Oaklawn News

Oaklawn Report


Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Sonneteer, who finished second in the Rebel Stakes and fourth in the Arkansas Derby as a maiden, earned his first career victory Sunday at Del Mar in a 1 1/16-mile turf race; Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas unleashed promising juvenile Saturday at Saratoga in Sporting Chance; Oaklawn winner Wilbo lived up to his favorite’s role with a half-length victory in the $50,000 Don Bernhardt Saturday at Ellis Park.


Rebel Stakes Runner-Up Sonneteer A Maiden No More


Calumet Farm’s Sonneteer, in his turf debut, broke his maiden in his 13th lifetime start Sunday at Del Mar. Sonneteer ran in Oaklawn’s two biggest races for 3-year-olds this year, finishing second in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 and fourth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15.


After finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby, the Midnight Lute colt returned to maiden special weights company and ran fourth May 27 at Santa Anita. Sonneteer ($6.20) won Sunday’s 1 1/16-mile maiden special weights event by a nose as the 2-1 favorite.


Sonneteer, who has earned $323,685, is trained by Keith Desormeaux and regularly ridden by his brother, Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux.


Grandpa’s Dream, 11th in this year’s Arkansas Derby for 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman, is entered in a first-level allowance race Saturday at Ellis Park. Also entered is Gettysburg, fifth in the 2016 Arkansas Derby.


Wayne’s World


Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, an Oaklawn regular, struck with a 2-year-old winner Saturday at Saratoga in Sporting Chance, an expensive son of 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow.


Owned by the trainer’s long-time clients, Robert Baker and William Mack, Sporting Chance was a front-running 2 ¼-length winner of the maiden special weights sprint, his second career start. Sporting Chance, who was ridden by Luis Saez, covered 5 ½ furlongs over a fast track in 1:04.72 and paid $8.80.


The colt was purchased for $575,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Wynning Ride, the dam of Sporting Chance, finished second in the $438,500 Hollywood Starlet Stakes (G1) as a 2-year-old in 2008 at Hollywood Park.


Baker and Mack have campaigned, among others, the Lukas-trained Dublin, third in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) in 2010 at Oaklawn, and Super Saks, another Lukas trainee who won Oaklawn’s $150,000 Carousel Stakes in 2016.


After breaking his maiden in his second career start as a 2-year-old at the 2009 Saratoga meeting, Dublin won the track’s $300,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) in his next start.


Lukas opened Monday’s Saratoga program with maybe the biggest upset of his legendary career when Perplexed ($232.50) broke his maiden for a $20,000 claiming tag. Perplexed was winless in four starts this year at Oaklawn for Lukas, who recorded his 300th career victory in Hot Springs March 31.


Wilbo Wins


Wilbo recorded his first career stakes victory in the $50,000 Don Bernhardt Saturday at Ellis Park for Chris Hartman, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2015.


Wilbo was an allowance/optional claiming winner at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting and was third in a pair of allowance/optional claimers this year in Hot Springs. He was coming off a second in the $100,000 Aristides Stakes (G3) June 3 at Churchill Downs.


Ridden Saturday by Corey Lanerie, Wilbo finished a half-length ahead of Manhattan Mischief, completing 6 ½ furlongs over a fast track in 1:15.96. Wilbo paid $4.40 as the 6-5 favorite.


Manhattan Mischief won a waiver claimer Feb. 18 at Oaklawn.


Wilbo, a 5-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride, has career earnings of $332,396 off a 7-3-5 record from 20 starts.


Finish Lines


Ricardo Santana Jr., Oaklawn’s leading rider the last five years, had a natural riding triple (races 7-8-9) Sunday at Saratoga. Santana also had a double on Friday’s opening-day program at Saratoga. … Elate, third in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies March 11 at Oaklawn, finished second, beaten a head, in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) Sunday at Saratoga. … Lovely Bernadette, last of 11 in the Honeybee, finished third in the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes Thursday at Indiana Grand. The Honeybee, which was the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14, has emerged as maybe the key race of the 2017 Oaklawn meeting. … Multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome ($1,020,762) surpassed $1 million in career earnings by winning the $50,000 Assault Stakes Saturday at Lone Star. Texas Chrome, in his 4-year-old debut, ran sixth in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 at Oaklawn. Texas Chrome also ran third in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Bachelor Stakes in his 3-year-old debut. He has won 9 of 20 starts overall. … Gracida, a 2-year-old full brother to March 30 Oaklawn allowance/optional claiming winner Big World, was a debut winner Saturday at Del Mar. Following her Oaklawn victory, Big World won the $300,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) May 5 at Churchill Downs in her next start. Big World will reportedly be offered at Fasig-Tipton’s November breeding stock sale. Gracida, purchased for $400,000 earlier this year, and Big World are by Custom for Carlos, who won the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) in 2010 at Oaklawn. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot (ankle) returned to the work tab Sunday at Lone Star, posting a 3-furlong bullet (:33.80) for trainer Tom Howard of Hot Springs. ... Multiple graded stakes winner Finley’sluckycharm, among the country’s top female sprinters, is scheduled to break from post 5 in the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) Wednesday at Saratoga. Finley’sluckycharm (7-2 on the morning line) has won 8 of 10 career starts, including a 2016 allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn in her 3-year-old debut. Oaklawn stakes winners Street Story and Haveyougoneaway captured the last two runnings of the 6-furlong Honorable Miss, which goes as race 9. Probable post time is 4:40 p.m. (Central). … Oaklawn-raced and defending champion Hard Aces is the 2-1 program favorite for the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap (G3) at 1 ½ miles Wednesday at Del Mar. Probable post time for the Cougar II, which goes as race 7, is 7:10 p.m. (Central).