Oaklawn Runners Look to Make Mark in Iowa Festival of Racing
Oaklawn will be well represented in the annual Iowa Festival of Racing that begins Thursday at Prairie Meadows. The three-day Festival features six stakes races, highlighted by Saturday’s $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3).
Thursday’s card includes the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes and $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) at 1 1/16 miles. The Iowa Oaks has drawn a field of 11, including multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Marquee Miss (10-1 on the morning line).
Marquee Miss won the $100,000 Dixie Belle Jan. 15 and $100,000 Martha Washington Feb. 6, the latter coming at a mile. The filly is scheduled to break from post 4 under Channing Hill, Oaklawn’s fourth-leading rider this year, and carry equal top weight of 121 pounds. She is is campaigned by trainer Ingrid Mason and owner Joe Ragsdale, who won last year’s Iowa Oaks with another Oaklawn stakes winner, Sarah Sis.
Also entered in Thursday’s race is Ready to Confess, a Jan. 15 allowance/optional claiming winner at Oaklawn for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. The filly, who won her 3-year-old debut on owner/breeder Josephine Abercrombie’s 90th birthday, then ran fifth in the Martha Washington and third in Oaklawn’s $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9. Listed at 12-1 on the morning line, she is scheduled to break from post 6 under Joe Rocco Jr. and carry 118 pounds.
Probable post time for the Iowa Oaks, which also drew the Oaklawn-raced Just Wicked (15-1), who finished fifth in the $150,000 Instant Racing Stakes April 16, For All The Grands and Bonita Cat, is 9:21 p.m. (Central).
Talk Derby to Me
Texas Chrome is the 2-1 program favorite for the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) Friday at Prairie Meadows. Trained by Oaklawn regular J.R. Caldwell, he is being wheeled back after a third-place finish in the $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) June 18 at Churchill Downs.
Texas Chrome finished third in his 3-year-old debut, the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes April 15 at Oaklawn. In the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Derby, he is scheduled to break from post 3 under Iram Diego and carry 119 pounds.
Synchrony (4-1) finished third and sixth, respectively, in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 and $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15 for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. The Smarty Jones and Southwest are Oaklawn’s first two major Kentucky Derby preps.
He is scheduled to break from post 5 under regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan and carry 113 pounds.
Likely Iowa Derby post-time favorite American Freedom is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Probable post time for the Iowa Derby, which also drew Oaklawn-raced The Rouge Diesel and Colonel Dan, is 9:21 p.m. (Central).
Two Oaklawn sprint stakes winners are scheduled to run Saturday. Millionaire Alsvid, won the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) in 2015, is the 2-1 program favorite for the $67,000 Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs. Gentlemen’s Bet is entered in the $100,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows. He won the 2013 Iowa Sprint and Oaklawn’s $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes in 2015.
Wabel, who ran the second-fastest 6 furlongs at this year’s Oaklawn meeting (1:09.03), is entered in the Iowa Sprint, but will instead run in the Kelly’s Landing, owner Staton Flurry of Hot Springs said.
Also entered in the Iowa Sprint are W.B. Smudge, a two-time allowance/optional claiming winner this year at Oaklawn, and Apprehender, winner of Oaklawn’s King Cotton Stakes in 2013 and 2014.
Probable post time for the Iowa Sprint, which also drew Oaklawn-raced Wilbo and Storm Power, is 4:17 p.m. (Central).
Probable post time for the Kelly’s Landing, which also drew Oaklawn-raced Bayerd, Helooksthepart and Natchez, is 9:42 p.m. (Central).
That’s a Rap
Domain’s Rap, a three-time winner this year at Oaklawn, is among nine horses entered in the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) Saturday at Prairie Meadows. Listed at 5-1 on the morning line, he is scheduled to break from post 2 under regular rider Ramon Vazquez and carry 115 pounds.
Danny Caldwell, Oaklawn’s leading owner the last three years, claimed Domain’s Rap for $10,000 last fall at Remington Park. He won his next four starts before finishing second in the $350,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) March 19 at Oaklawn and sixth in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 16 at Oaklawn.
Also entered in the 1 1/8-mile Cornhusker are Oaklawn-raced Smack Smack, Shotgun Kowboy, Hawaakom, Code West and S’maverlous.
Probable post time for the Cornhusker is 4:50 p.m. (Central). Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Golden Lad (Razorback, Essex Handicap) won last year’s Cornhusker.
Not This Time, a 2-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, is scheduled to make his career debut in Thursday’s third race at Churchill Downs for trainer Dale Romans. Not This Time is out of Miss Macy Sue, winner of the $50,000 Carousel Stakes in 2007 at Oaklawn and a career earner of $880,915 for trainer Kelly Von Hemel. Von Hemel, an Oaklawn regular, trained Miss Macy Sue and called the Giant’s Causeway colt “drop-dead gorgeous” late last year. … She’sabrees, a two-time winner this year at Oaklawn, is the 5-2 second choice in the program for the $100,000 Saylorville Stakes for filly and mare sprinters Thursday at Prairie Meadows. She’sabrees races for Danny Caldwell … Oaklawn-raced Ghost Locket, Twenty in One, Sweet Opportunity, Ciaran’s Prize and Ribbon of Darkness are among nine fillies and mares entered in the $100,000 Iowa Distaff Stakes Friday at Prairie Meadows. … Allied Air Raid, who broke his maiden at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, is entered in the $100,000 Salvator Mile Stakes (G3) Saturday at Monmouth Park. Allied Air Raid is trained by Brad Cox, fourth in this year’s Oaklawn standings.