LA MACCHINA PULLS ESSEX HANDICAP UPSET

Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016) – Trainer Otabek Umarov said after the race that he doesn’t look at the odds board and while others dismissed former claimer La Macchina at 11-1, he was not surprised to see his stable star win Saturday’s $100,000 Essex Handicap.
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Barn Notes - Feb. 13: Collected Gets Feel for Oaklawn Surface

Lightly raced Collected got his first feel of the Oaklawn surface Saturday morning, galloping after the renovation break for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert in advance of Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3). The 5-2 program favorite for the Southwest, arrived early Friday afternoon in Hot Springs following a two-hour, 45-minute flight that originated in Southern California, said Jimmy Barnes, Baffert’s top assistant.
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COUGAR RIDGE AND CARVE LEAD ESSEX HANDICAP FIELD

Hot Springs, Ark. (Friday, Fe. 12, 2016) – Cougar Ridge will try to stretch his winning streak to five in Saturday’s $100,000 Essex Handicap for older horses Saturday at Oaklawn. Probable post time for the 1 1/16-mile Essex, the ninth of 10 races, is 5:09 p.m. (Central). First post Saturday is 1:05 p.m. Seven horses are entered in the Essex, but the projected field was reduced by one Friday morning when 9-5 program favorite Midnight Hawk didn’t board a flight originating in Southern California for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
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Barn Notes - Feb. 10: Discreetness Completes Southwest Work

Multiple stakes winner Discreetness worked an easy half-mile in :50 over a fast-rated surface Wednesday morning at Oaklawn, his final major move for Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3). He breezed after the renovation break under regular rider Jon Court, the son-in-law of the colt’s trainer, Jinks Fires of Hot Springs.
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