Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fantasy Winner Include Betty Leads the Oaklawn Trio Entered in Oaks

Three horses who competed at Oaklawn were entered Tuesday morning for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) Friday at Churchill Downs.

Include Betty, winner of Oaklawn’s $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 4, drew post 3 for the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks, the nation’s biggest race for 3-year-old fillies. Fantasy runner-up Oceanwave drew post 10, while Sarah Sis, winner of the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7, drew post 11. Sarah Sis finished fifth in the Fantasy.

Probable post time for the Kentucky Oaks, which will be televised by NBC Sports Network, is 4:49 p.m. (Central). A full field of 14, plus one also-eligible, is entered. Stellar Wind is the 7-2 program favorite, with Condo Commando and I’m a Chatterbox the co-second choices at 4-1.

Include Betty, who will be ridden by Rosemary Homeister Jr., is 20-1 on the morning line. Oceanwave (Rafael Bejarano) and Sarah Sis (Gary Stevens) are 30-1. The Kentucky Oaks is limited to 14 starters, with preference given to horses who have accumulated the highest points in designated races, including the Fantasy and Honeybee.

Fantasy third-place finisher Achiever’s Legacy was 16th on the points list entering the week but essentially moved to 14th after Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert announced Monday that Maybellene and Luminance were unlikely to run.

But, Achiever’s Legacy, who is based in Southern California with Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, wasn’t entered in the Kentucky Oaks and will instead run in Sunday’s $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita.
 
Ramon’s Race

Ramon Vazquez, Oaklawn’s second-leading jockey this year, begins the week with 1,995 career North American victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Vazquez, 31, is based at Prairie Meadows, but is riding this week at Churchill Downs, with his most notable mount being Mr. Z in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Most recently, the rider, who will be making his Kentucky Derby debut, rode Mr. Z to a third-place finish in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11.

Vazquez was a celebrated apprentice in his native Puerto Rico before recording his first North American victory in 2002. Vazquez rode 284 winners that year to rank 10th in North America, according to Equibase.

Archarcharch’s First

Archarcharch was represented by his first winner at stud when 2-year-old filly Tia Flor beat males by 9 ¼ lengths in a 4 ½-furlong maiden-allowance race Thursday at Keeneland.

Archarcharch, a 7-year-old son of Arch, won the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) during the 2011 Oaklawn meeting for owners Bob and Val Yagos of Jacksonville, Ark., and trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs.

Tia Flor also represented the first starter for Archarcharch, who stands at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky. His fee is $9,000.

Archarcharch was bred to 475 mares in his first three seasons, including 129 in 2014, according to Spendthrift.
 
New Client

Trainer Will VanMeter said he’s picked up four horses for prominent Arkansas owner John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable.

VanMeter, 31, saddled his first career winner at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting and had a 4-0-1 record from 13 starts this year. The trainer said all four Shortleaf horses are coming off a layoff, adding “a few babies” for Anthony are expected following Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Anthony, who has campaigned champions Temperence Hill, Vanlandingham and Prairie Bayou, had horses with trainers Kenny McPeek, D. Wayne Lukas and Tony Dutrow during the 2015 Oaklawn meeting.
 
On the Shelf

VanMeter added Remember Lucy came out of her dazzling March 21 debut victory with a cracked shin. He said the injury didn’t require surgery, but the 3-year-old daughter of Tale of Ekati probably won’t run again until the 2016 Oaklawn meeting.

Remember Lucy only had one horse beaten after a quarter-mile in her debut at 6 furlongs, but used an eye-catching six-wide into the stretch to win by 4 ¼ widening lengths. The filly was named for his late aunt, Lucy Elliott Bryans VanMeter, who died of a brain aneurysm in July 2010 in Lexington, Ky. She was 49.

Van Meter’s top older mare, Pearl Turn, will pass the $300,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares Friday at Churchill Downs. He said Pearl Turn came out of her fourth-place finish in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 10 in good shape, but the trainer decided to give the 5-year-old mare a brief freshening. …
 
Finish Lines

Three-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. rode two winners Saturday night at Churchill Downs, including Cinco Charlie in the $100,000 William Walker Stakes for trainer Steve Asmussen. The victories were the first for Santana since April 4. He was hospitalized April 8 in Hot Springs (pneumonia) and didn’t resume riding until Friday. … Rainbow winner Weast Hill finished fifth in the William Walker, the 3-year-old gelding’s first loss in three career starts. … Joy Boy, a Jan. 25 allowance/optional claiming winner at Oaklawn, won Saturday’s $75,000 Gus Fonner Stakes at Fonner Park. … Two-time Oaklawn winner I’m Workin On It remained unbeaten in Saturday’s $75,000 Goldfinch Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Prairie Meadows. … Heykittykittykitty, a two-time winner at the 2015 Oaklawn meet, won Monday’s $55,000 Will Rogers Downs Classic Distaff Sprint Stakes for trainer Ron Moquett. … Grade 1 winner The Big Beast is being pointed for this summer’s Saratoga meeting because of a quarter-crack, owner Alex Lieblong said. The Big Beast, who began his 4-year-old campaign with a March 1 allowance victory at Oaklawn, had been under consideration for Saturday’s $500,000 Churchill Downs Handicap (G2). …Turn Signal is scheduled to represent trainer Brad Cox’s first starter for prominent Arkansas automobile dealer Steve Landers in Tuesday’s fifth race at Churchill Downs. Landers moved 11 horses at Oaklawn from trainer Cody Autrey to Cox March 30. Cox said he was also scheduled to receive eight 2-year-olds owned by Landers. … Seven-time Oaklawn winner Flattermejim was claimed out of a victory Saturday at Churchill Downs for $25,000. The gelding has spent more than two years with trainer David Vance.
 

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