Thursday, February 05, 2015

Stall Coming to Oaklawn to Check on String

Fair Grounds-based trainer Al Stall Jr. said he will be at Oaklawn Friday to check on his Hot Springs division.
Maybe more telling is Stall is also scheduled to saddle two horses, including promising 3-year-old Vici in the eighth race, an entry-level allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles.

A son of War Front, Vici is coming off a 1 ½-length maiden victory in his two-turn debut New Year’s Day at Fair Grounds. Vici was a closing fourth in his Nov. 29 career debut at Churchill Downs.

“He’s a textbook horse that has come around with more maturity,” Stall said. “His first race, I thought, was a nice race - even around one turn - and he stepped it up around two turns. He handled everything right. So here we are, starting to get into a nice little rhythm.”

Two-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. will be reunited with Vici, the 5-2 second choice in the program. A Triple Crown nominee, Vici races for his breeders, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, the same connections as 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame, the country’s champion older male that year.

Stall said Friday’s race isn’t a steppingstone to anything in particular for Vici, who has recorded three workouts at Oaklawn since moving from Fair Grounds.

“Hopefully he keeps going the direction we want to go in,” Stall said.
 
I Spent It? Not yet

Grade 2 winner I Spent It not being nominated to the Triple Crown during the early period that closed Jan. 17 was an oversight, said the colt’s co-owner, Alex Lieblong. Lieblong said trainer Tony Dutrow called earlier this week to say he hadn’t nominated I Spent It, who won 2 of 4 starts last year, including the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) in August at Saratoga. The fee for the early nomination period (Dec. 20-Jan. 17) was $600.

“Tony said he screwed up and forgot to nominate I Spent It for the Triple Crown,” said Lieblong, a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission. “I said, ‘That would be a great problem to have if we get there.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry about it. Hell, we might have saved $600, who knows.’ ”

The late nomination fee is $6,000. The late period closes March 23, shortly after I Spent It’s possible 3-year-old debut.

Dutrow and Lieblong said I Spent It is under consideration for $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 14 and the $100,000 Gazebo Stakes March 21. The Rebel is 1 1/16 miles; the Gazebo is 6 furlongs.

I Spent It hasn’t started since finishing last of six in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (G1) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park. He came out of the race with a small bone chip in a knee, which Dutrow said was surgically removed.

I Spent It won his July 2 career debut at Belmont, becoming the first winner at stud for 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.
 
Flower Blooming Again

Multiple stakes winner Delta Flower will be returning to Oaklawn to run in the $75,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes Feb. 28, said the 4-year-old filly’s co-owner, Richard Robertson of Camden, Ark. The six-furlong Downthedustyroad is restricted to fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward, bred in Arkansas.

Delta Flower has been based on the West Coast with Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer since being sold privately last March. In her final start for trainer Stanley Roberts, she won the $75,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies March 29 at Oaklawn. Delta Flower then won the $75,000 Angel’s Flight Stakes May 17 at Santa Anita in her first start for Hollendorfer. In her last start, she finished fifth in a Dec. 14 allowance sprint at Golden Gate Fields.

Robertson said Delta Flower will be flown to Arkansas the week of the Downthedustyroad.
 
Finish Lines

Multiple stakes winner Kiss Moon is scheduled to arrive Monday following a 60-day freshening, said the 4-year-old filly’s trainer, David Vance. Vance said it’s possible Kiss Moon could make her 2015 debut in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 10. Kiss Miss ran second in last year’s $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn. … Louies Flower, winner of the $250,000 Springboard Mile Stakes in December 2013 at Remington Park, moved closer to his 4-year-old debut by working 5 furlongs in 1:01.20 Thursday morning for trainer Bret Calhoun. … Oaklawn had 102 claims totaling $1,600,250 through Sunday, the 13th day of the meeting. There were 85 claims totaling $1,249,500 through the corresponding period at the 2014 meeting. ... Achiever’s Legacy, third in Saturday’s $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita, is expected to be nominated to the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7 at Oaklawn. The 3-year-old filly is co-owned by Richard Robertson of Camden, Ark.

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