Oaklawn News

Oaklawn had 86 horses on the grounds Monday afternoon, the first day the track was open for training in advance of the 2018 live season that is scheduled to begin Jan. 12.

Trainers with horses on the grounds Monday were Doug Anderson, J.R. Caldwell, Al Cates, Greg Compton, Tammy Hornsby, Bill Martin, Joe McKellar, Ron Moquett, Randy Morse and Tom Swearingen.

The track was open for training from 7 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (Central). Oaklawn’s stable area, which can accommodate approximately 1,560 horses, opened Nov. 13. 

Trap Shot?

Untrapped is the 8-5 program favorite for the $200,000 Zia Park Derby Wednesday at Zia Park in New Mexico. Owned by Mike Langford of Jonesboro, Ark., and trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Untrapped started twice this year at Oaklawn, finishing third in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 and sixth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15.

Untrapped is coming off a 1 ¾-length victory over Battle of Midway in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sept. 24 at Remington Park. Battle of Midway returned to win the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 3 at Del Mar.

Untrapped is scheduled to break from the rail Wednesday under Ricardo Santana Jr., Oaklawn’s leading rider the last five years, and carry equal top weight of 122 pounds. Asmussen has collected eight Oaklawn training titles since 2008.

Also entered in the 1 1/16-mile Zia Park Derby are Oaklawn-raced Horse Fly (20-1 on the morning line), Equator (15-1), P C Cowboy (12-1) and Chief Know It All (9-2).

Chief Know It All, in his 3-year-old debut, won a Jan. 27 allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn before finishing 10th in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20. The Southwest is one of three major local preps for the Arkansas Derby.

After being claimed for $100,000 June 30 at Churchill Downs, Chief Know It All has won his last two starts in Canada – $150,000 Canadian Derby (G3) Aug. 19 at Northlands Park and the $150,000 British Columbia Derby (G3) Sept. 9 at Hastings.

Chief Know It All was claimed by Robertino Diodoro, Oaklawn’s second-leading trainer this year.

Probable post time for the Zia Park Derby, which goes as race 9, is 4:46 p.m. (Central).

Santana and Asmussen are also scheduled to team up with two Oaklawn stakes winners Wednesday at Zia Park. Ever So Clever is entered in the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. Counterforce is entered in the $75,000 Zia Park Sprint at 6 furlongs.

Ever So Clever won the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14 at Oaklawn. Counterforce won the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes in 2016 at Oaklawn.

Probable post time for the Zia Park Sprint, which goes as race 5, is 2:59 p.m. (Central). Probable post time for the Zia Park Oaks, which goes as race 10, is 5:12 p.m. (Central).

Also entered in the Zia Park Oaks is Kell Paso, who finished 11th in the Fantasy. 

Finish Lines

Oaklawn allowance winner Game Time Decision is the 5-2 second choice in the program for the $75,000 Zia Park Distaff Stakes at 6 furlongs Wednesday at Zia Park. Probable post time for the Zia Park Distaff, which goes as race 6, is 3:26 p.m. (Central). … Oaklawn-raced Code West and Way Striking are entered in the $150,000 Zia Park Championship Handicap Wednesday at Zia Park. Probable post time for the 1 1/8-mile event, which goes as race 7, is 3:54 p.m. (Central). … Warrior’s Club and Storm Advisory, both winners at the 2017 Oaklawn meeting, finished second and third, respectively, in the $80,000 Bet On Sunshine Stakes for sprinters Saturday at Churchill Downs. ... Ramon Vazquez, Oaklawn’s second-leading rider the last three years, rode five winners last Wednesday at Remington Park, where he tops the standings.