Hot Springs, Ark. (Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015) – Multiple stakes winner Carve headlines nine older horses entered in Friday’s $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn.
Probable post time for the Fifth Season, the eighth of nine races, is 4:21 p.m. Racing begins at 1 p.m.
“I’ve done everything I can do to get him ready,” trainer Brad Cox said of Carve, who hasn’t started since finishing sixth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Oct. 31 at Santa Anita.
Cox received Carve approximately a year ago and watched the 5-year-old First Samurai gelding develop into one of the top older horses in the Midwest.
Owned by Mike Langford of Jonesboro, Ark., Carve finished a good third behind champion Will Take Charge in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and scored his biggest career victory in the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) last summer in Iowa.
Carve represented Cox’s first graded stakes victory and first Breeders’ Cup starter.
Carve was beaten 10 ¾ lengths in the Dirt Mile under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
“It was a good effort,” Cox said. “Mike Smith said he probably moved him just a shade early. He said he was riding to win. He said if he had been a little more conservative, he could have been fourth or fifth.”
Claimed for $30,000 out of his 2013 career debut victory at Oaklawn, Carve has a 6-2-4 career record from 18 lifetime starts and bankrolled $712,415.
Cox said the major spring objective for Carve is the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 11.
“He’s just a solid animal,” Cox said.
Carve, the 5-2 morning line favorite, will carry equal top weight of 122 pounds under allowance conditions of the 1 1/16 Fifth Season and break from post 4 under Jesus Castanon.
Other stakes winners entered include Zee Bros and Code West. Zee Bros, who will be making his two-turn debut, won the $350,000 De Francis Memorial Dash Nov. 15 at Laurel in his last start. Code West won the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Aug. 16 at Remington Park.
Zee Bros and Code West are 3-1 and 7-2, respectively, on the morning line.
Also entered is Bourbonize, winner of last year’s $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn.
The complete field for the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes in post position order with riders and morning line odds: Bourbonize, Shaun Bridgmohan, 10-1; Zee Bros, Jon Court, 3-1; Code West, Cliff Berry, 7-2; Carve, 5-2; Serendip, Ricardo Santana Jr., 12-1; Francois, Emmanuel Esquivel, 8-1; Real Appeal Deal, Calvin Borel, 12-1; Doctor Peter, Terry Thompson, 15-1 and For Greater Glory, Israel Ocampo, 8-1.