Sunday, January 24, 2016
A Sure ‘Bet’?
Multiple stakes-winning sprinter Gentlemen’s Bet is now probable for Saturday’s $100,000 King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn, trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Sunday morning.
Moquett said earlier this month that he planned to skip the 6-furlong King Cotton, but cited a steady work pattern and local ownership for changing course.
Gentlemen’s Bet is campaigned by Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock, Ark.
“I’m saying we’re probably pointing that direction,” Moquett said. “I’ve been able to get all the works needed here. His owner always looks to run here because he’s from here. We were always leaning this direction, but sometimes the weather will make you do stuff you don’t want to do.”
Moquett said if Gentlemen’s Bet starts in the King Cotton, he believes two-time Oaklawn riding champion Robby Albarado will have the mount.
Gentlemen’s Bet, a 7-year-old son of Half Ours, hasn’t started since recording his biggest career victory to date in the $350,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash Nov. 14 at Laurel. He also won the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes last year at Oaklawn.
Overall, Gentlemen’s Bet, who has four recorded works at Oaklawn since Dec. 9, has won 7 of 16 starts and earned $731,390. He also ran third in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in 2013.
Ivan Sizzles Saturday
Ivan Fallunovalot completed major preparations for his 6-year-old debut in the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes for older sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn with a sizzling half-mile workout under Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel.
Breezing after Saturday’s fourth race at Oaklawn (there was an abbreviated morning training session because of winter weather), Ivan Fallunovalot covered the distance in :45.80 over a surface rated wet-fast. His final quarter-mile was :22. He galloped out 5 furlongs in 58.20.
Ivan Fallunovalot, the defending King Cotton champion, hasn’t started since finishing ninth in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
The King Cotton closed Friday with 36 nominations.
Sarah Sis Exits Race in Good Shape; Ready for the Next One
Sarah Sis emerged in good order from her runner-up finish in the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn, trainer Ingrid Mason said Sunday morning. Making her 4-year-old debut, Sarah Sis was beaten a neck by Haveyougoneaway after an early speed duel with Super Saks.
Sarah Sis, following a half-mile in a stout :45.61, put away Super Saks turning for home, but couldn’t hold off Haveyougoneaway, who had a ground-saving trip. She was making her first start since winning the $250,000 Raven Run Stakes (G2) Oct. 17 at Keeneland.
“Certainly, she’s a horse coming off a layoff, and to get that kind of pressure kind of softened her up,” Mason said. “She didn’t have as much in the drive as she should have.”
Mason was using the American Beauty as a prep for the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 14 at Oaklawn, a 1 1/16-mile race that will be her return to two turns.
“You’ve got to focus on the positive,” Mason said. “She certainly got a lot more out of that than working three or four more times. That was kind of the plan. She got a paid workout, but I was hoping to win, obviously. She still ran really, really well.”
Sarah Sis won the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles last year at Oaklawn.
Spring Included Retired
As expected, multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Spring Included has been retired following a last-place finish in Saturday’s $100,000 American Beauty Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters at Oaklawn, trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs said Sunday morning.
Owner Alex Lieblong of Conway, Ark., said Spring Included will be bred to Grade 1 winner The Big Beast, who is beginning his stallion career this year at Ocala Stud in Florida. Lieblong and wife JoAnn also campaigned and still own The Big Beast, who finished second in his 2014 career debut at Oaklawn.
“I just felt her legs and she’s ice cold,” Hobby said before training hours Sunday. “Ate everything, bright-eyed, absolutely nothing wrong with her. She just doesn’t want to run anymore. Fillies will do that to you sometime.”
Spring Included, a 5-year-old daughter of Include, retires with a 5-3-3 record from 17 starts and earnings of $319,699.
Last year, she won the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes and $100,000 Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn.
Unbeaten 3-year-old Knights Key worked 5 furlongs in 1:02 after the break Sunday morning for trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs. Owner Alex Lieblong said Knights Key is possible for the $250,000 Withers Stakes (G3) Jan. 30 at Aqueduct after an entry-level allowance sprint, scheduled for Friday at Oaklawn, didn’t fill. Knights Key was pointing for the allowance spot after scratching from last Monday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn. … Multiple stakes winner Bagg O’Day, who set a 6 1/2-furlong track record in July at Ellis Park, will not run at this year’s Oaklawn meeting because of a recent minor setback, Hobby said. Hobby said Bagg O’Day, who was pointing for the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes for older sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn, will “probably be fine” in 60 or 90 days. … Multiple stakes winner Brewing, a King Cotton nominee, worked a half-mile in :50.20 just after the track opened Sunday morning for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. … Stakes winner Rocket Time worked a half-mile in :48.20 Sunday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Al Stall. Rocket Time ran fifth in last year’s $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn. … Trainer Randy Morse has won a meet-high five races at the young Oaklawn meeting with four jockeys – Alex Canchari (two wins), C.J. McMahon, Corey Nakatani and apprentice Sebastian Saez. Made Me Talk represented Saez’s first career Oaklawn winner in Saturday’s second race.