Oaklawn Barn Notes: March 6

March 6, 2014

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Nancy Ury-Holthus, nury@oaklawn.com, (501) 623-4411 ex. 496

Jennifer Hoyt, jhoyt@oaklawn.com (501) 623-4411 ex. 497

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ride On Curlin Works Toward Rebel Start

Ride On Curlin, most recently third in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 17, got warmed up to make his next start in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 15 with a seven-furlong breeze Thursday morning with exercise rider Brian Beccia. The son of 2007 Arkansas Derby winner Curlin covered the distance in 1:26 4/5 over a track rated fast despite morning rains.

“I thought it was awesome,” trainer Billy Gowan said. “He couldn’t have worked any better. He’s sitting perfect for the Rebel.”

According to Gowan, Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux will be aboard Ride On Curlin in the Rebel, replacing jockey Calvin Borel, who is riding Street Strategy in the same race.

Also working in preparation for the Rebel Thursday was Southwest runner-up Strong Mandate, who went five furlongs in 1:03 4/5.

Apprehender, Alsvid Ready for Rematch in Hot Springs

Dream Farm LLC’s Apprehender made a successful return to the races Feb. 15 with his repeat victory in the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes and Saturday he will go for his second straight win in the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes. The 5-year-old Posse gelding was installed as the 2-1 favorite for the six-furlong race and will break from post six of eight under jockey David Mello.

“I like the post position, that’s similar to the post he had last time,” trainer Chris Richard said. “The horse is doing really good. The only concern I have is running back in three weeks, but he came out of the race in such good shape and has been training so good that I’m going to go ahead and take a shot.”

Apprehender’s main rival will likely be Alsvid, who finished second to him in both the 2013 and ’14 runnings of the King Cotton. The two horses have met a total of four times in their careers and each holds two wins over the other.  

“I hope he’s a half a length better than he was in the King Cotton,” trainer Chris Hartman said. “We drew the nine hole last time and I wasn’t worried about it, but we were carried so wide and it didn’t quite work out.  I hope this race sets up a little better for him.”

Alsvid drew post position two and will be ridden by regular rider Ken Tohill.

The complete field for the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes, in post position order, with riders and morning line odds: Back Forty, Alex Birzer, 12-1; Alsvid, Ken Tohill, 3-1; Anillo, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 20-1; Picko’s Pride, Seth Martinez, 8-1; Ammaroo, Ramon Vazquez, 10-1; Apprehender, David Mello, 2-1; Work All Week, Chris Emigh, 5-2, and Mico Margarita, Ricardo Santana Jr., 10-1.