Oaklawn News

One Liner Arrives for Southwest Stakes




One Liner arrived early Thursday afternoon at Oaklawn for trainer Todd Pletcher, who is scheduled to start the unbeaten Into Mischief colt in Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds. The colt, who is 2 for 2, has been based this winter in south Florida, winning a first-level allowance/optional claiming sprint Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park in his 3-year-old debut.


One Liner was a July 23 career debut winner at Saratoga. The runner-up in that race, Royal Copy, returned to finish second in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) Sept. 5 at Saratoga for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The eighth-place finisher in the July 23 race, Johnny Obvious, won for a $40,000 claiming price Feb. 4 at Oaklawn for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs.


Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is scheduled to ride One Liner in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest, which will be his first start around two turns. He has been favored in both career starts under Velazquez.


Pletcher, a seven-time Eclipse Award winner as the country’s outstanding trainer, is seeking his 15th career Oaklawn stakes victory.


The Southwest is the second major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15. Pletcher has won the Arkansas Derby a record four times – Graeme Hall in 2000, Balto Star in 2001, Overanalyze in 2013 and Danza in 2014.


Monday’s Southwest and $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses highlight a special holiday program. Racing begins at 1:05 p.m. (Central).


Oaklawn’s annual $55,000 progressive cash giveaway promotion is also Monday.


Rebel Yell?


Trainer Scott Young noted Thursday morning that of his original 12 horses, half had already been claimed through the first 20 days of racing.


But, Young still has his best horse, lightly raced Jerrid, who is entered in

Saturday’s fourth race, a first-level allowance/optional claimer for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. In his second career start, Jerrid, a son of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, finished second to Chief Know It All at a mile Jan. 27.


Chief Know It All is scheduled to run in Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), while Young decided to pass the 1 1/16-mile race and come back in the same condition.


The hope, Young said, is Saturday’s race will be Jerrid’s steppingstone to his stakes debut in the $900,000 Rebel (G2) March 18.


“If all goes well, and he wins convincingly and shows that he deserves to be in there, we’ll take a shot in the Rebel,” Young said.


Jerrid, who was beaten two lengths by Chief Know It All after pressing the pace, is scheduled to break from the rail Saturday under regular rider Belen Quinonez.


“Hopefully, one or two heads him, but I didn’t see a whole lot of speed,” Young said. “He’ll be forwardly placed, I guess. Doing great. Pretty excited.”


Jerrid worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.60 Feb. 11 in preparation for Saturday’s race.


Seven other horses are entered, including Triple Crown nominees Silver Bullion – a Feb. 9 maiden winner for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas – and Unbridled Eagle, sixth in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.


Owner Jon Sather elected not to make Jerrid Triple Crown eligible during the early nominating period that closed Jan. 14. The nomination fee increases from $600 to $6,000 during the late period that closes March 20.


“Just waiting to see,” Young said. “The man said he’s about given up. He’s bred a bunch of horses to some of the best and he hadn’t got one yet. This would be his first one. We’ll probably hit the next nomination and pay the $6,000.”


Unbridled Eagle will be adding blinkers for the race, which has a probable post time of 2:38 p.m. (Central).


Perfect Wife Fine


Following an eventful 2017 debut, Perfect Wife will be pointed for the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies March 11, trainer Kenny McPeek said Friday morning.


Perfect Wife, as the favorite, finished last of eight in Saturday’s $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes at a mile. She broke through the gate prior to the start, was backed out, reloaded and beaten 14 ½ lengths by Chanel’s Legacy after leading the first half-mile.


McPeek said Perfect Wife “busted her nostril really bad,” had a lot of “bruising” and a “laceration inside her upper gum.”


McPeek said the injuries “healed” real quick.”


“She’s galloped a couple of mornings and everything’s gone fine,” McPeek said. “Very unlucky that day she busted through the gate, but she’s fine. She’s set for the Honeybee.”


Perfect Wife was making her first start since a front-running five-length victory in the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes Dec. 11 at Remington Park.


“We’re going to have to do a lot of gate work with her, so that doesn’t happen again,” McPeek said. “I don’t know where it came from. She had never done anything wrong until that day.”


Also pointing for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee are Chanel’s Legacy, Martha Washington runner-up My Sweet Stella and Torrent, third in the Martha Washington.


The Honeybee is the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14.


Dawn at Oaklawn


Vic Stauffer, in his first year announcing at Oaklawn, is the scheduled guest for Saturday’s Dawn At Oaklawn. Dawn At Oaklawn will offer fans a behind the scenes look at the racing industry each Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. (Central) throughout the remainder of the meeting.


The program is free to the public and complimentary coffee and pastries will be served. It also features barn tours and information seminars with racing figures.


Barn tours begin at 7:30 a.m. on a first come, first serve basis and continue at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. No reservations are necessary.


Oaklawn paddock analyst Nancy Holthus will host question and answer sessions with specials guests at 8:30 a.m. on the south apron of the grandstand.


Finish Lines


The track was rated fast for workouts Friday morning. … Snickerboxer ($15.80) became the meet’s first three-time winner in Thursday’s eighth race, a $50,000 waiver claimer for older horses at a mile. Breaking from post 10 under Kevin Roman, Snickerboxer finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of W B and Me. Snickerboxer has earned $57,000 in going 3 for 3 at the meet for trainer Federico Villafranco and leading owner Danny Caldwell. Snickerboxer, a 6-year-old gelding, has won four consecutive starts for Villafranco and Caldwell, Oaklawn’s leading owner the last three years, since being claimed for $10,000 Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs. … Geris Hand ($228) broke her maiden in Thursday’s ninth race, a $12,500 maiden-claiming sprint for Arkansas-bred fillies and mares, for trainer Donald Caudill. It was the first victory in three career Oaklawn mounts for jockey Eduardo Gallardo. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Far Right returned to the work tab Friday morning, breezing 3 furlongs in :36.80 about a half-hour after the track opened for trainer Wayne Catalano. The time equaled the fastest of 16 works recorded at the distance. Far Right won Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) in 2015 before running second to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). Far Right, unraced since finishing seventh in an Aug. 5 allowance/optional claimer at Ellis Park, was transferred from trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs to Catalano last fall.