Tuesday, July 21, 2015

High Dollar Woman Has Several Options after Indiana Oaks Score

High Dollar Woman is under consideration for two stakes races next month on the East Coast following her victory in Saturday night’s $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) at Indiana Grand, trainer Steve Hobby said. The filly, fifth in her 3-year-old debut, the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 at Oaklawn, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 for her front-running one-length victory in the Indiana Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.

“She ran great,” said Hobby, who trains High Dollar Woman for major clients Alex and JoAnn Lieblong.
“This was the race I was always aiming for.”

Hobby said High Dollar Woman could make her next start in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga or the $100,000 Monmouth Oaks (G3) at Monmouth Park. Both races are Aug. 22.

A $675,000 purchase at last year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale of select 2-year-olds in training, High Dollar Woman was making her second start for Hobby in the Indiana Oaks.

The daughter of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver had been with Tony Dutrow at Oaklawn but received an extended break following the Martha Washington because of a problem with her reproductive system, Alex Lieblong said.

The Lieblongs employ Dutrow (based on the East Coast), Hobby and the Florida-based David Fawkes. Hobby, who is based in Kentucky at Churchill Downs, received High Dollar Woman late in the spring.

“I started from scratch with her,” Hobby said.

High Dollar Woman prepped for her return to stakes company with a runner-up finish in a second-level allowance/optional claiming sprint June 26 at Indiana Grand.

High Dollar Woman is the second horse to win a graded stakes race after running in the Martha Washington. Runner-up Sarah Sis won the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) June 27 at Prairie Meadows.

Sarah Sis is scheduled to face Martha Washington winner and champion Take Charge Brandi in the $500,000 Test Stakes (G1) Aug. 8 at Saratoga.
 
Daily Double

Steve Hobby, Oaklawn’s co-ninth-leading trainer this year with 11 victories, won stakes races at two venues Saturday. He also saddled Bagg O’Day to a 1 ¼-length victory in the $50,000 Don Bernhardt Stakes at Ellis Park in Kentucky.

About three hours later, Hobby’s wife, Metzie, saddled High Dollar Woman to a one-length victory in the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) at Indiana Grand. The tracks are separated by about 220 miles.

“It was a really nice day,” Steve Hobby said.

Joe Rocco Jr., Oaklawn’s co-eighth-leading rider this year, was aboard both winners.

Bagg O’Day, who broke his maiden at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting, set a 6 ½-furlong track record (1:13.74) in the Don Bernhardt, which marked the stakes debut for the 4-year-old gelding. Hobby said Rocco believed Bagg O’Day deserved a stakes shot after guiding the son of Five Star Day to a 4 ¼-length victory in a second-level allowance/optional claiming sprint May 22 at Churchill Downs.

“He’s really developed into a nice horse,” said Hobby, who indicated that future plans are pending for Bagg O’Day.
 
Danza Retired

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Danza, winner of last year’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), has been retired to begin a breeding career at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky. Danza was plagued by physical problems throughout his brief racing career and hadn’t started since finishing third behind eventual Horse of the Year California Chrome in the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

Danza, who was named for actor Tony Danza, retires with a 2-0-3 record from five starts and earnings of $866,428.  

Eclipse purchased Danza, from the second crop of multiple Grade I-winning sprinter Street Boss, for $105,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The colt represented the first Oaklawn and Kentucky Derby starter for Eclipse, which was launched in the summer of 2011.

“Danza was a sensationally gifted racehorse with the courage to match his natural talent, and he took our racing partners to the top of the mountain,” Eclipse President Aron Wellman said in a news release following Monday’s retirement announcement. “He’s an imposing physical specimen, and we are delighted that Spendthrift has put their faith in him. The team at Spendthrift is second to none, and we have every confidence Danza will have a legitimate opportunity to succeed at stud in Kentucky.”

According to Spendthrift, Danza will be part of the farm’s “Share the Upside Program” for the 2016 breeding season.

The Share The Upside fee for Danza will be $5,500 (stands and nurses) and breeders will earn a lifetime breeding right after breeding a mare in each of the first two years, producing two live foals, and paying both stud fees at $5,500 each on a stands and nurses basis.

Danza’s 2016 fee on a traditional, one-time contract will be $4,000 (stands and nurses).

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Danza was bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm. He is out of the stakes-placed French Deputy mare Champagne Royale and is a half-brother to Grade I winner Majestic Harbor.

Danza becomes the third Arkansas Derby winner to join Spendthrift’s stallion roster, following 2010 winner Line of David and Archarcharch, who won the race in 2011. Also standing at Spendthrift is Oaklawn stakes winner Flat Out (2009 Smarty Jones), who ran sixth in the Arkansas Derby.

Betting on the Fall

Trainer Ron Moquett said the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Oct. 31 at Keeneland remains the goal for Gentlemen’s Bet, winner of the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 7 at Oaklawn.

Gentlemen’s Bet ran third in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Gentlemen’s Bet hasn’t started since finishing fifth in the $100,000 Aristides Stakes (G3) May 30 at Churchill Downs.

“We’re just going to kind of play it by ear,” Moquett said. “He’s going to have one out or two before then. If he runs well, the Breeders’ Cup is still our goal.”

Moquett said he’s targeting the $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (G3) Oct. 2 at Keeneland as the major Breeders’ Cup Sprint prep for Gentlemen’s Bet. He ran fourth in the 2013 Phoenix before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Gentlemen’s Bet, who didn’t run in 2014 because of a foot problem, Gentlemen’s Bet finished third in his Feb. 14 comeback race at Oaklawn, an allowance/optional claimer, before winning the Hot Springs in his next start.
 
Finish Lines

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah worked a bullet six furlongs Saturday morning at Del Mar (1:11.40) in preparation for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park. … Mr. Z became a millionaire with his runner-up finish in Saturday night’s $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) at Indiana Grand. Mr. Z ran third earlier this year in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). Smarty Jones/Southwest winner Far Right ran sixth in the Indiana Derby. Bold Conquest, fourth in the Southwest and fifth in the Arkansas Derby, was fourth in the Indiana Derby. … Oaklawn-raced Oceanwave and Pangburn finished third and eighth, respectively, in Saturday night’s $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) at Indiana Grand. … Oaklawn allowance/optional claiming winners Joy Boy and Stealcase ran fourth and fifth, respectively, in Saturday night’s $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand. … Call Pat, fifth in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 10 at Oaklawn, finished second in Saturday night’s $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes at Indiana Grand. The winner, Cabana, ran twice at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting. … Trace Creek, winner of the $75,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes (open division) March 27 at Oaklawn, ran sixth in Saturday night’s $100,000 J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Club Stakes at Indiana Grand. Regally Ready, second in his 2010 career debut at Oaklawn, ran fourth. … March 26 Oaklawn allowance winner Phenomenal Phoenix is being freshened for a 2016 campaign in Hot Springs after two recent sluggish efforts, trainer Ron Moquett said. Phenomenal Phoenix was transferred to Moquett after finishing third in the $400,000 Illinois Derby (G3) April 18 at Hawthorne. The gelding finished seventh in the $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) June 13 at Churchill Downs and ninth in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) June 27 at Prairie Meadows. Moquett said Phenomenal Phoenix could resurface this fall. … Moquett said he will have a small string (around eight horses) for the Saratoga meeting that begins Friday. Moquett won 13 races this year at Oaklawn to finish sixth in the standings. … Sassy Miss Sue, an unstarted 2-year-old full sister to two-time Oaklawn Azeri winner and millionaire Tiz Miz Sue, recently had a tiny ankle chip removed, trainer Steve Hobby said. Sassy Miss Sue had been up to a half-mile in her workouts last month at Churchill Downs. “It’s disappointing, but maybe it will be a blessing in disguise,” said Hobby, who also trained Tiz Miz Sue. Hobby said he hopes to get a race into Sassy Miss Sue this fall in preparation for the 2016 Oaklawn meeting.
 

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