Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Jockey Jon Court reaches the $100 million in career earnings milestone; 2016 Rebel Stakes winner wins the Grade 1 Gold Cup in his 2017 debut, and apprentice jockey Katie Clawson leads the Indian Downs standings after her third three-win day.
Court Reaches Earnings Milestone
Jon Court, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2000, became just the 50th jockey to reach $100 million in career North American purse earnings when Colonelsdarktemper won Monday’s 10th race at Churchill Downs, an entry-level allowance sprint for 3-year-olds.
Fittingly, Court, 56, reached the milestone on a horse trained by his father-in-law, Jinks Fires of Hot Springs. Owned by auto racing legend A.J. Foyt, Colonelsdarktemper made his first three career starts this year at Oaklawn, including a Feb. 18 debut victory and fourth-place finish in the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 15.
Court finished the 2017 Oaklawn season seventh in the standings with 27 victories, and his $1,106,227 in purse earnings at the meet pushed his North American career total to $99,858,939.
Court entered Monday with $99,997,047 in purse earnings, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. He inched closer to $100 million with a fifth aboard Disones Pretty in the sixth race for Fires and a seventh aboard Capture the Glory in the ninth race for trainer Will Gallagher.
Colonelsdarktemper ($8.80) earned $30,600 for his second victory in five lifetime starts. The son of Colonel John represented the 4,030th career victory for Court, who ranks 70th in North American history in that category, according to Equibase.
Court rode his first winner in 1980 and has 642 career victories at Oaklawn since 1981, according to Equibase. Court won Oaklawn’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) in 2010 aboard Line of David and in 2011 aboard Archarcharch, who was trained by Fires. Court won 69 races at the 2000 Oaklawn meeting.
According to Equibase, Court has 4,030 victories and $100,028,493 in purse earnings from 32,903 North American mounts. He has also captured riding titles at Birmingham Turf Club, Ellis Park and Hoosier Park and won the 2007 George Woolf Award, which is presented annually to jockeys who demonstrate high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the track.
Cupid earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 106 for his 3 ¼-length victory in the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) Saturday at Santa Anita in his 4-year-old debut.
The Gold Cup was the first G1 victory for Cupid, who also captured the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) last year at Oaklawn for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
The Rebel’s third-place finisher, Creator, would later win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn and $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) – the final leg of the Triple Crown – at Belmont Park.
Whitmore, runner-up in last year’s Rebel, has developed into one of the country’s top sprinters this year, winning all four starts, including the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 15 at Oaklawn and $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) May 20 at Pimlico.
After winning the Rebel, Cupid finished 10th in the Arkansas Derby before rebounding to win the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) at Indiana Grand and $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2) at Mountaineer.
In the Gold Cup, Cupid ran 1 ¼ miles over a fast track in 2:00.89 under Rafael Bejarano and paid $16. The gray son of Tapit was making his first start since finishing eighth in the $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) Sept. 24 at Parx. HeCupid has won 5 of 10 starts overall and earned $1,636,803.
Oaklawn-raced Hard Aces and Midnight Storm finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Gold Cup.
Odds-on favorite Finley’sluckycharm, an allowance/optional claiming winner at the 2016 Oaklawn meet, captured the $100,000 Winning Colors Stakes (G3) for female sprinters Saturday at Churchill Downs by 5 ½ front-running lengths under Brian Hernandez Jr. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Finley’sluckycharm ($2.40) ran 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.07. … Wings Locked Up, an allowance winner at the last two Oaklawn meetings, won the $65,000 Ed Skinner Stakes Saturday at Prairie Meadows. Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Apprehender finished second in the 6-furlong race. Another multiple Oaklawn stakes winner, Weast Hill, was scratched. … Way Striking, a two-time allowance/optional claiming winner this year at Oaklawn, won the $65,000 Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes Monday at Prairie Meadows for trainer Robertino Diodoro. Diodoro was Oaklawn’s second-leading trainer this year with 31 victories. Jim Rasmussen runner-up American Dubai ran third in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) last year at Oaklawn. … Texas Chrome, sixth in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 at Oaklawn, ran second in the $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) Sunday at Lone Star. Shotgun Kowboy, a two-time allowance/optional claiming winner this year at Oaklawn, ran third. … Noble Freud, a powerful Feb. 16 career debut winner at Oaklawn, ran second in the $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies Monday at Belmont Park. … Katie Clawson, Oaklawn’s leading apprentice this year, recorded her third career riding triple (all this month) Friday at Indiana Grand. Clawson has a meet-high 21 victories.