Oaklawn News

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Multiple Stakes Winner Carve to Wait for Oaklawn

Carve’s pursuit of $1 million in career earnings will resume at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting, owner Mike Langford said. Langford said Carve, less than $50,000 shy of reaching seven figures in earnings, won’t run again this year and, instead, point for the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn. Carve opened 2015 with a powerful victory in the Fifth Season, but has lost his last five starts.

Following a sixth-place finish in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes Aug. 1 at Mountaineer, Langford returned the 5-year-old gelding to trainer Steve Asmussen, and a foot abscess was discovered. Carve was a candidate for the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap (G3) Sept. 26 at Churchill Downs, but Langford said he and Asmussen decided it would be more prudent to await the 2016 Oaklawn meet.

“I just said, ‘Steve, why don’t we give him some time,’” said Langford, a Jonesboro, Ark., businessman. “He likes Oaklawn, he likes cooler weather. Steve said, ‘I think that’s perfect.’ ”

Langford said the plan, barring any setbacks, would be for Carve to again contest Oaklawn’s two-turn stakes series for older handicap horses. Following the Fifth Season, Carve ran fourth in the $250,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) March 14 and second in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 11.

On behalf of Langford, Asmussen claimed Carve out of his Jan. 25, 2013, career debut victory at Oaklawn for $30,000. Carve made his next eight starts for Asmussen before Langford moved the gelding and stablemate Dunkin Bend, a Grade I3 winner, to Cox shortly before the start of the 2014 Oaklawn meeting.

Under Cox’s watch, Carve earned $707,709, highlighted by a victory in the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) last summer at Prairie Meadows. Carve, in his final 2014 start, finished sixth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

Langford said Carve missed a couple of weeks of training after the abscess was discovered.

“There was just one race for him, really, the rest of the year, and that was the Ack Ack,” Langford said. “Why push him to get into that, basically, and then not run him again until Oaklawn? There really wasn’t anything other than the Breeders’ Cup, and I didn’t want to do that again.”

A son of First Samurai, Carve has won 7 of 24 career starts and earned $959,240.

Cox’s 401w

Brad Cox, Oaklawn’s co-third-leading trainer this year, recorded his 400th career victory when Boss Hawg won Sunday’s first race at Keeneland for prominent Arkansas automobile dealer Steve Landers. The trainer didn’t have to wait long for No. 401, that coming in Keeneland’s fifth race (Mal Guapo) for Joel and Ali Rush of Hot Springs.

Mal Guapo was Cox’s 74th winner this year, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Cox needs only two more victories to set a yearly career high. He won 75 races in 2014. The trainer, 35, has already set a career high for purse earnings this year ($2,681,352), eclipsing his previous high set last year ($2,394,571).

Cox won 18 races this year at Oaklawn. He saddled his first career winner in 2004.

Apprehender Getting R & R in Advance of Oaklawn

Trainer Chris Richard said multiple stakes-winning sprinter Apprehender is still on “R & R” and “probably” won’t make his comeback until the 2016 Oaklawn meeting.

The gelding hasn’t started since finishing third in the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 7 at Oaklawn. Richard said in early April that Apprehender injured a rear ankle during a routine gallop.

Richard saddled Apprehender to victories in Oaklawn’s $60,000 King Cotton Stakes in 2013 and $100,000 King Cotton Stakes in 2014. Overall, he has won 7 of 22 career starts and $378,161. The 6-year-old Posse gelding won his career debut at the 2012 Oaklawn meeting.
Golden Lad Retired

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Golden Lad has been retired and will begin a stallion career in 2016 at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md. Golden Lad, a 5-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, will stand for $5,000.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Golden Lad had an 8-2-0 record from 15 lifetime starts and earnings of $645,320. In his stakes debut, he won Oaklawn’s 2014 $200,000 Razorback Handicap (G3), then finished fifth in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2).

Golden Lad returned to Hot Springs earlier this year and won the $100,000 Essex Handicap Feb. 14 and finished fourth in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 11. Over the summer, he also won the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) June 27 at Prairie Meadows in what would be his final career start.

Golden Lad had been working regularly this summer at Saratoga and was nominated to the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) Sept. 26 at Santa Anita. His retirement was announced Friday.

Medaglia d’Oro broke his maiden at the 2002 Oaklawn for trainer David Vance before being sold privately and transferred to Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel on the West Coast. Medaglia d’Oro won the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in 2003.
Finish Lines

Triple Crown/Arkansas Derby/Rebel winner American Pharoah worked 5 furlongs (:59.80) Saturday at Santa Anita in preparation for his final career start in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Oct. 31 at Keeneland. … Champion Untapable, who won the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 10 at Oaklawn, finished second in Sunday’s $500,000 Spinster (G1) at Keeneland and remains on target to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. … Heykittykittykitty, a two-time winner at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, finished second in Saturday’s $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. … Grade 2 winner I Spent It, unplaced in two races this year at Oaklawn, including the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes April 10, has been retired because of arthritis in a stifle, according to co-owner Alex Lieblong of Conway, Ark. I Spent It, a 3-year-old son of Super Saver, lost his final five career starts after winning the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) last year at Saratoga. … Karl Broberg won 49 races to capture the training title at the Louisiana Downs meeting that concluded Sept. 19. Broberg won 7 of 62 starts this year at Oaklawn and leads the country in victories (329). … The Broberg-trained Patchofbadweather, who was unraced since winning the now-defunct $50,000 Lady Razorback Futurity for Arkansas-breds Nov. 8 at Remington Park because of a shin injury, finished second in her 3-year-old debut in an allowance sprint Thursday at Remington Park. Owner Staton Flurry of Hot Springs he said hopes to get one or two races into Patchofbadweather at Remington in advance of the 2016 Oaklawn meeting. … Owner Mike Langford said Jan. 15 Oaklawn maiden winner Holiday Man, a 3-year-old Harlan’s Holiday colt, will resurface at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting after bleeding in his last start, a sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes Aug. 8 at Louisiana Downs.