Oaklawn News



HOT SPRINGS, AR (Friday, Jan. 20, 2017) – Vertical Oak is the 7-5 program favorite for Saturday’s $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn. Probable post time for the Dixie Belle, the eighth of nine races, is 4:38 p.m. (Central). Racing begins at 1:05 p.m.


Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Vertical Oak will be making her stakes and seasonal debut in the 6-furlong Dixie Belle. She made four starts last year, breaking her maiden in her dirt debut Aug. 21 at Saratoga. The daughter of Giant Oak cleared her first allowance condition Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs in her final start at 2.


“She’s fast,” Asmussen said.


Vertical Oak is scheduled to break from post 3 under Ramon Vazquez and carry equal top weight of 119 pounds. Asmussen, who is seeking a fourth Dixie Belle victory, trains Vertical Oak for longtime clients J. Kirk and Judy Robison.


The balance of the projected seven-horse Dixie Belle field from the rail out: No Closure, Eddie Perez to ride, 15-1; My Sweet Stella, Jon Court, 6-1; Vertical Oak, Vazquez, 7-5; Five Star Factor, Julio Felix, 7-2; Chanel’s Legacy, Alex Birzer, 9-2; I Be Jeannie B, Walter De La Cruz, 15-1; and Country Candy, Marlon St. Julien, 9-2.


Five Star Factor, the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, would be the first Oaklawn starter sired by The Factor, powerful winner of Oaklawn’s $300,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) in 2011 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.


In her only career start, Five Star Factor was a 3 ¾-length winner Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs.


Moquett also nominated stakes-placed Torrent to the Dixie Belle, but opted to keep her around two turns in a first-level

allowance/optional claimer Friday.


“Torrent’s farther along, obviously, but Five Star Factor’s a nice filly,” Moquett said. “She’ll run well.”


Five Star Factor was 14-1 in her debut, but Moquett said there were “some pretty nice horses in that race that everybody liked.”


Moquett said he would have been happy if Five Star Factor would have run third.

“But it worked out that she won the race, and then the phone started ringing,” Moquett said.


Triton Thoroughbreds purchased Five Star Factor for $50,000 in May at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic 2-year-old in Training Sale, then sold an interest in the filly to Black Ridge Stables following her debut victory.


Chanel’s Legacy (9-2) cuts back to a sprint after finishing fourth in the $400,000 Delta Princess Stakes (G3) Nov. 19 at Delta Downs and fourth in the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes Dec. 11 at Remington Park.


Country Candy (9-2) was a multiple stakes winner last year.