Reincarnate ahead of his troubled journey in the Rebel (Coady Photography)
Honeybee Victress Wet Paint Garners G3 Fantasy Favoritism
Oaklawn Barn Notes by Robert Yates
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Southern California-based Reincarnate was among 11 horses entered Sunday morning for the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at 1 1/8 miles April 1 at Oaklawn.
Post positions for the Arkansas Derby and the $600,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies April 1 were drawn Sunday morning in the Larry Snyder Winner’s Circle. Reincarnate was installed the 5-2 program favorite for the Arkansas Derby, which is Oaklawn’s fourth and final Kentucky Derby points race.
The Arkansas Derby will offer 200 points to the top five finishers (100-40-30-20-10, respectively) toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Derby.
The projected Arkansas Derby field from the rail out: Bourbon Bash, Reylu Gutierrez to ride, 15-1 on the morning line; Interlock Empire, David Cabrera, 20-1; Harlocap, Ricardo Santana Jr., 15-1; Two Eagles River, Nik Juarez, 10-1; Airtime, Cristian Torres, 15-1; Angel of Empire, Flavien Prat, 9-2; Rocket Can, Junior Alvarado, 4-1; Reincarnate, John Velazquez, 5-2; King Russell, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1; Red Route One, Tyler Gaffalione, 3-1; and Kolomio, James Graham, 30-1.
Reincarnate, who is trained by Tim Yakteen, will be returning to Oaklawn after finishing a troubled third in the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 25. The Rebel was Oaklawn’s third Kentucky Derby points race. Red Route One opened his 3-year-old campaign with a runner-up finish behind unbeaten Arabian Knight in the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 28 before finishing second in the Rebel. The Southwest was Oaklawn’s second Kentucky Derby points race.
Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox is scheduled to send out Angel of Empire, who returns to Oaklawn after winning the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) at 1 1/8 miles Feb. 18 at Fair Grounds in his last start.
Angel of Empire, a son of 2017 Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire, finished second behind stablemate Victory Formation in the $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at 1 mile Jan. 1 at Oaklawn.
Rocket Can won the $250,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) Feb. 4 and finished second behind champion Forte in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) March 4. Both 1 1/16-mile races were at Gulfstream Park. Rocket Can is owned by prominent North Little Rock, Ark., businessman Frank Fletcher, who is seeking his first victory in the Arkansas Derby, a race he covets the most.
The speedy Two Eagles River exits a sharp entry-level allowance victory at 1 mile Feb. 19 at Oaklawn and has trained sharply for his graded stakes debut. Two Eagles River is trained by Chris Hartman.
Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Wet Paint was made the 8-5 program favorite for the Fantasy, which is Oaklawn’s third Kentucky Oaks points race.
Trained by Brad Cox, Wet Paint has already earned 70 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points following sparkling victories in the $200,000 Martha Washington Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 28 and the $300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 25. Wet Paint is unbeaten in three career starts on dirt. All three races, including the Martha Washington and Honeybee at Oaklawn, have been on off tracks.
The 1 1/16-mile Fantasy will offer 200 points to the top five finishers (100-40-30-20-10, respectively) toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Oaks, the country’s biggest race for 3-year-old fillies.
The projected 10-horse Fantasy field from the rail out: She’s Lookin Lucky, Cristian Torres to ride, 5-2 on the morning line; Grand Love, Tyler Gaffalione, 8-1; Towhead, Isaac Castillo, 10-1; Taxed, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1; Take Charge Briana, Reylu Gutierrez, 20-1; Wet Paint, Flavien Prat, 8-5; Pate, Florent Geroux, 20-1; Royal Spa, Ricardo Santana Jr., 4-1; Olivia Twist, David Cabrera, 20-1; and Condensation, Francisco Arrieta, 10-1.
Post positions for two other stakes races April 1 – $400,000 Oaklawn Mile (G3) for older horses and the inaugural $200,000 Hot Springs for 3-year-olds at 1 mile – will be drawn Monday.
Racing begins April 1 at 12:30 p.m. (Central).
Jockey Rocco Bowen (pelvis fracture) is expected to miss six weeks after he was injured during an incident in the starting gate before Saturday’s eighth race, his agent, Gene Short of Hot Springs, said in a text message Sunday morning. Bowen, who has seven victories at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting, was hospitalized at nearby CHI St. Vincent following the accident, Short said. … Favored Skyped ($4.80) provided Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel with his first victory of the meeting and 976th overall at Oaklawn (No. 3 all time) in Saturday’s eighth race. Skyped is trained by Borel’s wife, Renay. … Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen won two races Saturday, increasing his career Oaklawn total to 853. Asmussen won the second race with favored Bidofhoney ($4.20) and the 11th race with favored Ryvit ($6.20). Only the late Bob Holthus (867) has more career training victories at Oaklawn. … Jockey Isaac Castillo recorded his second career Oaklawn riding triple Saturday, winning aboard Bidofhoney, the fourth race aboard Sir ($9.80) for trainer Kenny McPeek and the 10th race, the $150,000 Purple Martin Stakes, aboard Key of Life ($7) for trainer Brad Cox. The Purple Martin was the first career Oaklawn stakes victory for Castillo, who made his local debut last April. … Favored Good Penny ($3.60) represented the 100th career victory as a sole owner for Staton Flurry of Hot Springs in Saturday’s seventh race, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. It was his 33rd career Oaklawn victory. Flurry also co-owns Key of Life. … Iowa-bred sensation Tyler’s Tribe is entered in Thursday’s seventh race, a $103,000 entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds at 1 mile, for co-owner/trainer Tim Martin of Hot Springs. … Grade 1 winner Matareya, Grade 2 winner Wicked Halo and Grade 3 winner Pretty Birdie are among seven older fillies and mares entered in Friday’s inaugural $250,000 Matron Stakes at 6 furlongs. Frankie Dettori is named to ride Teddy’s Barino for Southern California-based trainer Mark Glatt. Dettori, the international riding star who is retiring at the end of the year, has never ridden at Oaklawn. … Grade 3 winner Candy Man Rocket is pointing for the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) for older horses at 6 furlongs April 15 at Oaklawn, owner Frank Fletcher of North Little Rock, Ark., said Sunday morning. Candy Man Rocket is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott.