Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oaklawn Winner Steel Cut Takes Oklahoma Classics Distaff

Four-time Oaklawn winner Steel Cut scored a two-length victory in the $133,500 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Stakes Friday night at Remington Park. The Distaff was one of 10 stakes races totaling more than $1 million on the Oklahoma Classics program for accredited Oklahoma-breds.

Steel Cut, owned and trained by Wes Hawley, ran the mile and 70 yards over a fast track in 1:41.63 and paid $3.20 as the 3-5 favorite. She was ridden by Chris Landeros, who was among Oaklawn’s top 10 jockeys with in 2016 with 23 victories.

The consistent Steel Cut, first, second or third in 19 of 28 starts, increased her earnings to $392,433 with the victory. She won three races at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting and an allowance/optional claiming event Feb. 18.

Steel Cut, a 5-year-old daughter of Cactus Ridge, began her career with a runner-up finish in a $20,000 maiden-claiming event at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting. Hawley claimed Steel Cut for $10,000 out of a 7 ¼-length victory in her 4-year-old debut, Jan. 18, 2015, at Oaklawn.

Danny Caldwell, who lost Steel Cut in the claim, won two races on the Oklahoma Classics card.  Oaklawn’s leading owner the last three years won the $35,100 Filly and Mare Starter Allowance with Connors Gal and the $36,300 Starter Allowance with My Brother Don.

Both winners were ridden by Ramon Vazquez, Oaklawn’s second-leading jockey the last two years. Federico Villafranco trains privately for Caldwell.

Looking Ahead

Stall applications for Oaklawn’s 2017 meet that begins Jan. 13 are due Thursday.

Oaklawn’s stable area opens Nov. 14. The track opens for training Nov. 21.

Finish Lines

Whitmore, unraced since the May 7 Kentucky Derby, posted his second consecutive bullet half-mile work (:46.40) over a fast track Sunday morning at Churchill Downs for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs. It was the fastest of 92 times recorded at the distance and the fourth work back for Whitmore, among the leading 3-year-olds at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting. Whitmore, who breezed a bullet half-mile in :47.20 Oct. 15 at Churchill Downs, finished second in Oaklawn’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), second in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and third in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). ... Terra Promessa, the top 3-year-old filly at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting, worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 over a fast track Monday morning at Churchill Downs for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Terra Promessa, unraced since a 10th-place finish in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 6 at Churchill Downs, won Oaklawn’s $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 12 and $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 9. Asmussen has won seven Oaklawn training titles since 2007. … Morning Fire, fourth in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Bachelor Stakes April 15, finished second his comeback race, the $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint Handicap Saturday at Laurel. … The Truth Or Else was a fourth-level allowance winner sprinting Sunday at Keeneland for trainer Kenny McPeek. In 2015, at Oaklawn, The Truth Or Else ran second in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), fourth to American Pharoah in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and seventh to American Pharoah in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). Sunday’s victory for the Truth Or Else, who has become a late-running sprinter, bumped his career earnings to $498,136.

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