Man in the Can Bids for Second Arkansas Breeders’ Championship Win

May 5, 2023

Man in the Can digs in late to win the 2020 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship (Coady Photography)

Oaklawn Park Press Release

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Man in the Can, owned JRita Young Thoroughbreds & Robert LaPenta, is the 7-2 program favorite for the $200,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship Stakes for Arkansas-breds, 3 and up, Saturday at Oaklawn.

Probable post time for the Arkansas Breeders’ Championship, the 11th of 12 races on the closing-day card, is 6:15 p.m. (Central). The card also features the inaugural $150,000 Lake Hamilton Stakes for older horses at 6 furlongs. Racing begins at 12:20 p.m. In addition, Oaklawn will be simulcasting the full Kentucky Derby card from Churchill Downs. There are 10 Oaklawn-raced horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby, which has a current field of 19 after a scratch on Friday.

The projected 14-horse Arkansas Breeders’ Championship field from the rail out: Big Success, Luis Quinonez to ride, 119 pounds, 20-1 on the morning line; Bandit Point, Kelsi Harr, 119, 12-1; Dinner At Crumpies, Walter De La Cruz, 119, 50-1; Mahomey, Jon Court, 124, 8-1; Navy Seal, Ramsey Zimmerman, 124, 5-1; Willow Creek Road, Eduardo Gallardo, 124, 15-1; King Peanut, Francisco Arrieta, 118, 8-1; One Ten Stadium, Ricardo Santana Jr., 119, 9-2; More Than Blessed, Mitchell Murrill, 119, 20-1; Skyped, Calvin Borel, 124, 30-1; Gar Hole, Keith Asmussen, 124, 4-1; Allo Enry, Isaac Castillo, 124, 30-1; Promising Shoes, Martin Garcia, 119, 20-1; and Man in the Can, Cristian Torres, 124, 7-2.

Trained by Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, Man in the Can bids for his second Arkansas Breeders’ Championship victory. He won the race in 2020, was second in 2021 and third last year after breaking from post 14. Man in the Can will have to overcome the far outside post again Saturday.

“It definitely, I think, makes it a little bit hard for people to understand where the race sets up, especially whenever you’re out there so far,” Moquett said. “You don’t know what kind of position you’re going to get, how much ground you’re going to give up. But we’ve got a great jockey. He obviously knows how to win at the track. The horse knows how to win at the track. We’re excited. I would rather be there than the 1 hole.”

Man in the Can victorious in an allowance optional claimer March 26 (Coady Photography)

Man in the Can exits a three-quarter length victory over stablemate One Ten Stadium in a state-bred allowance at 1 1/16 miles March 26 at Oaklawn. One Ten Stadium is seeking his first career stakes victory after finishing eighth in last year’s $150,000 Rainbow and fifth in the $150,000 Nodouble Breeders’ March 4. Both 6-furlong races were restricted to Arkansas-breds. One Ten Stadium, in his last start, finished fourth in a state-bred starter allowance at 1 mile April 15 at Oaklawn.

“I thought he was running the best at the end the other day, in the allowance race,” Moquett said. “I’m optimistic that he if gets a good trip, he’ll be very tough down the stretch.”

Speedy two-time Nodouble champion Gar Hole will be making his two-turn debut for trainer John Ortiz. Lightly raced King Peanut (2 for 3 overall) will also be making his two-turn debut after winning the April 8 Rainbow by 3 ¼ lengths for trainer Dan Peitz.

“I’m anxious to try him a little longer,” Peitz said. “We’re going to run against the older colts. I don’t know how that’s going to work out. But his body type, to me, from the time he came into me, I kept looking at him and saying he doesn’t really look like a sprinter. He looks like, maybe, more of a two-turn horse.”

Navy Seal draws away in a state-bred allowance Feb. 5 (Coady Photography)

Navy Seal tries to give trainer Nancy Knott her first career stakes victory. Navy Seal, a half-brother to Oaklawn stakes winners Weast Hill and Usual Suspect, has competed well in open company and returns to a route after finishing second in an allowance sprint April 22 at Oaklawn.

“I’ve been training him to go long,” Knott said.

Iron-horse Bandit Point will be making his 10th start at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting for owner/trainer Robert N. Cline. Bandit Point, fourth against open company in an allowance sprint last Saturday, is seeking his first career stakes victory. Bandit Point finished third in the 2019 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship, fourth in 2020, fifth in 2021 and second last year.

“It looks like it’s somewhat of an open race,” Cline said. “I think there’s a handful of horses that can win it on any day.”

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Rick St. Pierre @rstp354 View testimonials

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