Richard Baltas Tackles Oaklawn Park

February 21, 2020

Oaklawn Park News

Trainer Richard Baltas was represented by his first career Oaklawn starters Monday, with Motion Emotion finishing fourth in the $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares and Taishan running fifth in the $750,000 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Baltas is the latest Southern California-based trainer to send a string of horses to Oaklawn for the 2020 meet, following Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller, Phil D’Amato, John Sadler, Doug O’Neill and Peter Eurton.

Baltas cited several factors Monday morning for sending horses to Oaklawn Park, including a purse structure that is the country’s highest this winter and shrinking field sizes in Southern California.

“First condition allowance races for 3-year-olds, they don’t go,” said Baltas, who was in Hot Springs for the stakes races. “This horse (Taishan), we’re taking a shot and if he doesn’t run good, we’ll run him back in an allowance race.”

Motion Emotion, Taishan and Proverb arrived earlier this month, and Baltas said he could have a half-dozen horses on the grounds before the meet ends May 2. Proverb, then with trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, broke his maiden at last year’s Oaklawn meeting before finishing third in the inaugural $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational for 3-year-olds. Proverb had been relocated to Southern California after being sold for $220,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale. Proverb worked 5 furlongs in 1:02 last Sunday morning.

Baltas’ Oaklawn division is being overseen by his assistant, Aimee Dollase.

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