Barn Notes, Saturday, March 7, 2015
Champion Work All Week is scheduled to arrive late next week at Oaklawn, trainer Roger Brueggemann said Saturday morning. Work All Week has been training in Florida in preparation for his 2015 debut, which could come in the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 9.
“We’ll just see.” Brueggemann, said. “That’s what I’m shooting for.”
Brueggemann said he believes Work All Week could arrive in Hot Springs Friday or Saturday.
Work All Week hasn’t started since winning the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, a half-length decision that clinched an Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter.
Work All Week won 5 of 6 starts overall last year, including the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn. The gelding also won an allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn in his 2014 debut.
Work All Week hasn’t had any training setbacks in Florida, Brueggemann said, but he’s been waiting for the unusual weather in Arkansas to stabilize before shipping the 6-year-old City Zip gelding to Oaklawn.
“I’m thinking it’s going to be OK, now, the weather,” Brueggemann said. “I think we’ve turned the corner.”
Work All Week, a winner of 12 of 15 career starts, races for his breeder, Chicago-based Midwest Thoroughbreds.
Friday’s $75,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders’ was the 12th stakes race run this year Oaklawn. The result pushed the batting average of Arkansas owners further above .500.
Pistolpackinpenny won the state-bred sprint by a record 6 3/4 lengths for Penny Fires of Hot Springs, the seventh stakes victory at the meet for an Arkansas owner.
“We like giving money away to Arkansas owners,” said David Longinotti, Oaklawn’s director of racing. “We get a little bit of extra pleasure in doing that.”
Pistolpackinpenny is trained by Fires’ husband, Jinks, and was ridden by his son-in-law, Jon Court.
Other Arkansas owners to capture stakes races at the meeting are: Mike Langford of Jonesboro with Carve ($100,000 Fifth Season); Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock with Far Right ($150,000 Smarty Jones and $300,000 Southwest); Willis Horton of Marshall with champion Take Charge Brandi ($100,000 Martha Washington); Lewis Mathews of Bismarck with Ivan Fallunovalot ($100,000 King Cotton); and Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway ($100,000 Spring Fever) with Spring Included.
Louies Flower, who scored his biggest career victory in the $250,000 Springboard Mile Stakes as a 2-year-old in 2013, is scheduled to make his 4-year-old debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes. The Hot Springs will be the first race at 6 furlongs for Louies Flower, who has lost nine consecutive starts (eight in routes) since the Springboard Mile.
Trainer Bret Calhoun said Louies Flower’s racing career has been impacted by bleeding episodes.
Louies Flower is coming off a runner-up finish in a Dec. 13 allowance race at Remington Park.
Calhoun said Louies Flower was freshened for about 30 days after the 1 mile and 70-yard race at Remington.
“He’s been back ready for run for a while,” Calhoun said. “It’s kind of hard to find the right race for him. We’re just looking at this as a prep race for the future.”
Calhoun said he “would love” to stretch out Louies Flower again in upcoming races.
In his only Oaklawn appearance, Louies Flower finished 12th in last year’s $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3).
Louies Flower recorded his three career victories at Remington as a 2-year-old.
Flower in Bloom
Delta Flower, a two-time winner at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting, has been named Arkansas-bred Horse of the Year, said the 4-year-old filly’s co-owner, Richard Robertson of Camden, Ark.
The Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Horsemen’s Association honors registered state-breds, including Horse of the Year, Broodmare of the Year, Stallion of the Year, divisional champions, etc., during its annual banquet each spring.
Delta Flower won 4 of 9 starts and earned $168,480 last year. She was a two-time stakes winner, one coming in open company.
Born and raised on trainer Stanley Robert’s farm in Forrest City, Ark., Delta Flower beat open company in a maiden-allowance sprint at Oaklawn before winning the $75,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes in her next start.
The Rainbow Miss, restricted to 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies, marked the first start for Delta Flower’s new owners, including Robertson, after they privately purchased her following the maiden victory.
Roberts, who had owned Delta Flower, saddled her for the final time in the Rainbow Miss before she was sent to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer on the West Coast.
In her first start for Hollendorfer, Delta Flower beat open company in the $75,000 Angel’s Flight Stakes May 17 at Santa Anita.
Robertson said Delta Flower was scheduled to return to Oaklawn for Friday’s rescheduled $75,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes, but a recent health problem has sidelined her for approximately 60 days.
Roberts also bred Delta Flower in partnership with Bill Morrison of Camden.
The track opened on time for training Saturday (7 a.m. Central) after it was closed Thursday and Friday because of a winter storm. The track was rated fast by clockers. … Several horses were allowed to gallop following Friday’s second race, including Gentlemen’s Bet (Hot Springs Stakes), Sarah Sis (Honeybee), Sugar Shock (Azeri) and Far Right (Arkansas Derby). … Trainer Ron Moquett said he plans to work Smarty Jones and Southwest winner Far Right Monday in preparation for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11. … Jockey Manny Esquivel returned from a three-day riding suspension Friday to record his fourth victory of the meeting aboard first-time starter Tax Freeze ($60.60). Stewards suspended Esquivel three days (Feb. 28, March 1 and March 5) for an incident Feb. 21. Two of Esquivel’s victories were aboard Mufajaah - $100,000 Pippin and $100,000 Bayakoa (G3).