Two horses that competed in the final three legs of Oaklawn’s four-race Kentucky Derby points series in 2017 scored stakes victories Saturday.
Silver Dust ($9.20) won the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s (G3) at Mountaineer while millionaire Lookin At Lee ($9) captured the $200,000 Downs At Albuquerque Handicap at Albuquerque for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Both Silver Dust, then with trainer Randy Morse, and Lookin At Lee ran in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3), $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). Lookin At Lee and Silver Dust were third and fourth, respectively, in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest. Silver Dust was fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, with Lookin At Lee sixth. Lookin At Lee finished third in the Arkansas Derby – the 1 1/8-mile race was won by champion Classic Empire – and Silver Dust was seventh.
Silver Dust became the second consecutive Oaklawn-raced horse, and sixth this decade, to win the Governor’s Cup, following Tapizar (2012), Taptowne (2013), Carve (2014), Hawaakom (2016) and Leofric (2018). A seventh horse, Looks to Spare, ran at Oaklawn after winning the 2015 Governor’s Stakes.
Carve won his first two career starts at Oaklawn in 2013, its $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes for older horses in 2015 and retired with more than $1 million in career earnings. Hawaakom was a 2015 winner at Oaklawn and returned to capture the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses in 2018. A millionaire, Hawaakom ran ninth in Saturday’s race.
Leofric was a four-time winner at Oaklawn and finished second in the 2018 Razorback. Leofric, in what would be his final career start, won the $500,000 Clark Handicap (G1) last November at Churchill Downs to push his earnings to $951,040.
Trained by Bret Calhoun, Silver Dust has bankrolled $594,777 after winning 5 of 23 starts. The 5-year-old gelded son of Tapit was a half-length winner of the Governor’s Stakes, covering 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.85. Oaklawn allowance winner Snapper Sinclair finished third.
Lookin At Lee was a half-length winner of the Downs At Albuquerque Handicap for Asmussen, who has topped the Oaklawn standings 10 times since 2007. Lookin At Lee ran twice this year at Oaklawn, finishing second in a March 9 allowance – his 5-year-old debut – and eighth in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 13. Three weeks after finishing fifth in the 2018 Oaklawn Handicap, Lookin At Lee captured an allowance race at Churchill Downs to give Asmussen his 8,000th career North American victory (No. 2 all time). Lookin At Lee also finished second in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
Racing Saturday over a muddy track, Lookin At Lee ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.76. A son of multiple Eclipse Award-winner Lookin At Lucky, Lookin At Lee has a 4-6-3 record from 25 lifetime starts and earnings of $1,327,945. Lookin At Lucky won the 2010 Rebel in his 3-year-old debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Oaklawn-raced Smack Smack won the 2016 Downs At Albuquerque Handicap for trainer Don Von Hemel of Hot Springs. Smack Smack made his first start in more than two years Thursday at Prairie Meadows, finishing third in an allowance race. Smack Smack ($986,419 in career earnings) is trying to become the first millionaire for Von Hemel, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 1981.
Asmussen also won the 2018 Downs At Albuquerque Handicap with Hence, whose maiden victory at the 2017 Oaklawn meeting represented the 500th for the trainer in Hot Springs.
Life’s a Beach
Omaha Beach recorded a 5-furlong bullet workout Sunday morning at Del Mar, the third recorded breeze for the multiple Oaklawn stakes winner since missing the May 4 Kentucky Derby because of minor throat surgery.
Under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Omaha Beach’s time of :59.80 over a fast track was the best of 75 works recorded at the distance. Omaha Beach was the Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite after winning three consecutive starts this year, including Oaklawn’s second division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 16 and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13.
Omaha Beach is targeting the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes Aug. 25 at Del Mar for a comeback spot.
Oil Money, who suffered his only loss this year in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters April 27 at Oaklawn, won the $75,000 Manitoba Derby Monday at Assiniboia Downs in Canada. The 1-2 favorite, Oil Money ($3) was a front-running four-length winner under Orlando Mojica, Oaklawn’s fourth-leading jockey this year. Oil Money ran 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:54.60. Oil Money races for Charles Garvey – Oaklawn’s co-fourth-leading owner this year – and Robertino Diodoro, Oaklawn’s second-leading trainer the last three years. Oil Money, who finished eighth in the Bachelor, has won 3 for 4 starts in 2019. … Bachelor runner-up Landeskog was a 4 ¾-length entry-level allowance winner Sunday at Del Mar for trainer Doug O’Neill. Landeskog ($8) covered 5 ½ furlongs over a fast track in a sharp 1:03.37. Landeskog, a gelded son of Munnings, was a front-running 5 ¾-length winner of his March 31 career debut at Oaklawn. The Bachelor was his second career start. … Factor This ($11), whose only loss in four starts this year came in a March 1 allowance race at Oaklawn, won the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes Sunday at Ellis Park. My Boy Jack, winner of Oaklawn’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds in 2018, finished third. … Zipp On By ($8.80), runner-up in a 2018 allowance race at Oaklawn, won the $75,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman’s Cup Stakes Saturday at Mountaineer. Fort Fortitude, winner of that 2018 allowance race, finished third. … Chess Chief, sixth in the inaugural $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational for 3-year-olds May 4 at Oaklawn, finished second in the $500,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) Saturday at Mountaineer. … Oaklawn allowance winner Jazzy Times finished second in the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint Stakes Sunday at Ellis Park. … Oaklawn-raced Storm Stride finished second in the $30,000 Manitoba Oaks for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Assiniboia Downs. … Oaklawn maiden special weights winner Smart Emma finished third in the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Stakes Sunday at Ellis Park. … Pyron, who won his first two career starts this year at Oaklawn, is entered in the $100,000 Mahony Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters Tuesday at Saratoga.