Oaklawn Park News
Oaklawn split the Fifth Season – two eight-horse fields – after 16 horses were entered Monday.
“I was glad to see the split,” said four-time Oaklawn leading owner Danny Caldwell, whose Chris and Dave is entered in the first division. “Gives more people a chance to race. Appreciate Oaklawn doing that for us. Both sides of the race are tough. There’s not an easy side to it.”
The projected field from the rail out for the first division of the Fifth Season: Sky Promise, Orlando Mojica to ride, 117 pounds, 8-1 on the morning line; Guest Suite, Walter De La Cruz, 122, 10-1; Snapper Sinclair, Ricardo Santana Jr., 122, 2-1; Remembering Rita, Alex Birzer, 119, 9-2; Chris and Dave, Stewart Elliott, 119, 4-1; Sonneteer, Richard Eramia, 122, 8-1; Night Ops, Florent Geroux, 119, 5-1; and Lenstar, Channing Hill, 119, 12-1.
Millionaire Snapper Sinclair is trying to win his first stakes race on dirt, while Sonneteer, a supplemental nominee, won the 2018 Fifth Season. Grade 3 winner Remembering Rita, trained by Doug Anderson of Hot Springs, will remove blinkers for race. Chris and Dave, a $45,000 claim last year at Oaklawn, won the $65,000 Jim Rasmussen Memorial Stakes last May at Prairie Meadows and exits a second-place finish in the $100,000 Jeffrey A. Hawk Memorial Stakes Dec. 15 at Remington Park.
“Chris and Dave is doing real well,” Caldwell said. “He ran a big race for us at Remington the last time. We’ve got enough tactical speed, I think, to be a factor. Hopefully, he shows up and runs the way he’s training.”
Caldwell won the 2017 Fifth Season with Domain’s Rap.
The projected field from the rail out for the second division of the Fifth Season: M G Warrior, Geroux, 119, 8-1; Mocito Rojo, Filemon T. Rodriguez, 122, 8-1; Rated R Superstar, De La Cruz, 122, 10-1; Bankit, Santana, 122, 5-1; Bravazo, Ramon Vazquez, 115, 3-1; Pioneer Spirit, Mojica, 122, 5-2; Colonelsdarktemper, Jon Court, 115, 12-1; and Sevier, Joe Talamo, 115, 10-1.
Pioneer Spirt ran third in last year’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and inaugural $250,000 Oaklawn Mile. Millionaire Bravazo was among the country’s leading 3-year-olds in 2018 and finished eighth in the $600,000 Clark Stakes (G1) Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs, which was his first start since running fourth in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) last January at Gulfstream Park. Rated R Superstar won the $350,000 Essex Handicap for older horses last year at Oaklawn.
Mocito Rojo, who will be making his local debut, is a multiple stakes winner of $804,000 and won the $250,000 Lukas Classic (G3) Sept. 28 at Churchill Downs for trainer Shane Wilson. Mocito Rojo, based at Delta Downs in south Louisiana, is trying to rebound from seventh-place finishes in the $200,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) Oct. 26 at Keeneland and the Clark.
“I think the sloppy track got him at Keeneland, and I think the last race was my fault,” Wilson said. “The horse is sound. There’s nothing with the animal. I just think I got too excited and just made one too many trips. We backed off and gave him an easy 30 days. He’s had three good works. He’s bucking and kicking coming off the track. I think we’ll see his race if he handles the track.”
The Fifth Season begins a lucrative local series of two-turn events for older horses, which culminates with the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (G1) April 18.
There are 11 horses entered in the Pippin: Magical, Lady Suebee, Notapradaprice, Irish Mischief, Special Relativity, Cairenn, Blue Moonrise, Remedy, Gold Standard, Sara Sea and Whoa Nellie.
Gold Standard, among three Brad Cox-trained entrants, is the 7-2 program favorite. She finished second, beaten a half-length by Lady Apple, in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks (G3) for 3-year-old fillies Sept. 29 at Remington Park. Lady Apple also won last year’s $500,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3), Oaklawn’s biggest race for 3-year-old fillies.
The Pippin is the first local steppingstone to the $1 million Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 18.