April 6, 2014
Nancy Ury-Holthus, email@example.com, (501) 623-4411 ex. 496
Jennifer Hoyt, firstname.lastname@example.org (501) 623-4411 ex. 497
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Ride On Curlin Works Sunday
Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin had his last major drill Sunday in preparation for his expected start in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) this coming Saturday. The son of 2007 Arkansas Derby winner Curlin breezed seven furlongs in 1:26 4/5 over a fast track with exercise rider Brian Beccia on board.
“He worked really good,” said trainer Billy Gowan, a former assistant of Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. “It was the same type of work he had before the Rebel (when third). He started out slow and finished fast. I do know he’s really good right now. He’s perfect.”
Ride On Curlin, third in both the Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2) Stakes, is one of six definite starters for the Arkansas Derby. The others are Bayern, Strong Mandate, Tapiture, Commission and Conquest Titan. Danza is possible.
The post-position draw for Arkansas Derby and Oaklawn Handicap will be Wednesday, April 9 at 12:30 p.m. on the first floor of Oaklawn’s grandstand.
Carve Drills Towards Oaklawn Handicap
Mike Langford’s Carve, who recently won an optional allowance race at Oaklawn by 5 ¾ lengths despite a poor start, readied for the step up into stakes action by breezing five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 Sunday in company with Sheltowee’s Boy. The 4-year-old Carve was prepping for the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2), while his younger stablemate, most recently fifth in the Rebel, was preparing for the $100,000 Northern Spur. Both stakes are part of the supporting card on Arkansas Derby Day April 12.
“He worked really, really good,” said trainer Brad Cox. “I’m super happy with how he’s doing. He worked the right way and galloped out strong. Can he beat Will Take Charge and Revolutionary? That’s still the question, but he couldn’t be doing any better. I’m happy with both horses. Sheltowee’s Boy is excellent right now.”
Essex Handicap winner Right to Vote, looking to rebound from a poor showing in the Razorback Handicap (G3), worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 over a fast track Saturday with jockey Greta Kuntzweiler in the saddle.
“He did everything right,” Moquett said. “We were pleased with the work and the gallop out. He’ll train lightly into the race and everything is moving forward.”
The Oaklawn Handicap field is also expected to include champion Will Take Charge, the 123-pound high weight, Prayer for Relief, Razorback Handicap winner Golden Lad, Revolutionary and possibly Blingo.
On Fire Baby Works in Defense of Apple Blossom Title
Anita Cauley’s On Fire Baby, who returned from a lengthy layoff to win the 2013 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), prepared to defend her title April 11 with a five furlong breeze Saturday in 1:00 4/5 under regular rider Joe Johnson. It was the third fastest workout of 27 at the distance.
“She went super,” trainer Gary “Red Dog” Hartlage said. “You can’t come into a race any better. Joe was happy with her and we hope she’s this good next Friday.”
In her last race, On Fire Baby finished fourth in the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 15 behind winner Close Hatches, who was assigned high weight of 121 pounds for the Apple Blossom. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Bill Mott, is expected to return from South Florida Tuesday for the race.