Thursday, June 23, 2016

Oaklawn Runners in Action From Coast to Coast

Several Oaklawn stakes winners are scheduled to run Saturday, including sprint star Subtle Indian and Hoppertunity, the 3-1 program favorite for the $500,000 Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita. The Gold Cup is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, guaranteeing the winner a berth in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.

Hoppertunity, beaten a nose in last year’s Gold Cup, won the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) as a 3-year-old in 2014 at Oaklawn, one of a record six victories in the race – all since 2010 – for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. He hasn’t started since finishing third, beaten four lengths by California Chrome, in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) March 26 at Meydan Racecourse.

Hoppertunity is scheduled to break from post 6 Saturday under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and carry 120 pounds.

Also entered in the 1 ¼-mile Gold Cup are three other Oaklawn-raced horses. Defending Gold Cup champion Hard Aces finished sixth in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in 2015. Melatonin ran second in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 16. Win the Space, as a maiden, finished sixth behind future Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in last year’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).

Probable post time for the Gold Cup, which goes as the final race on a nine-race card, is 7:30 p.m. (Central).

Santa Anita’s eighth race is the $300,000 Triple Bend Stakes (G1), a 7-furlong event that features Subtle Indian, the top sprinter at this year’s Oaklawn meeting. The Robertino Diodoro-trained colt won Oaklawn’s $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 5 and $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10. The gelding was the only four-time winner at this year’s Oaklawn meeting.

In his last start, Subtle Indian finished second in the $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes (G2) May 21 at Santa Anita, while being ridden by Oaklawn regular Ramon Vazquez. He switches to Smith for the Triple Bend and is scheduled to break from post 6 under 120 pounds.

Four other Oaklawn-raced horses are entered in the projected eight-horse field. Clever Royal, winless in three starts at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the Triple Bend. Habitually slow-starting Kobe’s Back ran seventh behind Hoppertunity in the 2014 Rebel. Cautious Giant, off a 25-hour van ride from Southern California, finished fourth behind Subtle Indian in the Count Fleet. Coastline ran in Oaklawn’s first two major Kentucky Derby preps in 2014, finishing third in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and fourth in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3).

Probable post time for the Triple Bend is 7 p.m. (Central).

Other Oaklawn stakes winners entered Saturday are Sarah Sis in the $100,000 Chicago Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park and Decorated Soldier in the $500,000 Ohio Derby at ThistleDown.

Sarah Sis won the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) last year at Oaklawn. Decorated Solider won the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 16 at Oaklawn.

Pangburn, third behind Sarah Sis in the Honeybee, is entered in Saturday’s $150,000 Bed o’ Roses Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park.

Maiden Voyage

Go Glam is scheduled to make her career debut in Friday’s fourth race at Churchill Downs, a 5 ½-furlong event for 2-year-old fillies. The daughter of Tapizar would be seven-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen’s first starter for owners Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark.

The Lieblongs, among Oaklawn’s most successful owners the last few years, purchased Go Glam for $280,000 in April at the OBS 2-year-old in training sale. They have three other unstarted 2-year-olds with Asmussen: Serious I Candy (a Candy Ride filly); All Laced Up (a Bernardini filly); and Powerful Ally (a Stay Thirsty colt).

Go Glam, the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, is scheduled to break from post 7 under Florent Geroux. She has five published workouts since May 14, including three from the gate at Keeneland.

Go Glam is from the first crop of the Asmussen-trained Tapizar, who won the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in 2012 at Santa Anita in his final career start. Tapizar also ran second in the $125,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) in 2012 at Oaklawn.

Probable post time for Friday’s fourth race at Churchill Downs in 1:13 p.m. (Central).

Finish Lines

Channing Hill, fourth in this year’s jockey standings, is named on two horses Thursday at Churchill Downs. Hill has 999 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. ... Adirondack King, third in a division of the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) in 2012 at Oaklawn, is entered in the $100,000 Turning for Home Stakes Saturday at Parx. … Alex Birzer, fifth this year jockey standings, has a meet-high 44 victories at Prairie Meadows. Ramon Vazquez is second with 38. Vazquez was Oaklawn’s second-leading rider this year. … Danny Caldwell, Oaklawn’s leading owner the last three years, has won 21 races at Prairie Meadows to top the standings.

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