Thursday, November 03, 2016
Oaklawn Well Represented at the Breeders’ Cup
Eleven Oaklawn-raced horses, including four stakes winners, are entered in the 33rd annual Breeders’ Cup Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita.
Two of the stakes winners, Effinex and Hoppertunity, will challenge 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome in North America’s richest race, Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
Effinex won the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 16 at Oaklawn for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and is 15-1 in the program for the Classic. Effinex, runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is scheduled to break from the rail under Flavien Prat in the 1 1/4-mile race.
“All of the horses behind him were in the same spot at the half-mile pole – the other guy (American Pharoah) was off by himself – all those Grade 1 winners were all together and he was the only one who left the pack,” Jerkens said. “It said a lot.”
Hoppertunity (15-1) won the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) in 2014 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
American Pharoah won the Rebel and Arkansas Derby before sweeping the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic en route to 2015 Horse of the Year honors.
Hall of Famer John Velazquez is named on Hoppertunity, who drew post 9.
Melatonin (12-1), runner-up to Effinex in the Oaklawn Handicap, is scheduled to break from post 6 under Joe Talamo.
Long shot Win the Space (30-1) is scheduled to break from post 5 under Hall of Famer Gary Stevens.
Win the Space, as a maiden, ran sixth to American Pharoah in the 2015 Arkansas Derby.
All 10 projected starters will carry 126 pounds. Probable post time for the Classic is 7:35 p.m. (Central).
Oaklawn Handicap winner Wild Again won the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1984 at Hollywood Park under Pat Day, Oaklawn’s all-time leading rider.
Forever Unbridled, winner of the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 15 at Oaklawn, is entered in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at 1 1/8 miles. She is scheduled to break from post 6 under Joel Rosario and carry equal top weight of 124 pounds.
Probable post time for the Distaff is 6:35 p.m. (Central).
Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Haveyougoneaway (3-1 program favorite) can secure an Eclipse Award with a victory in Saturday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). Haveyougoneaway won Oaklawn’s $100,000 American Beauty Stakes Jan. 23 and $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes Feb. 20.
Haveyougoneaway is coming off a victory in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (G1) Aug. 27 at Saratoga. She is scheduled to break from post 2 under Velazquez and carry equal top weight of 124 pounds.
“She shipped out here absolutely no problem,” Trainer Tom Morley said of Haveyougoneaway. “She’s done a lot of shipping in her life, but I don’t think she has ever flown, so I was a little bit nervous about that. Julio Garcia, her groom flew with her and said she was absolutely perfect. I thought she was just a tiny bit dry in her coat (Tuesday) when we got here and I pulled her blanket off. I couldn’t believe the difference in 24 hours. She looks exactly like she did when she left Belmont Park. The weight has gone back on from the flight and she trained like an absolute beast this morning.
“It’s always a good sign when you see her flicking her leads,” Morley said. “Initially when I got her I was a little bit concerned about that, but actually, that’s her saying, ‘I’m ready.’ I saw her doing that this morning on the track and her rider came back blowing harder than she was. It’s all systems go.”
Also entered in the 7-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint is Tara’s Tango, third behind Forever Unbridled in the Apple Blossom. Rafael Bejarano is named to ride Tara’s Tango (8-1) from post 3.
Probable post time for the Filly and Mare Sprint is 6:01 p.m. (Central).
Point Piper and Texas Chrome are both 20-1 in the program for Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
Point Piper finished third in this year’s Oaklawn Handicap before setting a track record (1:32.90) in the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) Aug. 14 at Emerald Downs.
Texas Chrome began his 3-year-old campaign with a third-place finish in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes April 15 at Oaklawn. He has won his last three starts (all half-length stakes victories), including the $400,000 Super Derby (G3) Sept. 10 at Louisiana Downs and $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sept. 25 at Remington Park.
“He’s doing really good,” trainer J.R. Caldwell said. “The commotion on the track got to him when he first arrived last Saturday, but he’s settled in good now.”
Texas Chrome will break from post six of nine in the race.
“From the six hole, he’ll be able to bounce away from there and get in a great position,” Caldwell said. “I love that there is a ton of speed in there. He has a quick turn of foot and can go get them.”
Texas Chrome will be the first Breeders’ Cup starter for his trainer and owner. He also provided Caldwell with his first graded stakes win when he won the Super Derby (G3) Sept. 10 and second when he took the Oklahoma Derby (G3) two weeks later.
“Since he came into the barn in January, he’s been flawless,” Caldwell said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and has shown up everytime.”
Probable post time for the Dirt Mile is 5:05 p.m. (Central).
Entered in Saturday’s $1.5 million Sprint (G1) is A.P. Indian, who is unbeaten in six starts this year.
A.P. Indian, second in an allowance/optional claimer in his 4-year-old debut at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting, set a 6-furlong track record (1:08.43) in the $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (G2) Oct. 7 at Keeneland.
The previous record (1:08.58) was set by Runhappy in last year’s $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). Runhappy was named champion male sprinter of 2015.
A.P. Indian (4-1) would secure an Eclipse Award with a victory in the 6-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Probable post time is 3:21 p.m. (Central).
Ralis (30-1) is entered in Saturday’s $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
Ralis, a Grade I winner at 2, ran 10th in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn in his 2016 debut.
Probable post time for the Turf is 5:22 p.m. (Central).
Streamline, unraced since a runner-up finish in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 15 at Oaklawn, is entered in Saturday’s fourth race at Churchill Downs, a conditioned allowance/optional claimer at 6 furlongs.
Streamline was one of the top older females at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting, winning the $100,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 17, running second in the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 14 and third in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 19 before finishing second in the Apple Blossom.
Trained by Brian Williamson, Streamline was the only horse to compete in all four of Oaklawn’s two-turn stakes races for older fillies and mares this year. She is scheduled to break from post 5 Saturday under Chris Landeros and carry equal top weight of 120 pounds.
Also entered are two allowance/optional claiming winners at this year’s Oaklawn meeting, Finley’sluckycharm and Simply Confection, and Meshell, third in the Bayakoa.
Probable post time for Saturday’s fourth race at Churchill Downs is 3:01 p.m. (Central).
Oaklawn-raced Scuba, Sammy Mandeville and Hard Aces are entered in the $200,000 Marathon Stakes (G2) Friday at Santa Anita. … Cautious Giant, fourth in the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10 at Oaklawn, is entered in the $100,000 Damascus Stakes Friday at Santa Anita. … Oaklawn-raced Kathballu, Athena and She’s a Bootsy Too are entered in the $200,000 Chilukki Stakes (G2) Saturday at Churchill Downs. Last year’s winner, Spelling Again, trained at Oaklawn during the 2016 meeting and is entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) Saturday at Santa Anita for Brad Cox, Oaklawn’s fourth-leading trainer this year. … Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, Oaklawn’s third-leading trainer this year, is scheduled to send out Torrent in the sixth race Saturday at Churchill Downs (maiden-allowance at 7 furlongs for 2-year-old fillies). Torrent is by 2010 champion older male Blame and out of Tidal Pool, winner of Oaklawn’s $100,000 Red Bud Stakes in 2011. Tidal Pool won an allowance race at the 2010 Oaklawn meeting before finishing second to champion Blind Luck in the track’s $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2). Tidal Pool, in her next start, ran third to Blind Luck in the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Torrent has run third, fourth and second in three career starts for Little Rock, Ark.-based owner/breeders (Westrock Stable of Joe and Scott Ford). Westrock also campaigned Tidal Pool. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot worked a half-mile in :48.44 Saturday at Remington Park for trainer Tom Howard of Hot Springs. Ivan Fallunovalot is unbeaten in three starts this year, including the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Jan. 30 at Oaklawn. He also won the King Cotton in 2015. … Oaklawn’s stable area opens Nov. 14 in advance of the 2017 meeting that begins Jan. 13. The track opens for training Nov. 21.