Thursday, May 26, 2016

Does Oaklawn still have the winning formula for the Winning Colors?

Seven fillies and mares are entered in the $100,000 Winning Colors Stakes (G3) Saturday at Churchill Downs, including Oaklawn stakes winner Super Saks. Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Super Saks won the $150,000 Carousel Stakes April 14 at Oaklawn.

Beat the Blues (2013) and Street Story (2015) both won the Winning Colors after finishing second in the Carousel.

Super Saks, who broke her maiden at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, is scheduled to break from post 7 Saturday under Channing Hill and carry equal top weight of 122 pounds. Hill (992 career victories) was among Oaklawn’s leading riders this year.

Also entered in the 6-furlong Winning Colors are Wrath of Ruthie, fourth in the Carousel for perennial Oaklawn champions, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and trainer Steve Asmussen, and Spelling Again, who trained this winter in Hot Springs, but did not start.

Probable post time for the Winning Colors, which honors the Lukas-trained 1988 Kentucky Derby winner, is 4:21 p.m. (Central).

Apprehender Returns

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Apprehender is scheduled to make his comeback in the $65,000 Ed Skinner Memorial Stakes Saturday at Prairie Meadows. He hasn’t started since finishing third in the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 7, 2015, at Oaklawn.

Apprehender injured a rear ankle during a routine gallop a few weeks after the Hot Springs, said Chris Richard, who trained the 7-year-old gelding throughout most of his career. Richard said before the 2016 Oaklawn meeting that Apprehender had been moved to another trainer and was somewhere in Oklahoma.

Apprehender breezed several times this spring at Remington Park before moving to Prairie Meadows. The son of Posse is now under the care of trainer Gene Jacquot, an Oaklawn regular.

Apprehender won Oaklawn’s King Cotton Stakes in 2013 and 2014 and finished second in the 2013 Bachelor Stakes.

He is scheduled to break from post 3 Saturday under Alex Birzer, who finished fifth in the Oaklawn standings this year.

Probable post time for the 6-furlong Ed Skinner Memorial is 4:12 p.m. (Central).

Finish Lines

Set the Trappe is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in Thursday’s fifth race at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs. Set the Trappe, sixth as a maiden in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) last September at Saratoga, wintered at Oaklawn and was scheduled to run in a maiden race during the final week of the meeting, but had a minor physical setback. Set the Trappe was winless in three starts last year. … Taxable, runner-up in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9 at Oaklawn, is entered in a third-level allowance race Saturday at Churchill Downs. … Meshell, who started in three stakes races this year at Oaklawn, is entered in an allowance/optional claimer Saturday at Churchill Downs. Meshell ran third in Oaklawn’s $100,000 American Beauty Stakes Jan. 23 and $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 14 and seventh in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19. … Grade 1 winner Ralis is entered in the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds Saturday at Santa Anita. Ralis finished 10th in his 3-year-old debut, the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn. … Wabel, who ran the second-fastest 6 furlongs of the 2016 Oaklawn meeting (1:09.03) in a March 5 allowance race, returned to win an allowance race Sunday at Churchill Downs. Wabel had been sidelined with a quarter-crack. He represented the 3,971st career victory for Jon Court, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Court, 55, was Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000 and finished sixth in the standings this year with 29 victories. Court begins Thursday with $97,983,156 in career purse earnings. He rode his first winner in 1980. Wabel also gave Brad Cox, among Oaklawn’s leading trainers this year, his 481st career victory.

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