Oaklawn News

Sunday, February 05, 2017


Smarty Jones Top Two Work Towards Next Goal


Uncontested and Petrov, the one-two finishers of the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16, worked over a fast track Sunday morning at Oaklawn in preparation for their scheduled starts in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds Feb. 20.


Uncontested breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 after the renovation break under regular rider Channing Hill. The colt, a record-setting 5 ¼-length wire-to-wire winner of the Smarty Jones, covered his final quarter-mile in :23.80 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:14.40.


Hill, the son-in-law of the colt’s trainer, Wayne Catalano, said the swift son of Tiz Wonderful went “super smooth.”


“Just kind of what Wayne wanted was a real nice maintenance move,” Hill said. “Nothing too crazy, and that’s what he did. Just super calm and does everything you ask him to do. Went out there and had a little fun – stretch his legs out.”


Catalano said he was also pleased with the work, Uncontested’s second since the Smarty Jones.


“He did everything right,” Catalano said.


Catalano said Uncontested will have one more easy work before the Southwest.


Smarty Jones runner-up Petrov, a gray son of Flatter, breezed in company with a stablemate minutes after the track opened. Clockers caught his final quarter-mile in :22.60 and galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 under Greta Kuntzweiler.


“I thought it was a very smooth, nice work,” said Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, who trains and co-owns Petrov. “Really loved his gallop out, and it moves us closer to the Southwest.”


The Smarty Jones marked the two-turn debut for Petrov. Moquett said he plans to breeze Petrov once more in advance of the 1 1/16-mile Southwest, Oaklawn’s second of four Kentucky Derby preps.


Based on the way Petrov is coming up to the Southwest, Moquett said it will be an easy move.


“Actually the way he’s doing everything, probably kind of more of the same,” Moquett said. “This gallop out was really impressive for me. The way that he does it is so easy, I don’t need to set land-speed records in the morning to know where he’s at. He’s doing great.”


Moquett said New York-based Jose Ortiz, the country’s winningest jockey in 2016, will ride Petrov in the Southwest. The jockey rode the first four days of the Oaklawn meeting, winning four races for Moquett and running second on Petrov in the Smarty Jones.


Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby prep series continues with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15.


A Rowdy Work


Rowdy the Warrior, under Luis Quinonez, worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 before the renovation break Sunday morning for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel.


Clockers caught Rowdy the Warrior galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:13.40.


“I thought he went well,” Von Hemel said.


Rowdy the Warrior finished third in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 in his 3-year-old debut.


Von Hemel said the son of Warrior’s Reward remains under consideration for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 and an entry-level allowance race.


Warrior’s Club, fourth in the Smarty Jones, is scheduled to make his next start in the Southwest, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.


Finish Lines


Torrent worked a half-mile in :47.20 before the renovation break Sunday morning for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs in preparation for Saturday’s $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile. … Moquett ($509,467) became the first trainer at the meet to surpass $500,000 in purse earnings Saturday. Moquett has 10 victories this year – one behind co-leaders Federico Villafranco and Robertino Diodoro – and 188 in his Oaklawn career, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. … Storm Advisory ($26) represented the fourth career Oaklawn stakes victory for Diodoro in Saturday’s $125,000 King Cotton for older sprinters. Diodoro’s other three were with Subtle Indian, including last year’s $100,000 Hot Springs and $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) for older sprinters. The $125,000 Hot Springs March 11 is “definitely a goal” for Storm Advisory, Diodoro said Sunday morning. … The King Cotton was the first career Oaklawn stakes victory for Geovanni Franco, Oaklawn’s second-leading rider this year with 14 victories. Storm Advisory capped a riding triple for Franco. … Leading rider Ramon Vazquez (20 victories) had a triple Saturday – favored Domain’s Rap ($4) in the fifth race for trainer Villafranco, Rhythm Park ($9) in the sixth race for trainer Chris Richard and Triple Crown nominee Horse Fly ($7.60) in the ninth race for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Vazquez ($777,971) also leads all riders in purse earnings at the meet. Domain’s Rap, a 9-year-old gelding, was coming off a victory in the $125,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 13. … Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said Sunday morning that “all options are on the table” regarding the next start for Suddenbreakingnews, fourth in his 4-year-old debut, a Jan. 27 allowance/optional claimer. Oaklawn’s next major two-turn race for older horses is the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) Feb. 20. … Hot Item ($50,000) became the highest-priced claim at the meeting in Saturday’s first race. The 4-year-old Tapit colt, was claimed by trainer J.R. Caldwell on behalf of owner Danny Keene.