Oaklawn Park

Cabrera Earns First Oaklawn Riding Title

Despite missing the final 13 racing days due to injury, David Cabrera earned his first Oaklawn Park riding title with 62 victories when the Arkansas track concluded its racing season Sunday. Cabrera was one win ahead of Francisco Arrieta and eight-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana was third with 47 victories. "This is a dream," Cabrera said. "This is a dream and I really thank my agent. He's a very, very good agent. To me, having him is something very good. He's my secret weapon." Cabrera, who has spent the...

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The Week in Review: Derby Dynamics Reflect Changing Times

It's long been an appealing part of American lore how the GI Kentucky Derby is unique compared to every other race run during the year. The emphasis has traditionally been on young horses getting exactly one chance to run a distance they've never before attempted, against the largest field they'll likely ever encounter; in front of the biggest on-track crowd they'll ever experience. But the 21st Century has gradually added dynamics to the Derby's legacy that have shaped the race in ways that could not have been fathomed even one...

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Last Samurai 'Springs' Upset in Oaklawn H.

Arkansas' own Willis Horton celebrated yet another big-race success right in his backyard, as Last Samurai (Malibu Moon) re-rallied at the fence beneath veteran reinsman Jon Court and ran away late to cause a 12-1 upset in Saturday's $1-million GII Oaklawn H. Drawn two in a field reduced to seven by the early scratching of Thomas Shelby (Curlin), Last Samurai had good speed from the inside and shared the lead with second choice Plainsman (Flatter) under the wire for the first time, as favored Fearless (Ghostzapper)--runner-up to the Horton part-owned...

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Letruska Joins Elite Company With Apple Blossom Defense

St George Stable's Letruska (Super Saver) added her name to a select group in defense of her title in Saturday's GI Apple Blossom H. at Oaklawn Park, joining the legendary Paseana (Arg), Azeri and Zenyatta as multiple winners of the track's signature event for the dirt distaff set. In winning for a remarkable 19th time in her 25-race career, the 6-year-old reigning Eclipse Award winner held off a late bid from Clairiere (Curlin) and fellow champion Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), herself an ultra-game winner of this race in the early...

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Franco, Velazquez Fined for Misjudging Oaklawn Finish

The riders of both the winner and the fourth-place horse in a $108,0000 allowance race on last Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby undercard both were fined for apparently forgetting that mile races at Oaklawn Park end at the sixteenth pole and not the traditional finish wire. Geovanni Franco and John Velazquez each were assessed $200 fines from the Oaklawn stewards on Thursday for "misjudging the wire and striking his horse after the finish of the fourth race at Oaklawn Park on April 2, 2022." Franco was on the lead for most...

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Cyberknife Fine after Arkansas Derby Win

Gold Square LLC's Cyberknife (Gun Runner) exited his win in Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby in fine shape and is expected to ship to Louisville Tuesday to continue preparations for the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby. The colt, who was making his second stakes appearance after a sixth-place effort in the Jan. 22 GIII Lecomte S., continued a trend of frisky behavior Saturday at Oaklawn when dumping jockey Florent Geroux in the post parade. "I was too far away to do anything about it, but Florent was able to jump up...

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Gun Runner's Cyberknife Posts Mild Arkansas Derby Upset

Saturday's $1.25-million GI Arkansas Derby was supposed to be all about Secret Oath (Arrogate), who had so dominated her peers that trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner/breeder Briland Farm decided to roll the dice and bypass what would have been a far easier task in the GIII Fantasy S. The betting public largely endorsed the idea, sending the chestnut off as the 7-5 favorite, but in the end, it was not meant to be, as Gold Square LLC's Cyberknife (Gun Runner) was the recipient of a cerebral ride from Florent...

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Another New Wrinkle For Bubble Rock in Fantasy

Having already displayed considerable versatility in her young career, Shortleaf Stable homebred Bubble Rock (More Than Ready) faces yet another test as one of the expected market leaders in Saturday's GIII Fantasy S. at Oaklawn, a race with an open feel owing to the absence of Secret Oath (Arrogate) and the early scratching of morning-line favorite Eda (Munnings). After posting a pair of visually impressive victories over turf sprint trips--including the GIII Matron S. at Belmont--Bubble Rock was asked to stretch out to two turns for the GI Breeders' Cup...

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Filly Is No 'Secret' In Arkansas Derby

Having proven heads and shoulders above the local 3-year-old filly contingent, Briland Farm homebred Secret Oath (Arrogate) takes on the boys in Saturday's $1.25-million GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The chestnut figures a warm favorite to become the first of her gender to win the race since her Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas saddled Althea (Alydar) to score by seven lengths in the 1984 renewal, with future GI Belmont S. runner-up Pine Circle (Cox's Ridge) and GI Preakness S. hero Gate Dancer (Sovereign Dancer) noses apart in...

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Friday Racing Insights: Maracuja Begins 2022 Campaign At Oaklawn

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-OP, $108K, Alw/OC, 4yo/up, f, 1 1/16m, 5:39 p.m. GIW MARACUJA begins her 4-year-old campaign Friday against an allowance field at Oaklawn Park. She returns off a six-month freshening following a fourth-place effort behind Clairiere (Curlin) in the GI Cotillion S. Sep. 25 at Parx, where she seemed poised to strike but ultimately weakened down the stretch. The gray/roan daughter of Honor Code makes her first trip to Oaklawn after racing exclusively on the East Coast in her career thus far. Her crowning achievement came...

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Cogburn Opens 2022 Campaign in Winning Style

4th-Oaklawn, $106,000, Alw (NW1$X)/Opt. Clm ($100,000), 3-25, 3yo, 6f, 1:09.44, ft, 4 lengths. COGBURN (c, 3, Not This Time--In a Jif {SW, $203,382}, by Saintly Look) fourth on career debut Aug. 21 at Saratoga, and then scoring a maiden breaking victory Sept. 16 going six panels beneath the Twin Spires over the main track by 4 1/4 lengths, was not seen again until this victorious 3-year-old seasonal bow. Going off a heavily supported 4-5 favorite at a familiar distance with first-time Lasix, the $310,000 FTKSEL pinhook turned $150,000 OBSAPR graduate...

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Secret Oath Works for Arkansas Derby

Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate) had her final major work Friday ahead of an upcoming start in the Apr. 2 GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. Sent out Friday morning by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas just after the track opened, the chestnut worked by herself from the five-furlong pole to the regular finish line, covering the distance in 1:01 under her regular pilot, Luis Contreras. According to the Oaklawn clockers, the homebred posted internal splits of :12.20 for an opening eighth and :37.60 for three furlongs before galloping out...

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