Oaklawn News

Texas Chrome Pulls Off Super Derby Victory

Texas Chrome earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 96 for his half-length victory in the $400,000 Super Derby (G3) Saturday at Louisiana Downs. The Super Derby represented the first graded stakes victory, and sixth overall for Texas Chrome, and the first graded stakes victory for trainer J.R. Caldwell, an Oaklawn regular.

Texas Chrome began his 3-year-old campaign with a third-place finish in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes April 15 at Oaklawn.

Ridden Saturday by C.J. McMahon, Texas Chrome ran 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:49.87 and paid $6.20 as the 2-1 third choice. The Texas-bred son of Grasshopper was coming off a half-length victory in the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes Aug. 6 at Louisiana Downs.

Purchased for only $10,000 as a yearling by Danny Keene, Texas Chrome has won 7 of 12 lifetime starts and earned $602,462.

Keene tied for 10th in the Oaklawn owner standings this year with six victories. Caldwell won four races this year in Hot Springs.

In addition to the Super Derby, Oaklawn graduates have accounted for victories in this year’s Belmont Stakes (Creator) and the Indiana Derby and West Virginia Derby (Cupid). Cupid won the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19. Creator won the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16.

The Rebel is Oaklawn’s final major prep for the Arkansas Derby.

Cox’s Career Year

Brad Cox, fourth in Oaklawn’s 2016 trainer standings, won his 98th race this year, equaling a career high, Sunday at Presque Isle with Runner Runner.

Cox, who saddled his first winner in 2004, set career highs for victories (98) and purse earnings ($3,627,337) last year. He currently has $4,390,244 in purse earnings in 2016. He won 23 races this year at Oaklawn.

Cox has one horse entered Tuesday, Fleet Dude, who is scheduled to run in the eighth race at Indiana Grand.

Cox ranks seventh nationally this year in stakes victories (21) after winning two Saturday at Louisiana Downs. He won the $75,000 Sunday Silence for 2-year-olds with Royal by Nature and the $75,000 Unbridled with Allied Air Raid, who broke his maiden at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting.

In the Unbridled, Allied Air Raid ran 1 1/16 miles over a firm turf course in 1:40.54, narrowly missing the course record (1:40). Cox also won last year’s Sunday Silence with Uncle Brennie, owned by Staton Flurry of Hot Springs.

Seven-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen ranks eighth nationally this year in stakes victories (20).

Finish Lines

Texas Chrome’s victory in the $400,000 Super Derby (G3) Saturday at Louisiana Downs allowed trainer J.R. Caldwell, an Oaklawn regular, to establish a career high for purse earnings in a year. According to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization, Caldwell’s horses have earned $1,331,815, bettering his $1,201,829 in 2014. Caldwell also has 489 career victories, according to Equibase. He saddled his first winner in 1995. … Caldwell tops the standings at Remington Park with 12 victories. … Danny Caldwell, Oaklawn’s leading owner the last three years, has a meet-high 10 victories at Remington Park. … Jon Court, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000, has 3,993 career victories, according to Equibase.