Oaklawn News

A lightly raced daughter of Tiznow, Red Ruby was a 2 ½-length winner of the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 10 at Oaklawn in her last start. The 1-mile Martha Washington marked the 3-year-old and stakes debut for Red Ruby, who races for her breeders, Brandi Nicholson and Sandra Sexton.

“She came out of her race real good,” Gorder said Monday morning. “She came back to the track after a couple of days of walking and was full of energy. Probably going to get just two official breezes before her next one.”

Red Ruby has won 2 of 3 career starts, including a maiden special weights event Nov. 25 on Churchill Downs’ “Stars of Tomorrow II” card. All three of Red Ruby’s starts have been routes.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Gorder said.

Also pointing for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee is Stronger Than Ever, trainer Kenny McPeek said. Stronger Than Ever, at odds of 33-1, won the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 13 at Fair Grounds in her last start.

Nominations to the Honeybee close March 2. The Honeybee was the key race of the 2017 Oaklawn meeting, with 10 of its 11 starters returning to win, including Elate and It Tiz Well in Grade 1 events.
The Iron Lady

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Streamline is scheduled to make her next start in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares March 17, trainer Brian Williamson said Sunday morning.

Streamline has raced in Oaklawn’s last 10 two-stakes races for older fillies and mares, never finishing worse than third.

Streamline won the $100,000 Pippin Stakes in 2016, the 2017 Azeri and last Saturday’s $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) over a sloppy surface under Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.

The 1 1/16-mile Azeri is the final major local prep for the $700,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 13.

“That’s the plan,” Williamson said. “We’re here to run.”

Trainer Wayne Catalano said next-race plans are pending for multiple stakes winner Farrell, beaten 49 ¾ lengths in the Bayakoa as the 7-5 favorite. Farrell, who was coming off a front-running victory in the Pippin, was eased by jockey Channing Hill, the trainer’s son-in-law.

Farrell’s performance mirrored last year’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), when she was eased (beaten 48 ¾ lengths) over a sloppy, sealed surface.

Catalano said Farrell, who couldn’t make the lead in the Bayakoa, returned with a “couple of scratches here and there,” but was otherwise fine physically.

“I guess officially she doesn’t want the mud, huh?,” Catalano said Sunday morning. “Once she’s like that, Channing takes good care of her. The track wasn’t her cup of tea.”

Catalano said the goal is a Grade 1 victory for Farrell, “somewhere, somehow,” and she remains under consideration for the Apple Blossom.

Tiger Moth is pointing for the Azeri, trainer Brad Cox said following her victory in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) Jan. 28 at Sam Houston Race Park.

Tiger Moth was an allowance/optional claiming winner at the 2017 Oaklawn meeting before running third in the Azeri and fourth in the Apple Blossom.
Million Dollar Man

Five-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. ($1,170,255) became the first jockey at the meet to surpass $1 million in purse earnings Monday.

Santana reached seven figures on the 23rd day of racing. Santana won Monday’s 10th race – a deep first-level allowance/optional claimer aboard New York Central – to pull into a tie with newcomer David Cabrera for leading rider. Santana and Cabrera each have 22 victories. New York Central, a Tapit colt trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, represented Santana’s 365th career Oaklawn victory.

Cabrera is scheduled to resume riding Saturday after withdrawing an appeal of a three-day riding suspension that was scheduled to run Jan. 21, Jan. 25 and Jan. 26. Cabrera served his days Sunday, Monday and Thursday.

Stewards cited Cabrera for allowing his mount, Komrad, “to drop down from the outside without being clear of inside horses” in the ninth race Jan. 13, according to a ruling issued Jan. 17.

Cabrera ($799,444) ranks second at the meet in purse earnings.
Saturday’s Stakes

Devastating maiden winner Mitole is among six horses entered in the $125,000 Gazebo Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters Saturday.

Mitole, who broke his maiden by 10 lengths Feb. 3, is scheduled to break from post 3 under Ricardo Santana Jr. and carry 115 pounds.

Also entered in the 6-furlong Gazebo are Drc All Inclusive, Direct Dial, Bourne in Nixa, Inge and Wild Caramelo.

Probable post time for the Gazebo, which goes as the eighth of nine races, is 4:38 p.m. (Central).

Saturday’s seventh race is the $100,000 Downthedustyroad Stakes for Arkansas-bred female sprinters. Easter Indy, bidding for her third consecutive Downthedustyroad victory, and Ministry, are among 10 entrants.

Also entered in the 6-furlong Downthedustyroad are Aunt Gayle, Fastanista, Avisionofchocolate, Fetch’s Mon, Miss Shelby, Jeri Bella, Ms Fifty First St. and I Be Jeannie B.

Probable post time for the Downthedustyroad is 4:09 p.m.

Doors open Saturday at 11 a.m., with first post 1:05 p.m.
Finish Lines

The track was rated good for workouts Thursday morning. … Banshee Birdie, a 3-year-old half-sister to Cosmic Evolution, is scheduled to make her career debut in Thursday’s seventh race. Cosmic Evolution ran three times at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting, winning an allowance race before running third in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) and fourth in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies. … Johnny Whip is scheduled to go for his fourth victory at the meet in Thursday’s sixth race. … Leading trainer Brad Cox won three races Monday, taking the first with favored Lil Vie ($5.60), the fourth with first-time starter Proximus ($7.20) and the fifth with favored Dazzling Gem ($3). Cox has 16 victories at the meeting and 148 in his Oaklawn career, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. … Edgar Morales, Oaklawn’s leading apprentice jockey this year, recorded his first career riding double Friday. Morales won the seventh race aboard Nobadeer ($6.80) for trainer Johnny Ortiz and the ninth race aboard Bowman West ($75.20) for trainer Tom Van Berg. The double came after Morales was unseated shortly after the start of the fifth race Feb. 15, when his mount, Florida Bird, “broke outward” and “stumbled in tight quarters,” according to footnotes from the official race chart. Morales, 19, was placed on a backboard and transported by ambulance to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs for further examination. The jockey’s agent, Julio Espinoza, said Morales only suffered bruising above his right hip. Morales, a native of Puerto Rico, has five victories at the meet. Morales recorded his first North American victory Oct. 15 at Keeneland for the late Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg and had eight winners overall in 2017, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. … Joshua Lovell of Jacksonville, Ark., was the $10,000 grand prize winner in Sunday’s annual progressive cash giveaway promotion. … Nominations to the $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes for older filly and mare sprinters and the $100,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes for Arkansas-bred sprinters close Friday. Both races will be run March 3.