The most accomplished horse, at least in races at Oaklawn, scheduled to run in Monday’s $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) is Far Right, co-owned by Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock, Ark., and trained by Wayne Catalano.
Far Right was the top locally based 3-year-old at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, winning the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) before running second to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the $1 Arkansas Derby (G1). Far Right has bankrolled $542,100 of his $757,456 in career earnings at Oaklawn.
The Notional ridgling will be trying to snap a nine-race losing streak Monday, but he does exit an encouraging third-place finish in the $125,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 12, Oaklawn’s first of four major two-turn races for older horses.
Far Right’s last victory came in a February 2016 allowance race at Oaklawn.
“He likes this racetrack,” Catalano said Thursday morning. “We know it’s going to be a tough race. Mr. Harry says he likes the track, so we’re taking a chance.”
Southern California-based Hoppertunity, a scheduled starter, was assigned top weight of 122 pounds for the Razorback. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Hoppertunity is a former stablemate of American Pharoah and a career winner of $4,347,025.
Also scheduled to run are Fifth Season fourth Untrapped (117), Fifth Season winner Sonneteer (116), 2017 Razorback runner-up Hawaakom (114) and Leofric (113), unbeaten in four starts at Oaklawn. Far Right was assigned 114 pounds.
Post positions for the Razorback and Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds will be drawn Friday.
The 1 1/16-mile Southwest is expected to have a large field, including Grade 1 winner Sporting Chance and the Baffert-trained Mourinho, wire-to-wire winner of the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 15 at Oaklawn.
Three Oaklawn stakes winners headline seven older fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles.
The Bayakoa goes as the ninth race on a 10-race card, with probable post time 5:09 p.m. (Central). Doors open Saturday at 11 a.m., with first post 1:05 p.m.
The Bayakoa brings back Farrell, Streamline and Terra Promessa, first, third and fifth respectively, from the $125,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 13.
The projected Bayakoa field from the rail out: Polar River, Luis Contreras to ride, 115 pounds, 12-1 on the morning line; Sully’s Dream, Fernando De La Cruz, 117, 15-1; Farrell, Channing Hill, 122, 9-5; Streamline, Gary Stevens, 119, 4-1; Torrent, David Cohen, 119, 9-2; Terra Promessa, Ricardo Santana Jr., 119, 2-1; and Defy, David Cabrera 115, 15-1.
In addition to Farrell, Terra Promessa won Oaklawn’s Pippin and Bayakoa last year and $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) and $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) in 2016. Streamline won Oaklawn’s $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) last year.
Dawn at Oaklawn
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is the special guest for Saturday’s Dawn at Oaklawn, a weekly question and answer session hosted by Oaklawn paddock analyst Nancy Holthus.
Holthus is scheduled to interview Stevens, who is riding regularly at Oaklawn for the first time this year, at 8:30 a.m. (Central) on the south grandstand apron.
The weekly free program runs 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. and features barn tours and complimentary pastries and coffee. It will take place rain or shine.
$15 Million Man
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. surpassed $15 million in career purse earnings at Oaklawn with his victory aboard Fascilitator ($5.60) in Sunday’s seventh race for Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Santana ($15,027,019) began riding at Oaklawn in 2011 and has won five consecutive riding titles in Hot Springs.
According to Equibase, racing’s official data organization, Santana has 357 victories from 1,907 mounts at Oaklawn. He set a single-season Oaklawn record for purse earnings ($4,064,073) in 2016, a meet capped by his biggest victory to date aboard Creator in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).
Fascilitator, a son of 2011 Oaklawn Rebel winner The Factor, was Santana’s 952nd North American victory, according to Equibase. A native of Panama, Santana, 25, began riding in the United States in 2009.
The track was rated sloppy for workouts Thursday morning. … Lone Star Park announcer Jim Byers will call races Thursday, filling in for Vic Stauffer (illness) on a “day-to-day basis.” Byers called the final race Feb. 8 and complete cards Friday, Saturday and Sunday while Stauffer, in his second season as Oaklawn’s announcer, competed in the 19th NTRA National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. … Multiple stakes winner Lovely Bernadette worked a half-mile in :50.60 after the renovation break Thursday morning for trainer Jimmy DiVito. … Sparkling Jan. 15 maiden special weights graduate Georgia’s Reward was scratched from an entry-level allowance sprint last Thursday because of a minor illness, trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said. Moquett said the major spring objective for Georgia’s Reward is the $100,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies March 31. … Nominations to the $125,000 Gazebo Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters and $100,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes for Arkansas-bred female sprinters Feb. 24 close Friday.