Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Court One Win Away from #4,000

Jon Court is poised to become the 71st jockey in North American history to reach 4,000 career victories after winning Sunday’s third race at Churchill Downs, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Court, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000, recorded his 3,999th career victory aboard Quarterly ($25.60) for his father-in-law, trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs.

Court had four chances later on Sunday's card – the final day of Churchill’s fall meet – to reach 4,000 victories, but he finished third aboard The Gipper for trainer Brad Cox in the eighth race, second aboard Detroit Cowboy for trainer Earl Puckett in the ninth race, fourth aboard Uncle Guy for trainer Mike Maker in the 11th race and third aboard Singleton for Maker in the 12th race.

Court, who turned 56 Wednesday, was finished the 2016 Oaklawn meet sixth in the standings with 29 victories and had his second-best Oaklawn meeting for purse earnings ($1,337,341).

He had his 600th Oaklawn winner Feb. 21, 2016, aboard Sadie Be Mine and has 615 overall in Hot Springs, according to Equibase. He began riding regularly at Oaklawn in 1981, the year after his first career victory. Overall, Court has 3,999 victories and $98,746,764 in purse earnings.

Court rode 69 winners at the 2000 Oaklawn meeting and won consecutive runnings (2010-2011) of its biggest race, the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).

Heaven Sent

Heaven’s Runaway, who competed at Oaklawn in 2013, ’14 and ‘15 recorded his biggest career victory in the $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (G3) Thursday at Aqueduct.

Heaven’s Runway ($66.50) finished a neck ahead of 4-5 favorite Stallwalkin’ Dude after covering 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.19. The victory came five days after Ivan Fallunovalot won the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel.

 

Gentlemen’s Bet, the 2015 De Francis Dash winner, Ivan Fallunovalot and Heaven’s Runway ran 1-2-5, respectively, in the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting.

Stallwalkin’ Dude was scratched from the De Francis Dash to run in Thursday’s Fall Highweight.

Heaven’s Runway was under the care of trainer Tim Ice in 2015 at Oaklawn. Then trained by Joe Martin, he ran third in Oaklawn’s $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) and ninth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) in 2013.

Heaven’s Runway originally raced for his breeders, the highly successful team of K.K. and Devi Jayaraman, but is now with New York-based trainer Rudy Rodriguez.

Finish Lines

Jockey Israel Ocampo, an Oaklawn regular, recorded his 1,000th career victory in Friday’s sixth race at Remington Park (One Last Knight), according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Ocampo rode his first winner in 2006. … Streamline, who competed in all four of Oaklawn’s two-turn stakes races for older fillies and mares this year, winning the $100,000 Pippin Jan. 17, ran second in the $200,000 Falls City Handicap (G2) Thursday at Churchill Downs. … Oaklawn allowance winner Yockey’s Warrior won the $75,000 Thanksgiving Handicap Thursday at Fair Grounds. …. Oaklawn allowance/optional claiming winner Finley’sluckycharm remained unbeaten sprinting with a front-running victory in the $80,000 Dream Supreme Stakes Friday at Churchill Downs. Finley’sluckycharm ($3) won by 8 ½ lengths in 1:08.58 for 6 furlongs, a little more than a second off the track record. … Carve, winner of Oaklawn’s $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes in 2015, worked a half-mile in :51 Monday at Fair Grounds. Carve, who has battled foot problems, is unraced since a sixth-place finish in the $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) May 30 at Lone Star Park. … Two-time Oaklawn riding champion Robby Albarado (1996-1997) has 4,975 career victories in North America, according to Equibase. Albarado is trying to become the 33rd rider to reach 5,000 North American victories.

 

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