Oaklawn Barn Notes Jan. 31

Jan. 31, 2013

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Will Take Charge Gets Back to Work

Smarty Jones Stakes winner Will Take Charge got back to work Thursday morning with a half-mile breeze in 48 4/5 over a fast track. The time was the second fastest of 30 at the distance with multiple stakes winner Alternation posting the bullet.

“I was glad to see this from him,” said trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who conditions the Unbridled’s Song colt for Willis D. Horton of Marshall, AR. “I told the exercise rider to go in :49, so that was almost perfect. It was just a maintenance half mile, but there were a couple of horses who broke off in front of him and he was pretty aggressive. He’s come back good and we’re still looking at the Southwest or Rebel with him.”

The $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) is Monday, Feb. 18, while the $600,000 Rebel Stakes is Saturday, March 16. Both races are at the 1 1/16-mile distance and offer key points towards making the Kentucky Derby field.

Tiz Miz Sue Ahead of Schedule; Likely for Bayakoa

When trainer Steve Hobby put Cresran LLC’s Tiz Miz Sue back into serious training after a break, his immediate goal was a defense of her win in the Azeri Stakes (G3) on March 16, but the Tiznow mare had other ideas. After working six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 Thursday, the 6-year-old mare is telling her trainer, she’s likely going to be ready for the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes a month earlier on Feb. 16. The six furlong work comes one week after a sharp five furlong move in 1:01, the second fastest of 20 at the distance.

“I was planning on the Azeri, but all of her works have been spot on,” said Hobby. “She’s a lot fitter than I thought she’d be at this point. We’ll give her one more work before the race.”

Last year, Tiz Miz Sue finished second to the now retired Absinthe Minded in the Bayakoa before her first graded stakes victory in the Azeri. Following that race, she picked up three straight graded stakes placings when third in Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), second in the Obeah Stakes (G3) and second in the Delaware Handicap (G2) to champion Royal Delta. She has not started since finishing fifth in the Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last October.

Alternation Continues Comeback with Half-Mile Move

Pin Oak Stable’s multiple stakes winner Alternation, who has been keeping a weekly pattern of works since Jan. 19, posted a bullet half-mile workout in 48 2/5 Thursday as he continues preparations for this 5-year-old debut in either the March 9 Razorback Handicap (G3) or April 13 Oaklawn Handicap (G2). Last year, he won both races as well as the Essex Handicap.

“He picked up a little company early and finished up well,” said trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. “Our hope, depending on how February goes with the weather and all, that we could get to a race like [the Razorback].”

Alternation, who in addition to his three victories at Oaklawn won the Pimlico Special (G3) and Governor’s Cup at Remington, has not started since an uncharacteristic sixth-place finish in the Hawthorne Gold Cup Oct. 6.  

“I don’t think he was tired so much,” said Von Hemel. “The performance at Hawthorne was certainly no good and when we looked at what was left on the calendar the rest of the year, we decided, if we were going to run him this year, we would have to freshen him up anyway. We are happy with how things have gone, and like I said, depending on the weather this month we should be able to have some fun with him here before it’s too late.”

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