Oaklawn News

MITOLE / Coady Photography

Eight of the 13 Oaklawn-raced horses in the 36th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships Saturday at Santa Anita finished in the top four, highlighted by Mitole’s Eclipse Award-clinching victory in the $2 million Sprint (G1) for perennial Oaklawn champions Ricardo Santana Jr. and Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

Mitole, a multiple Oaklawn stakes winner, secured his male sprint title by overhauling favored Shancelot in deep stretch to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Mitole, who zipped 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09, paid $5.60 as the second choice in the eight-horse field. The Sprint represented the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Santana, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2013-2018 and second this year. Asmussen, who trains Mitole for longtime clients William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, has seven Breeders’ Cup victories. Asmussen has won 10 Oaklawn training titles – second-highest total in track history – since 2007.

Mitole, who is scheduled to stand stud in 2020 at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, has won 6 of 7 starts this year and $2,756,200. Mitole won Oaklawn’s $150,000 Bachelor Stakes last year and its $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 13. Mitole also broke his maiden last year at Oaklawn and was a March 2 allowance winner in Hot Springs, his 2019 debut.

Overall, Mitole, a 4-year-old son of Eskendereya, has a 10-2-2 record from 14 lifetime starts and earnings of $3,104,910.

Oaklawn-raced Blue Prize won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), handing multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Midnight Bisou her first loss in 2019.

Blue Prize ($19.80) finished 1 ½ lengths ahead of Midnight Bisou, the Asmussen-trained even-money favorite in the 11-horse field.

Midnight Bisou, the country’s top-ranked older female dirt runner, won Oaklawn’s $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 16 and the $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 14. Blue Prize finished seventh in the 2018 Azeri. Ridden by Joe Bravo, Blue Prize ran 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:50.50.

In other Breeders’ Cup races, Oaklawn-raced Omaha Beach and Snapper Sinclair finished second and fourth, respectively, in the $1 million Dirt Mile (G1), Whitmore was third in the Sprint and Higher Power and Elate were third and fourth, respectively, in the $6 million Classic (G1) at 1 ¼ miles.

Omaha Beach won the second division of Oaklawn’s $750,000 Rebel (G2) March 16 before returning to Hot Springs to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13. Snapper Sinclair, another Asmussen trainee, was a Feb. 17 allowance winner in Hot Springs. Whitmore is five-time Oaklawn stakes winner. Higher Power was a 2018 Oaklawn allowance winner, while Elate finished second to Midnight Bisou and in the Azeri and third behind Midnight Bisou in the Apple Blossom. Elate also finished third in Oaklawn’s $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies in 2017.

Mamma Mia?

Heavily favored Mia Mischief, in possibly her final career start, was an easy winner of the $120,000 Dream Supreme Stakes Friday at Churchill Downs for Asmussen.

Mia Mischief, winner of the $150,000 Purple Martin Stakes for 3-year-old female sprinters last year at Oaklawn, was entered in Tuesday’s Fasig-Tipton November Sale as a racing/broodmare prospect.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Mia Mischief ($3.60) finished five lengths of Meadow Dance, with multiple Oaklawn winner Pretty Greeley a half-length farther back in third. Mia Mischief covered 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.50.

Mia Mischief, a 4-year-old daughter of super sire Into Mischief, opened her 2019 campaign with a March 3 allowance victory at Oaklawn and scored her biggest career victory to date in the $500,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) May 4 at Churchill Downs. Mia Mischief, a winner of 8 of 19 career starts, has earned $1,083,834.

Ready, Set, Go

Recruiting Ready, easy winner Oaklawn’s $150,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters in 2017, pushed his career earnings to almost $800,000 with a victory in the $120,000 Bet on Sunshine Stakes Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Owned by historic Sagamore Farm LLC and trained by Stan Hough, Recruiting Ready was a gate-to-wire 3 ¾-length winner of the Bet on Sunshine, setting a stakes record (1:08.81) for 6 furlongs over a fast track. Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Junior College (Hot Springs in 2007-2008) set the previous mark (1:08.82) in 2007.

Recruiting Ready, who was ridden by Corey Lanerie, paid $5.20 as the favorite in the eight-horse field. Wilbo, winner of Oaklawn’s $125,000 King Cotton Stakes for older sprinters in 2018, finished third for Chris Hartman, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2015. Wilbo has earned $758,013 in his 35-race career.

Recruiting Ready has a 9-3-5 record from 25 lifetime starts and earnings of $799,189.

Finish Lines

Stall applications for the 2020 Oaklawn meeting that opens Jan. 24 are due Nov. Thursday. The stable area opens Nov. 25, with the track opening for training Dec. 2. … Oaklawn allowance winner Mylady Curlin ran second in the $200,000 Chilukki Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares going a mile Saturday at Churchill Downs. … Oaklawn-raced Moonlit Garden finished third $150,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles Saturday at Aqueduct. … Arkansas-bred star Hoonani Road worked a half-mile in :48.40 Oct. 29 at Churchill Downs and could start once before the 2020 Oaklawn meeting, trainer Wayne Catalano said Sunday afternoon. Hoonani Road received a lengthy vacation following his last start, a half-length victory in the $200,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship Stakes May 4 at Oaklawn. The 4-year-old gelding had three published workouts in October. “He’s doing great,” Catalano said of Hoonani Road, a three-time stakes winner at Oaklawn for owner Jerry Caroom of Hot Springs. … Trainer Randy Morse, an Oaklawn regular, entered Tuesday with 998 career North American victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.