Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Cosmic Evolution and New Jockey Ramon Vazquez Get Acquainted
Cosmic Evolution became acquainted with her new jockey during an easy 3-furlong work Wednesday morning at Oaklawn in preparation for Saturday’s $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3), which opens the annual Racing Festival of the South. Under Ramon Vazquez, Cosmic Evolution covered the distance over a fast track in :39.20 for trainer Lon Wiggins.
Calvin Borel has ridden Cosmic Evolution in her first five career starts, but the Hall of Fame jockey abruptly retired March 29, a day before the filly was scheduled to work 5 furlongs at Oaklawn.
Borel’s close friend, Joe Johnson, breezed Cosmic Evolution last Wednesday and Wiggins tapped Vazquez, Oaklawn’s second-leading jockey this year, to ride her in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
Wednesday’s work was the third for Cosmic Evolution since finishing third in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 12 at Oaklawn. The 1 1/16-mile Honeybee, which was Cosmic Evolution’s first start around two turns, is the final major local prep for the Fantasy.
“We were going to work her easy,” Wiggins said of Wednesday’s breeze. “I thought it was perfect. It seems like a lot of things went wrong going into the last race. Everything seems to be going right going into this one.”
Wiggins said rain impacted Cosmic Evolution’s training schedule leading up to the Honeybee, which was run over a sloppy track. Cosmic Evolution broke her maiden in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes last June at Churchill Downs and was a first-level allowance winner in her 3-year-old debut Feb. 6 at Oaklawn.
Post positions for the Fantasy were drawn Wednesday with six fillies entering the race. From the rail out, the field is Taxable, Terra Promessa, Cosmic Evolution, Florida Bird, Impasse and Ready to Confess.
Terra Promessa was a 6 ½-length winner of the Honeybee in her stakes debut. She was a nine-length entry-level allowance winner in her 3-year-old debut Feb. 5 at Oaklawn.
The Fantasy offers 170 points, including 100 to the winner, toward starting eligibility for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 6 at Churchill Downs. The Fantasy runner-up will earn 40 points, with the third- and fourth-place finishers earning 20 and 10 points, respectively.
The Wait for Weights
Weights for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) Sunday at Oaklawn were released Wednesday afternoon.
Scheduled to run in the 6-furlong Count Fleet are Cautious Giant, Cinco Charlie, Gentlemen’s Bet, Speightsong, Subtle Indian and W.B. Smudge.
Subtle Indian, who was assigned top weight of 120 lbs., is 3 for 3 at this year’s Oaklawn meeting, including the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 5 in his last start.
Cinco Charlie, 118 lbs., is a multiple stakes winner of $556,670 for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen. He won the $60,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes Feb. 20 at Fair Grounds in his last start.
Gentlemen’s Bet, 116 lbs., is a multiple stakes winner of $738,490 for owner Harry Rosenblum and trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs.
Cautious Giant, 116 lbs., in his last start, finished fourth in the $300,000 San Carlos Stakes (G2) March 12 at Santa Anita for trainer Kristin Mulhall.
Post positions for the Count Fleet will be drawn Thursday.
Oaklawn will race the next two Wednesdays before its 55-day meeting ends April 16. … Creator, in company, worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 Monday morning at Oaklawn in preparation for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Creator finished third in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19, the final major local prep for the Arkansas Derby. … Co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Wednesday morning that Rebel runner-up Whitmore is “perfect” following Saturday’s half-mile work at Oaklawn in advance of the Arkansas Derby. … Multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis will point for the $300,000 Humana Distaff (G1) May 7 at Churchill Downs, trainer Ingrid Mason said Wednesday morning. Sarah Sis, who has been based the last two winters at Oaklawn, was scheduled to run in Saturday’s $300,000 Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, but wasn’t entered because of a “little virus,” Mason said. Sarah Sis won the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) last year at Oaklawn. … Sharp Art, a March 18 allowance/optional claiming winner at Oaklawn, won Tuesday’s $50,000 Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 Stakes at Will Rogers Downs. Sharp Art, who was ridden by Oaklawn regular Joe Johnson, gave trainer Brad Cox his 12th stakes victory this year. Cox is Oaklawn’s fourth-leading trainer this year with 21 victories from 77 starts. … Trace Creek, fourth in the $100,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes Friday at Oaklawn, is pointing for an April 17 allowance race on the grass at Keeneland, trainer Will VanMeter said Wednesday morning. … Through 46 racing dates, 416 claims have totaled $5,945,750 at the Oaklawn meeting.