Caddo River wins the 2021 renewal of the Smarty Jones (Coady Photography)
By Robert Yates – Oaklawn Barn Notes
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Thursday morning that stakes-winning Caddo River moved to his barn following a runner-up finish in an allowance race last Saturday at Oaklawn.
A 5-year-old homebred for Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony, Caddo River had previously been with two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. Under Cox’s care, Caddo River won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes in 2021 at Oaklawn before finishing second in its $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) later that year. Anthony and Lukas have teamed for 10 victories at Oaklawn, including seven at the 2008 meeting.
“John Ed and I have always had a good relationship,” Lukas said. “I had his horses back, I can’t recall the exact year, but we had a great meet. We did really well and then I don’t remember what happened, but he sent them some place or did something different, changed his program. Anyhow, we’ve always had a strong relationship and he just called me up and said, ‘Wayne, I think this horse fits you and so I’d like to have you take him.’ I said, ‘I would love to have him.’ ”
Lukas said he will point Caddo River to the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 18 at Oaklawn. Anthony won the Razorback last year with the Cox-trained Plainsman.
Caddo River, who is by Hard Spun, has a 5-5-1 record from 16 lifetime starts and earnings of $677,800. Anthony (281) is the winningest owner in Oaklawn history.