Tuesday, July 14, 2015
American Pharoah Moves to Del Mar to Continue Haskell Prep
The last few days have not been kind to some of racing’s big names. But the biggest name, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, continued his march toward the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park with a workout Sunday morning at Santa Anita.
American Pharoah covered 5 furlongs in :59.20, equaling the second-fastest of 57 works recorded at the distance.
It was the third work for American Pharoah since winning the Triple Crown June 6. The Arkansas Derby and Rebel shipped early Tuesday to Del Mar to continue preparations for the Haskell. He has been based in Southern California since June 18.
American Pharoah’s work coincided with news of the possible retirement of 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome (bruising of the cannon bone), the retirement of 2014 male turf champion Main Sequence (tendon tear) and unbeaten 3-year-old filly Lady Eli, a multiple Grade I winner, facing an uncertain future (laminitis).
New York State of Mind
Horse that raced at Oaklawn this year, and at least one horse ticketed for the 2016 meeting, are now popping up on the Saratoga work tab. The celebrated upstate New York track opens July 24.
Champion Take Charge Brandi, unraced since winning the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Jan. 31 at Oaklawn, recorded a half-mile bullet workout (:48.70) Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Take Charge Brandi, returning from a non-displaced knee chip, had two 3-furlong works at Churchill Downs before shipping to Saratoga earlier this month.
Take Charge Tressa, a 2-year-old half-sister to Take Charge Brandi, moved closer to her career debut by working a half-mile in :50.33 Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track. The Lukas-trained filly also had two 3-furlong works at Churchill Downs before arriving at Saratoga.
Take Charge Tressa, a daughter of War Front, was the $1.25 million sale topper at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale. Both Take Charge Brandi (by Giant’s Causeway) and Take Charge Tressa are owned by Willis Horton of Marshall, Ark.
Champion Untapable, winner of the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares April 10 at Oaklawn, has recorded two half-mile workouts over the Oklahoma training track this month.
Holy Boss, winner of three consecutive starts, including the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters April 10 at Oaklawn, has posted two half-mile works this month over the Oklahoma training track.
Both Untapable and Holy Boss are trained by Steve Asmussen, a six-time Oaklawn training champion.
Eyes of Texas
Prominent Texas-based stallion Too Much Bling was represented by two stakes winners on Saturday night’s “Stars of Texas Day” card at Lone Star Park.
Texas Bling, winless in 10 career starts at Oaklawn, won the $50,000 Assault Stakes by a half-length over favored Texas Air, who won a March 26 allowance/optional claiming race at Oaklawn, then the $200,000 Texas Mile (G3) May 1 at Lone Star.
Texas Bling, who had been winless since the 2014 Assault, ran second to eventual 3-year-old male champion Will Take Charge in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes in 2013. Texas Bling is a 5-year-old son of Too Much Bling.
Favored Fleet Grey, a 2-year-old daughter of Too Much Bling, won Saturday night’s $100,000 TTA Stakes for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen.
Three-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. was aboard Texas Bling and Fleet Grey. Santana also guided Oaklawn maiden winner Everything Bling, Texas Bling’s 3-year-old full sister, to a runner-up finish in the $50,000 Valor Farm Stakes. Everything Bling was beaten a length by Lasting Bubbles, a three-time Oaklawn winner.
Texas Bling and Everything Bling are trained by Oaklawn regular Danele Durham.
Luck of the Irish
Dublin, who wintered at Oaklawn in 2010 before competing in the first two Triple Crown events that year, was represented by his first winner at stud when Dr Blarney won Sunday’s first race at Monmouth Park.
Dublin finished second in the Southwest Stakes (G3), third in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) in 2010 for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who annually winters in Hot Springs.
The 1 1/16-mile Rebel was among the signature races of the 2010 Oaklawn meeting. In addition to Dublin and Noble’s Promise – both Grade I winners at 2 – champion Lookin At Lucky marked the first Oaklawn starter for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert since 2001. Lookin At Lucky, an Eclipse Award winner at 2 and 3, edged Noble’s Promise by a head in the Rebel, with Dublin three lengths farther back in third.
Dublin, a son of champion and Arkansas Derby winner Afleet Alex, stands at Keane Stud Operations, LLC, in Amenia, N.Y. His 2015 fee was $6,500.
Corey Lanerie will ride Far Right in Saturday’s $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) at Indiana Grand, trainer Ron Moquett said. Far Right won Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) earlier this year. Moquett said he expects Far Right to face, among others, Oaklawn rivals Mr. Z and Bold Conquest in the 1 1/16-mile race. The Indiana Derby closed with 57 nominations. … Oaklawn maiden winners King of New York and Raagheb finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in Saturday’s $100,000 American Derby at Arlington Park. … Three-time Oaklawn winner For Greater Glory ran sixth in Saturday’s $100,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington Park. Stars and Stripes winner The Pizza Man trained at Oaklawn late in this year’s meeting.