Oaklawn Park

Week in Review: Irad's Magic on Display in Apple Blossom

It happened again on Saturday, just as it seems to happen on every big day at the track. Irad Ortiz, Jr. won a race he wasn't supposed to win. When a race, in this case the GI Apple Blossom H., comes down to a nose at the wire and Ortiz is on the winning end, he probably made the difference. He's that good. Ortiz picked up the mount on Letruska (Super Saver) for Saturday's race, riding her for the first time. Still, it looked like the best the 5-year-old mare...

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Solid Field of Eight Set for Oaklawn Handicap

A deep field of eight--headed by 5-2 morning-line favorite and Southern Californian invader Express Train (Union Rags)--will line up for Saturday's $1-million GII Oaklawn H. The well-built bay, second in last term's GI Runhappy Malibu S., followed a breakthrough victory with a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the GII San Pasqual S. Jan. 30 with a second-place finish after leading in the stretch in the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 6. John Shirreffs trains the C R K Stables colorbearer. The rail-drawn Silver State (Hard Spun), second and third...

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Rosario Fined for Misjudging Finish in Nose Loss on Stakes Favorite

Jockey Joel Rosario, who leads North America with 20 stakes wins this year, was fined $200 for misjudging the finish wire aboard a 9-5 favorite who lost an Apr. 10 stakes race by a nose at Oaklawn Park. Rosario piloted Rushie (Liam's Map) in the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile S., but apparently forgot races at that distance at the track end at the sixteenth pole and not the traditional finish line. Rushie had seized the lead off the turn and was getting reeled in by a fast-closing By My Standards (Goldencents)...

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Dialed In's Super Stock Upsets the Arkansas Derby

The GI Arkansas Derby has been won over the last 20-plus years by some short-odds favorites, like future GI Kentucky Derby winners Smarty Jones (Elusive Quality, even-money in 2004) and American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile, 1-10 in 2015) and future Classic winners such as Curlin (Smart Strike, 4-5 in 2007) and Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet, 12-5 in 2005). But the nine-furlong prep has tossed up its fair share of less-predictable winners, including Sir Cherokee (55-1 in 2003), Line of David (Lion Heart, 17-1 in 2010), Archarcharch (Arch, 25-1 in 2011),...

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Saturday's Racing Insights: Bros to Champions Make Second Starts

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 11th-KEE, $79K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 6:38 p.m. ET A pair of Pioneerof the Nile brothers to high-profile champions look to go one better off of runner-up debuts to close out the Keeneland card Saturday. John Gunther homebred Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile) is half to none other than Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) as well as the ill-fated GSW The Lieutenant (Street Sense). A $950,000 Keeneland September RNA, the Chad Brown trainee was beaten 8 1/2 lengths by super impressive 'TDN Rising Star' Prevalence...

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Hoyt Promoted To Director of Racing at Oaklawn

Jennifer Hoyt, who has served as the media relations manager at Oaklawn Park for the last 10 years, has been promoted to the position of Director of Racing, the track announced Wednesday. She will work closely with Vice President of Racing Jason Milligan and will be responsible for the promotion, planning and success of the track's live racing product. "I couldn't have written up a more perfect role for myself,"  said Hoyt, whose husband Rollie Hoyt worked for many years in Thoroughbred racing and is now a reporter for CBS...

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Stonestreet Further Impacts Oaks Picture in Fantasy

Already with its GII Rachel Alexandra S. Presented by Fasig-Tipton winner Clairiere (Curlin) among the short list of GI Kentucky Oaks contenders, and having bred and sold GI Central Bank Ashland S. heroine Malathaat (Curlin) to Shadwell, Barbara Banke's Stonestreet was represented by another serious contender for the run for the lillies with GIII Fantasy S. heroine Pauline's Pearl (Tapit) Saturday at Oaklawn. Moved up to fourth after a very tough trip sprinting at Fair Grounds Dec. 19, the grey improved to be third going two turns there Jan. 15....

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Keepmeinmind Likely for Arkansas Derby

Though he has an option for the $800,000 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Apr. 3, Keepmeinmind (Laoban) is more likely to remain at trainer Robertino Didoro's Oaklawn base and await the $1-million GI Arkansas Derby Apr. 10, the conditioner told the Oaklawn notes team Thursday. "It could change, but right now I'm pointing towards the Arkansas Derby," Diodoro said. "Just being here, not having to ship." Second in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity last October and third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile as a maiden, Keepmeinmind rallied from last...

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Prevalence on Target for Derby Prep

Godolphin's Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro), who followed a 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Jan. 23 with a one-mile allowance tally in Hallandale last Thursday, could make his next start in a GI Kentucky Derby prep, with the Apr. 3 GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland the same day, and the Apr. 10 GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park all in play. "His maiden win told us something, his allowance win told us even more and his next race will decide where...

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Oaks Winner Returns Running in Azeri

GI Kentucky Oaks victress Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil) made her seasonal bow a successful win with a gritty victory in Oaklawn's GII Azeri S. Saturday. Dispatched as the 9-5 second-choice behind MGSW Letruska in this five-horse affair, the bay caught a flyer from the outside stall and was unchallenged on the front end through a :23.93 first quarter. Still on cruise control under Florent Geroux through a :47.79 half-mile, she was confronted by Letruska and Envoutante (Uncle Mo) to her outside with five-sixteenths left to run. Edging clear of her pursuers exiting...

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Oaklawn Raises Purses 15%, Top Allowances Now Worth $110K

Over the final eight weeks of its 2021 season, Oaklawn will boost purses by 15%, a total of $2.5 million, into overnight races, including increasing top allowance races to $110,000. The across the board increase also takes maiden special weights to $93,000 and raises the bottom purse to $27,000, and represents the largest in-season purse hike in the track's history. "It's been an interesting year to say the least, but it is very gratifying to announce this purse increase nearly a year after shutting the race meet and casino down...

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Will Take Charge's Will's Secret Creates More 'Buzz' In Honeybee

Will's Secret added her third consecutive victory, while adding 50 qualifying points to the GI Kentucky Oaks, in Saturday's GIII Honeybee S. at Oaklawn Park. Sent off the 2-1 choice, the dark bay rushed up to contend with the Ken McPeek-trained duo of Tabor Hall (Candy Ride {Arg}), breaking from the inside, and Oliviaofthedesert (Bernardini), who settled in the three path around the first turn, while 'TDN Rising Star' Sun Path drafted behind the leading trio. Eagerly taking the advantage following a half in :24.25, Will's Secret was again headed...

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