatory use of safety whips in races. "We began working on these measures last spring," said Oaklawn President Louis Cella. "We hosted a...

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Undefeated Nadal to Stand at Shadai in Japan

'TDN Rising Star' Nadal (Blame--Ascending Angel, by Pulpit), whose four wins from as many trips to the races included the faster of two divisions of the GI Arkansas Derby, will enter stud in 2021 at Shadai Stallion Station in Japan, the organization confirmed in a release Wednesday upon the 3-year-old's arrival in the country. Bred in Kentucky by Sierra Farm, Nadal was purchased by Randy Bradshaw, agent, for $65,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September sale and was successfully resold for $700,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale after breezing an...

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Charlatan Nears Return to Training

TDN Rising Star Charlatan (Speightstown), a Triple Crown candidate earlier in the season before being sidelined by injury, is expected to return to training soon, according to Starlight Racing's Jack Wolf, who campaigns the sophomore in partnership with SF Racing, Madaket Stables and Stonestreet Stables. After detecting some filling to the front ankle following a June 1 workout [five furlongs in 1:00.80] at Santa Anita, Bob Baffert confirmed that the colt would get 45 days off after an MRI revealed chips which required minor surgery. "He's doing really well," said...

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Oaklawn Planning 57-Day Meet with Four $1-Million Stakes Races in 2021

Pending approval from the Arkansas Racing Commission, Oaklawn plans to conduct its regular 57-day meet highlighted by four $1-million stakes races--$1-million GII Rebel S., $1-million GI Arkansas Derby, $1-million GII Oaklawn H. and $1-million GI Apple Blossom H.--and the richest purse structure in its 117-year history. The 2021 season, which will be accentuated by the opening of a multi-purpose event center and a luxury 200-room hotel overlooking the track, is scheduled to run Friday, Jan. 22--Saturday, May 1. In addition, 21 stakes will have their purses raised by at least...

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King Guillermo Fires Bullet Ahead of Kentucky Derby

Victoria Ranch's King Guillermo (Uncle Mo) tuned up for the $3-million GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong drill that was clocked in :58.20 (see below), the quickest of 40 works at the distance. It was the second consecutive Churchill bullet for the strapping bay, who went the same distance in :59.40 (1/46) Aug. 15. With Miguel Mena in the irons, the GII Tampa Bay Derby upsetter broke off in :11.40 for the opening eighth of a mile, then was timed in subsequent splits of :23 (flat) (:11.60 interval), :34.80 (:11.80)...

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Letter to the Editor: Davant Latham

Until horses live in a laboratory environment, environmental contamination will occur...hich means zero tolerance is impossible. "Zero Tolerance" is a great soundbite, but unrealistic. The recent final disqualifications of Charlatan and Gamine from their Oaklawn victories for minute levels of lidocaine are ridiculous. A lidocaine backpatch could easily be the source of such a tiny amount, as could a simple caslick procedure on a filly or a "no itch" topical ointment. Let's also consider the amount of the banned substance in their systems. Charlatan tested positive with 46 picograms of...

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New York Times Report: Split Sample Positive for Baffert Runners

Split samples taken from Charlatan (Speightstown) and Gamine (Into Mischief) after wins on the Arkansas Derby Day card at Oaklawn Park May 2 confirmed positive results for the local numbing agent Lidocaine, according to a report in New York Times Monday evening. Both horses are trained by Bob Baffert. Charlatan was a six-length victor in a division of the GI Arkansas Derby, while Gamine won an allowance race on the card and has since gone on to a romping victory in the GI Acorn S. A statement released by attorney...

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Charlatan Forced to Miss Belmont With Ankle Injury

Undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Charlatan (Speightstown) will be forced to miss the June 20 GI Belmont S.--and likely the rest of the Triple Crown--due to a minor ankle injury, per trainer Bob Baffert. The story was first reported by the Paulick Report. "I feel like I just went a few rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson," Baffert told the TDN just after watching one of his other top sophomores, the previously unbeaten Authentic (Into Mischief), finished second in the GI Santa Anita Derby. "It was tough and I'm sad...

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Baffert Leaning Toward Belmont With Charlatan

After giving some thought to passing the race, trainer Bob Baffert said he is leaning toward starting Charlatan (Speightstown) in the GI Belmont S. June 20. Baffert had been considering running Charlatan the GI seven-furlong Woody Stephens S., also June 20, and Nadal (Blame) in the Belmont. But Nadal was injured last week and retired. "I was thinking about running Charlatan in the Woody Stephens and then the Haskell because I had Nadal for the Belmont. Now that has changed," he said. Charlatan is scheduled to breeze Monday morning. Baffert...

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This Side Up: Nadal’s Retirement Leaves ‘Classics’ Clinging to Status

So that's why they had to split the GI Arkansas Derby. One division apiece for Kipling's "twin imposters,"--Triumph and Disaster. Though we've all felt otherwise, from time to time, Lady Luck is as proportionate as she is indiscriminate in her dealings with Thoroughbreds. If Bob Baffert is better placed to absorb the loss of a servant as talented as Nadal (Blame), only a barn of such depth could have achieved the level of Triumph, in the first place, to have meanwhile registered a commensurate sequel of Disaster. It's not the...

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Nadal Retired Due to Condylar Fracture

Unbeaten superstar sophomore and 'TDN Rising Star' Nadal (Blame) exited a breeze Thursday morning with a condylar fracture and has been retired. The Bob Baffert trainee was credited with a four-furlong drill in :48.80 (7/45) (XBTV Video) at his Santa Anita home base before X-rays revealed the injury and he underwent surgery, requiring two screws. "I always say to get my trophies--and I have three Eclipse Awards and one Cartier--you have to get massive scars along the way," co-owner George Bolton told the TDN. "You have to understand days like...

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Horses on Arkansas Derby Day Card Test Positive

The Arkansas Racing Commission has confirmed that two horses that raced on the May 2 card at Oaklawn Park, including one in the GI Arkansas Derby, have tested positive for an illegal substance. When reached by the TDN, Bernie Hettel, Arkansas's state steward declined to name the horses or the substance involved. He did confirm that both positives involved the same trainer and that the matter involved only one of two divisions of the Arkansas Derby. The Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman, citing "multiple sources" reported that one of the...

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