Champion Untapable Back at Oaklawn
Champion Untapable will return to the track Saturday morning after arriving Thursday at Oaklawn, said Darren Fleming, who oversees trainer Steve Asmussen’s local division.
Unraced since a runner-up finish in the $500,000 Spinster Stakes (G1) Oct. 4 at Keeneland, Untapable had been based this winter at Fair Grounds, where she recorded five published workouts the last month. The 5-year-old daughter of Tapit, who breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 Wednesday, is a candidate for the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn.
Untapable, in her 4-year-old debut, ran second in last year’s Azeri before winning the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) in her next start. Next month’s Azeri is the final major local prep for the $600,000 Apple Blossom (G1) April 15.
Mo for the Money, an impressive entry-level allowance winner sprinting Feb. 7 at Oaklawn, is pointing for the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19, trainer Tony Dutrow said Friday morning.
Owned by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark., Mo for the Money will be making his two-turn debut in the Rebel, a 1 1/16-mile race that serves as the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) Arkansas Derby April 16.
In his local debut, Mo for the Money came from well off the pace to post a 5 ½-length victory. The Keeneland September Yearling Sales graduate covered 6 furlongs in 1:11.25.
“He liked the race track,” Dutrow said. “He’s trained well over the track. I feel very good that that horse will not have trouble with the distance. That’s where we’re at.”
Mo for the Money was an Oct. 28 debut winner at Belmont Park. In his only stakes try, Mo for the Money finished third in the $150,000 King’s Swan Nov. 27 at Aqueduct.
Dutrow said Mo for the Money is scheduled to breeze Saturday, which would be his second work since his blowout victory.
Also scheduled to work Saturday at Oaklawn are projected Rebel starters American Dubai and Dazzling Gem.
Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said Pin Oak Stable’s Synchrony is not a candidate for the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn.
Synchrony began his 3-year-old campaign with a strong third-place finish in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn, but the Tapit colt fell off the Arkansas Derby trail after finishing sixth in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15. He was beaten 9 ¾ lengths by stablemate Suddenbreakingnews, who is headed to the Rebel.
The Smarty Jones, Southwest and Rebel are Oaklawn’s three major stepping stones to the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16.
“This time of year, you have to perform if you want to continue running in some of those races,” Von Hemel said. “I think at this time, it’s probably just going to be more prudent to back off a little bit and make sure we have a good horse the rest of the year.”
Von Hemel said next-race plans are pending for Synchrony, but he could resurface before the Oaklawn meeting ends April 16. After finishing second in his Sept. 12 career debut at Churchill Downs, Synchrony won his final two starts last year. He was beaten two lengths in the Smarty Jones, his stakes debut.
Trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs said High Dollar Woman is still headed to the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn following an eighth-place finish in her 4-year-old debut Saturday. The filly was never a factor in the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn, beaten 9 ¾ lengths by Haveyougoneaway, at 5 ½ furlongs.
“She got a lot of dirt in her face and didn’t care for it,” Hobby said. “She isn’t a sprinter. I didn’t expect a lot, but I was a little disappointed. She did gallop out good, once she got going.”
High Dollar Woman hadn’t started since finishing unplaced in the $100,000 Monmouth Oaks (G3) Aug. 22 at Monmouth Park
Hobby was using the Spring Fever as a bridge to the 1 1/16-mile Azeri, the final major local prep for the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 15. High Dollar Woman’s biggest career victory came at 1 1/16 miles in the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) July 18 at Indiana Grand.
Dawn at Oaklawn
Corey Nakatani, Oaklawn’s third-leading rider this year, is the scheduled guest for Saturday’s Dawn At Oaklawn hosted by Oaklawn paddock analyst Nancy Holthus.
Dawn At Oaklawn offers fans a behind the scenes look at the racing industry each Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. (Central) throughout the remainder of the meeting. This program is free to the public and complimentary coffee and pastries will be served.
Dawn At Oaklawn also features barn tours. Barn tours begin at 7:30 a.m. on a first come, first serve basis and continue at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. No reservations are necessary.
Nakatani, 45, has 3,817 career victories since 1988, including 10 in in Breeders’ Cup events, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. The rider, who is represented by Gene Short of Hot Springs, has won 17 races this year at Oaklawn. He was Oaklawn’s second-leading rider in 2010, finishing with 49 victories – 10 less than champion Terry Thompson.
Marquee Miss worked a bullet half-mile in company (:47.40) after the break Friday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Ingrid Mason, who is pointing the 3-year-filly for the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 12. The Honeybee is the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9. Marquee Miss won Oaklawn’s $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes Jan. 15 and $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 6. … Mason said Friday morning that’s she’s leaning toward the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2) March 19 at Gulfstream Park for Sarah Sis’ next start. Sarah Sis is also under consideration for the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn. Mason said she believes Sarah Sis is better suited for the distance of the Inside Information (7 furlongs) than the Azeri (1 1/16 miles). … Trainer Brad Cox said Grade 2 winner Spelling Again is also under consideration for the Inside Information and Azeri. … Apocalypse won Thursday’s third race at Oaklawn to give Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg his 6,465th career victory, tying him for fourth in North American history, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. … Jon Court, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000, surpassed his total purse earnings from the 2015 meet Thursday, the 25th day of the meeting. Court’s mounts have earned $702,787, eclipsing the $689,562 from 2015. Court has 17 victories at the meet, five more than he had last year. … Trainer J.R. Caldwell won a 19-way shake to claim Gem City Gal for $7,500 out of Thursday’s sixth race. Through Thursday, 228 claims totaled $3,421,500.