Ron Moquett

Oaklawn To Add December Dates

For the first time in its 117-year history, Oaklawn Park will add December dates to its racing calendar and will host 66 days of live racing beginning Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 through Sunday, May 8, 2022. The season will be conducted on a largely Friday-through-Sunday schedule with some exceptions. The track will be dark over the Christmas holiday Dec. 24-26 and there will be no racing on Easter Sunday, Apr. 17. As is their custom, Oaklawn will host a holiday program on Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 21. "For many years,...

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Op/Ed: Horsemen's Groups Turn Their Backs on Honest Trainers, Owners

If you are an owner and trainer who plays by the rules, the last several years should have been hard to swallow. Racing, with its broken system, has proven unable to police itself and the result has been that cheaters have prospered and have done so at the expense of the vast majority of horsemen who do things right. Armed with syringes, the bad guys have been stealing money from the good guys. Lots of it. Which is exactly why every honest horseman should be 100% behind the Horseracing Integrity...

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Whitmore to Make '21 Debut in Hot Springs S.

The freshly-minted Eclipse Award winning sprinter Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) will try to add to his seven Oaklawn stakes wins this winter, according to part-owner--along with Bob LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners--and trainer Rron Moquett. Whitmore punctuated his 2020 campaign with a dominating victory in the Nov. 7 GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland. "I think the reaction that we get from the rest of the people kind of mimics how we feel all the time about him," Moquett said Friday morning. "It's like everybody's giving him credit, loving him...

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Fourth Time Lucky In the Sprint for Fan-Favorite Whitmore

Making his fourth consecutive appearance in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, the 7-year-old gelding Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) did what few have done over the course of the weekend--rally from far back on the main track to score an 18-1 upset in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint Saturday at Keeneland. The $4.2-million earner lagged in the latter third of the field early as Japanese raider Jasper Prince (Violence) ensured a fast pace, chased along by fellow longshot Empire of Gold (Goldencents). Traveling nicely within himself on the turn, Whitmore crept into...

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The Week in Review: The Old Man and the Sprint

The final chapters have yet to be penned in Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect)'s book, but it's safe to say the 7-year-old sprinter is in the autumn of his career. He's a closer who has excelled in a division where out-and-out front-end speed often dominates, he's run in three consecutive GI Breeders' Cup Sprints that have each drawn as "loaded" affairs won by the eventual Eclipse Award champ, and he'll seek his first Breeders' Cup win in start number four over a host track (Keeneland) whose main-track profile has been tilted toward...

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Upstart Colt Graduates in Debut at Ellis

6th-Ellis, $46,200, Msw, 8-30, 2yo, 6 1/2f, 1:16.52, ft. UPSTRIKER (c, 2, Upstart--Casanova Striker, by Smart Strike) opened with the money on but drifted up to a generous 11-1 at the off while looking to become his first-crop sire's fifth winner and second in as many days after the impressive unveiling Saturday at Saratoga of pricey Founder. Showing good speed to chase in second, the dark bay confronted pacesetter Bluegrass Pharoah (American Pharoah) after a :45.98 half. He went by willingly at the top of the lane, and widened at...

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Whitmore Seeks Second Forego Score

The hard-knocking Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) captured the 2018 GI Forego S. and, after missing last year's Saratoga meet, he looks to take home the trophy again in this year's renewal Saturday. Runner-up in the King Cotton S. at the start of this term Feb. 8, the chestnut captured the Hot Springs S. Mar. 7 and followed suit with a win in the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. Apr. 18. He completed the exacta behind Volatile (Violence) in this venue's GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. last time July 25. "Pace makes...

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Cosato Hoping Sales Are a Slam Dunk, Too

Nick Cosato, who has made a habit of hitting the winner's circle with graded stakes victors from his Slam Dunk Racing partnership, will aim for big-time success in the sales ring when he offers a colt from the first crop of champion Arrogate during the second session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale Sept. 14. Consigned by War Horse Place, the gray yearling (hip 280) is a half-brother to Grade I winner Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect). The hard-trying speedster Whitmore has become a fan favorite with six graded stakes wins over...

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This Side Up: Whitmore Seeks Fresh Honors For Class of 2013

The seven-year itch, in the current racing herd, represents the best kind of mid-life crisis: reinventing yourself as a champion. An Eclipse Award would certainly be a credible aspiration for Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) should he derail the Volatile (Violence) express in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga Saturday. Next weekend, another flourishing 7-year-old, Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), will seek to consolidate his ascent to the top of his own division in the GI Whitney S. Over the past two weeks, meanwhile, their contemporaries Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire})...

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Blue Grass-Bound Pair Fire Keeneland Bullets

Finnick the Fierce (Dialed In) and Man in the Can (Can the Man) were the recipients of Saturday morning bullets at Keeneland as each wrapped up their serious work ahead of next Saturday's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. in Lexington. The one-eyed Finnick the Fierce drilled a half-mile in :46.20, the fastest of 90 works at the distance Saturday morning. The gelding, an adjudicated allowance winner at Oaklawn Apr. 4, was a sound third to the now-retired Nadal (Blame) in the GI Arkansas Derby May 2. He exits a third...

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Man in the Can to Target Blue Grass

Jrita Young Thoroughbreds' Man in the Can (Can the Man) will be aimed at the July 11 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland following his allowance score as the 5-2 favorite at Churchill Friday (video). "That sure was an impressive turn of foot," trainer Ron  Moquett said of his charge's 1 1/2-length victory in the nine-furlong event. "I wasn't expecting him to go off as that big of a favorite, but he ran against some stiff Arky-bred competition in his last couple of starts at Oaklawn. I think the...

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Whitmore Triples-Up In Count Fleet

In 13 previous trips to the races at Oaklawn Park, Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) had never finished out of the top three, including a third-place effort to future GI Belmont S. hero Creator (Tapit) in the GI Arkansas Derby some four Aprils ago. Since reinvented as a top sprinter--not entirely shocking given that he won his first seven starts going one turn--the popular 7-year-old made history Saturday in Hot Springs, withstanding a run from last by Flagstaff (Speightstown) to land the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. for the third time in...

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