Nine 3-Year-Olds Currently Pointing Toward Southwest
Oaklawn Racing Secretary Pat Pope listed nine early probables Saturday morning for the $300,000 (G3) Southwest Stakes Feb. 16, Presidents Day. The 1 1/16-mile Southwest is the second major local major prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11.
Pope said Far Right, Bayerd, Mr. Z and Private Prospect, the 1-2-3-4 finishers, respectively, in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 19 are expected for the Southwest. Other early probables, Pope said, are recent Oaklawn winners Instant Replay and Kantune as well as War Story, Bold Conquest and The Truth Or Else.
Kantune, a Jan. 23 maiden winner for trainer Mark Casse, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 shortly after the track opened Saturday morning. Private Prospect covered five furlongs in 1:01 after the renovation break Saturday morning.
The post position draw for the Southwest is Friday.
Back to Work
I Spent It breezed three furlongs in :37.20 after the renovation break Saturday morning, the 3-year-old coltâ€™s first breeze since undergoing surgery last fall to remove a small bone chip in a knee. Co-owner Alex Lieblong said before the work that it would be an â€œeasyâ€ move for the son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. Clockers caught I Spent It galloping out a half-mile in :50.40.
Lieblong and trainer Tony Dutrow said I Spent It could make his 3-year-old debut in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 14 or the $100,000 Gazebo Stakes March 21. The Rebel is 1 1/16 miles; the Gazebo is six furlongs.
I Spent It, purchased for $600,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling Sale hasnâ€™t started since finishing last of six in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (G1) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park. He scored his biggest career victory to date in the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) in August at Saratoga.
Shaun Bridgmohan, Oaklawnâ€™s third-leading jockey this year, will begin working Grade 1 winner The Big Beast, owner Alex Lieblong said Saturday morning. Lieblong said Bridgmohan will also have the mount for The Big Beastâ€™s comeback race, which will be around March 1, trainer Tony Dutrow said.
Javier Castellano, who is based at Gulfstream Park in the winter, guided The Big Beast to three consecutive victories last summer, including the $500,000 Kingâ€™s Bishop Stakes (G1) Aug. 23 at Saratoga.
The Big Beast came out of the race with a tiny ankle chip and has recorded four works at Oaklawn in preparation for his comeback race, which Dutrow said will serve as a prep for the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 9.
Trainer Doug Anderson said Saturday morning that heâ€™s â€œ90 percentâ€ sure multiple stakes winner Sugar Shock will remain at Oaklawn and await the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 14. But, Anderson did leave the door open for a trip to Maryland for next Saturdayâ€™s $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) at Laurel.
Anderson said a decision on Sugar Shockâ€™s next start will be made after she works Sunday morning at Oaklawn.
â€œI donâ€™t want to run the well too dry yet,â€ Anderson said. â€œItâ€™s early in the year.â€
Sugar Shock was a half-length winner of her 4-year-old debut, the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes Jan. 24. If Sugar Shock runs in the 1 1/16-mile Azeri, it will mark a return to races around two turns. The Barbara Fritchie is 7 furlongs.
â€œItâ€™s a Grade 2 race,â€ said Anderson, who also co-owns Sugar Shock. â€œItâ€™s $300,000. Any time you run for that kind of money, youâ€™re going to run against some awfully nice horses. We thought we could step up and get that next grade on her.â€
Sugar Shock was Oaklawnâ€™s top 3-year-old filly last year, winning the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3).
Anderson said Channing Hill, Sugar Shockâ€™s regular rider, would work the daughter of Candy Ride Sunday morning.
Texas Two Step, an impressive debut winner at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting, worked a half-mile in :49.80 Saturday morning. The 4-year-old colt had been based at Fair Grounds, but recently returned to his original trainer, Kellyn Gorder, at Oaklawn. â€¦ American Beauty runner-up Spring Included worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 Saturday morning in preparation for the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes Feb. 21. â€¦ Two-time defending riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. rode five winners Friday, one short of the single-day Oaklawn record shared by Pat Day and Larry Snyder. Santanaâ€™s agent, Ruben Munoz, also represents Ramon Vazquez, who rode five winners Jan. 25. â€¦ One of Santanaâ€™s five winners Friday, Heykittykittykitty, represented the 500th career victory for trainer Ron Moquett. â€¦ Trainer Allen Milligan won a 19-way shake to claim Friday third-race winner Maryjean for $5,000.