Thursday, October 27, 2016
Oaklawn Stakes Winners Among the Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries
Four Oaklawn stakes winners and eight other horses who have raced in Hot Springs were among 185 pre-entries Wednesday for the 33rd annual Breeders’ Cup Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita. Two of the stakes winners, Effinex and Hoppertunity, were pre-entered in North America’s richest race, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Nov. 5 at 1 ¼ miles.
Tri-Bone Stables’ Effinex won the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 16 at Oaklawn for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. The horse was runner-up in last year’s Breeders' Cup Classic to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
Hoppertunity, from the familiar partnership of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, won the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) in 2014 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The Rebel is Oaklawn’s final major prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).
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.
Melatonin, runner-up to Effinex in this year’s Oaklawn Handicap, is also pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, as is Win the Space. Win the Space, as a maiden, ran sixth to American Pharoah in the 2015 Arkansas Derby.
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 pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 4.
Point Piper and Texas Chrome are pre-entered in the $1 million Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 4. 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.
Texas Chrome 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.
Texas Chrome will represent the first Breeders’ Cup starter for trainer J.R. Caldwell, an Oaklawn regular, and owner Danny Keene.
Keene lives in Greenville, Texas, but owns Friendswood Farm in Hot Springs and has five broodmares there, with plans to boost the Arkansas-breeding program.
Neither Caldwell or Keene has started a horse at Santa Anita.
Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Haveyougoneaway can secure an Eclipse Award with a victory in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 5. Under the care of 2009 Oaklawn training champion Allen Milligan, Haveyougoneaway won Oaklawn’s $100,000 American Beauty Stakes Jan. 23 and $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes Feb. 20.
Now with New York-based trainer Tom Morley following a private sale after the Oaklawn meeting, Haveyougoneaway is coming off a victory in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (G1) Aug. 27 at Saratoga.
Also pre-entered in the 7-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint is Tara’s Tango, third behind Forever Unbridled in this year’s Apple Blossom.
Pre-entered in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 5 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 would secure an Eclipse Award with a victory in the 6-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Two other Oaklawn-raced horses, Guns Loaded and Ralis, were pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), respectively, but not selected into the fields. Both races are Nov. 5.
Guns Loaded was an allowance/optional claiming winner last year at Oaklawn for Chris Hartman, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2015. Ralis, a Grade I winner at 2, ran 10th in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19 in his 2016 debut.
Win the Space was also not selected for the Breeders’ Cup Turf after pre-entering in the 1 ½-mile race. He has first preference for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Ralis and Win the Space could still make the Breeders’ Cup Turf field since four of the 14 horses in the main body of the race have first preference in other Breeders’ Cup races. they are second and third, respectively, in order of preference by the Breeders’ Cup racing directors/secretaries panel.
Guns Loaded is fourth in order of preference for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Doug O’Neill trains Guns Loaded and Ralis.
Dazzling Gem, fourth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16 at Oaklawn, is scheduled to make his comeback in Thursday’s eighth race at Keeneland, a conditioned allowance for 3-year-olds at a mile. Dazzling Gem, owned by prominent Arkansas automobile dealer Steve Landers, hasn’t started since finishing third in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes May 21 at Pimlico. Dazzling Gem, who has battled foot problems, won his first two career starts this year at Oaklawn before finishing third in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) March 26 at Fair Grounds, fourth in the Arkansas Derby and third in the Sir Barton. The son of 2011 Oaklawn Handicap runner-up Misremembered is trained by Brad Cox, fourth in Oaklawn’s training standings this year. Also entered in Thursday’s eighth race is Cutacorner, who finished seventh in the Arkansas Derby for Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. Probable post time for the eighth race is 3:57 p.m. (Central). Dazzling Gem is the 5-2 program favorite. … Spelling Again, who trained this year at Oaklawn, is pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita. Cox also trains Spelling Again. … Untapped, a 2-year-old full sister to champion Untapable, broke her maiden by 6 ¼ lengths at 1 1/16 miles in Wednesday’s fifth race at Keeneland. Like Untapable, winner of Oaklawn’s $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) in 2015, Untapped is a homebred for Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Hall of Famer and seven-time Oaklawn leader Steve Asmussen. Both horses are by Tapit and out of Fun House, fifth in Oaklawn’s $200,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies in 2002.