ROCKSHAW GOES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT IN BACHELOR
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Wednesday, April 12, 2017) – Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Rockshaw bids for his third victory at the meet in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters Thursday at Oaklawn.
From the first crop of Maclean’s Music, Rockshaw has been installed the 6-5 program favorite against seven scheduled rivals, including multiple stakes-placed Recruiting Ready, the early 5-2 second choice.
Racing begins Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (Central), with probable post time for the 6-furlong Bachelor, the ninth of 10 races, 5:10 p.m.
Trained by Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, Rockshaw was a sharp first-level allowance winner Jan. 14 and rolled to a record-setting four-length victory in the $125,000 Gazebo Stakes March 4. His time of 1:09.27 for 6 furlongs in the Gazebo was a stakes record.
Four-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount on Rockshaw, who is scheduled to break from post 3 and carry top weight of 122 pounds.
Completing the projected Bachelor field from the rail out: Recruiting Ready, Horacio Karamanos to ride, 115 pounds; Conquest Wildcat, Alex Canchari, 119, 6-1; Jagged Warrior, Tommy Pompell, 115, 15-1; Silver Bullion, Ramon Vazquez, 115, 15-1; Crawford, Luis Contreras, 115, 5-1; Carson Kan, Joe Rocco Jr., 115, 20-1; and Smokin Now, Geovanni Franco, 115, 15-1.
“Need a good trip,” Moquett said. “There’s some nice horses in there. I think that we’re probably the horse that they have to focus on, but, as always, you need a good trip.”
Sagamore Farm’s Recruiting Ready will represent the first Oaklawn starter for trainer Horacio DePaz.
A supplemental nominee to the Bachelor, Recruiting Ready exits a first-level allowance/optional claiming victory sprinting March 10 at Laurel. He won his career debut by 10 ¼ lengths at 4 ½ furlongs and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at 6 furlongs July 2 at Churchill Downs.
DePaz said he decided to run Recruiting Ready in the Bachelor because the race is restricted to 3-year-olds.
“And going three-quarters, this was the only option at this time to run him right back after that allowance race,” DePaz said. “Kind of campaign him every 4-5 weeks.”
Crawford, in his last start, was beaten a half-length by unbeaten late Triple Crown nominee Rapid Dial in a March 26 entry-level allowance/optional claimer. He is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who won last year’s Bachelor with Counterforce and the 2015 edition with Holy Boss.
Conquest Wildcat was a two-length entry-level allowance winner March 17 for trainer Randy Morse.
Silver Bullion cuts back to a sprint for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas after finishing last of 11 in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18.