Thursday, October 26, 2017
Large Oaklawn Contingent Expected For Breeders’ Cup
Fourteen Oaklawn-raced horses, including seven stakes winners in Hot Springs, were among 187 pre-entered for the 34th annual Breeders’ Cup Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar.
The Oaklawn contingent includes possible Classic favorite Gun Runner, No. 1 in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top Thoroughbred Poll for horses of all ages. He began his 2017 campaign with a 5 ¾-length victory in the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) Feb. 20 at Oaklawn.
Pre-entered in the Distaff were the last two winners of Oaklawn’s $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares – Forever Unbridled (2016) and Stellar Wind (2017) – and It Tiz Well, champion of the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies March 11 at Oaklawn.
Pre-entered in the Dirt Mile was Mor Spirit, powerful winner of the $250,000 Essex Handicap March 18 at Oaklawn.
Cupid, winner of Oaklawn’s $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds in 2016, was pre-entered in the Dirt Mile (first preference) and Classic.
Oaklawn’s top sprinter this year, Whitmore, was entered in the Sprint. Whitmore won the $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 11 and $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 15.
Other Oaklawn-raced horses pre-entered were Midnight Storm (Dirt Mile/Mile), Win the Space (Dirt Mile/Classic), Elate (Distaff), Guns Loaded (Turf Sprint), Hogy (Turf Sprint), Finley’sluckycharm (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Collected (Classic).
Midnight Storm’s first preference is the Dirt Mile. Win the Space’s first preference is the Classic.
Pre-entries were announced Wednesday. Post positions will be drawn Monday.
All in the Family
Wednesday’s second race at Keeneland was won by Cosmic Burst, a 2-year-old Violence filly who broke her maiden at 1 1/16 miles for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel.
Cosmic Burst ($5.20) is owned by Norma Lee Stockseth and Todd Dunn, who have had a long relationship with the Von Hemel family.
Wednesday night at Remington Park, First Alternate, a 2-year-old filly from the first crop of Alternation, broke her maiden at a mile on the turf for Dunn and Don Von Hemel of Hot Springs.
Von Hemel and Dunn bred and own First Alternate, with the former training the daughter of Alternation, a six-time stakes winner and career earner of $1,064,727.
Donnie K. Von Hemel trained Alternation, who won Oaklawn’s $400,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2), $125,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) and $100,000 Essex Handicap in 2012.
First Alternate paid $7.80.
A triple Wednesday vaulted five-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. into the lead for top jockey at Keeneland with three days remaining in the meeting. Santana won the first race aboard favored Eternal Force ($2.80) for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, fourth race aboard favored Chiltern Street ($6.40) for trainer Wesley Ward and the seventh race aboard Reride ($23.40) for Asmussen, an eight-time Oaklawn training champion. Santana, who is seeking his first Keeneland riding title, has 15 victories, two more than Julien Leparoux, Robby Albarado and Florent Geroux. … Oaklawn-raced Eskenformoney is entered in $200,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) Saturday at Belmont Park. Probable post time for the 1 1/16-mile race, which goes as race 8, is 3:16 p.m. (Central). … Hoppertunity, winner of the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds in 2014 at Oaklawn, is entered in the $70,000 Comma to the Top Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita. A career winner of $4,266,425, Hoppertunity hasn’t started since finishing sixth in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) March 25. Probable post time for the 1-mile Comma to the Top, which goes as race 5, is 4:30 p.m. (Central). … Cistron, winner of the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes for 3-year-olds April 15 at Oaklawn, is entered in the $200,000 Twilight Derby (G2) Saturday at Santa Anita. Probable post time for the 1 1/8-mile grass race, which goes as race 9, is 6:30 p.m. (Central).