Oaklawn News

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Petrov Moving on to Arkansas Derby


Triple Crown nominee Petrov is pointing for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15 at Oaklawn, co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Thursday morning.


There’s an “outside shot” Petrov could run in the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (G2) April 8 at Keeneland, but Moquett said he would rather remain at home. Petrov has started three times at the meeting, finishing second in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 and $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 and fourth in Saturday’s $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2). He was beaten two noses for second in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel.


New York-based Jose Ortiz has ridden Petrov in all three starts this year, but Moquett said he’s undecided about a jockey for the Arkansas Derby.


Other locally based horses pointing for the Arkansas Derby include Untrapped and Silver Dust, third and fifth, respectively, in the Rebel.


Todd Pletcher said “Plan A” for Malagacy, a two-length winner of the Rebel, was to return for the Arkansas Derby. The south Florida-based Malagacy, who is unbeaten in three career starts, earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure for his Rebel victory.


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. The trainer also won this year’s Southwest with unbeaten One Liner.


Chanel No. 3?


Allen Poindexter’s Chanel’s Legacy will bid for her third stakes victory of the meeting in Saturday’s $150,000 Purple Martin for 3-year-old fillies at 6 furlongs.


Chanel’s Legacy, who was a surprise entrant, will be cutting back to a sprint after finishing sixth in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 11. The 1 1/16-mile Honeybee is the final major local prep for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14.


“I told Allen, I said, ‘We’re either going to be the dumbest people in the world or the smartest people in the world,’ ” trainer Lynn Chleborad said Thursday morning. “You know what I mean? No matter what, people have an opinion of you.”


Chanel’s Legacy entered the Honeybee as Oaklawn’s top 3-year-old filly after winning the $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes Jan. 21 and $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 11. The Dixie Belle was 6 furlongs, the Martha Washington a mile.


Chanel’s Legacy also won the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs last fall at Remington Park.


Chleboard called the decision to enter the Purple Martin (formerly the Instant Racing Stakes) a “team effort” between owner, trainer and jockey Alex Birzer, the filly’s regular rider this year.


“She tried to kick somebody the other day,” Chleboard said. “So, you know, she’s feeling happy.”


Chanel’s Legacy is scheduled to break from post 5 under Birzer and carry top weight of 122 pounds.


Also entered in the Purple Martin from the rail out: Vertical Oak, Our Majesty, Golden Mischief, Country Candy, Whistle Stop and Hotshot Anna.


Golden Mischief is the 2-1 program favorite. Our Majesty and Chanel's Legacy are 5-2 and 7-2, respectively.


Probable post time for the Purple Martin is 5:09 p.m. (Central). It goes as the ninth of 10 races. Racing begins at 1:05 p.m.


Million Dollar Man


Joe Rocco Jr. ($1,013,855) became the fourth jockey at the meeting to surpass $1 million in purse earnings when Sameeha broke her maiden in Saturday’s fifth race.


Rocco reached seven figures on the 40th day of the scheduled 57-day meeting. Other riders to reach $1 million in purse earnings at the meet are Ricardo Santana Jr. ($1,514,405), Ramon Vazquez ($1,422,588) and Geovanni Franco ($1,225,171).


Santana set a single-season Oaklawn record for purse earnings last year ($4,064,073). He is Oaklawn’s four-time defending riding champion, but he begins the week third in the standings behind Vazquez (34 victories) and Franco (33). Santana has 32 victories.


Finish Lines


Uncontested, record-setting winner of the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds Jan. 16, is in Kentucky for a brief freshening and scheduled to join trainer Wayne Catalano’s barn at Keeneland Sunday, co-owner Harry Rosenblum said Thursday morning. Uncontested faded to eighth in Saturday’s $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) after leading until the top of the stretch. Rosenblum said Uncontested is a candidate for the $250,000 Pat Day Mile (G3) May 6 at Churchill Downs. Rosenblum and Catalano said Uncontested will target shorter races after tiring in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Far Right worked 5 furlongs over a fast track in 1:02.20 Thursday morning for Catalano. Far Right, then with trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) in 2015 for Rosenblum and Robert LaPenta. Unraced since Aug. 5, Far Right could resurface in an allowance race before the meeting ends April 15, Rosenblum said. … Brienza, an unraced 3-year-old Bernardini filly, recorded a half-mile bullet (:47.60) Thursday morning for trainer Dan Peitz. Brienza is out of the Peitz-trained Arienza, runner-up in Oaklawn’s $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) in 2011. Brienza’s 2-year-old half-sister (by Tapit) was a $1.1 million OBS purchase earlier this month. Arienza is out of three-time Oaklawn Apple Blossom Handicap winner Azeri, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2010. … Warrior’s Club represented Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ 299th career Oaklawn victory in Saturday’s second race, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.  … Through 41 days of racing, 328 claims have totaled $4,396,250.