Gun Runner recorded a 5-furlong bullet (:59.80) over a fast track Monday morning for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen in preparation for the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3). Winner of the $500,000 Clark Handicap (G1) Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs in his last start, he is scheduled to make his 4-year-old debut in Monday’s Razorback at 1 1/16 miles.
Clockers caught Gun Runner galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:11.80. Gun Runner went his final quarter-mile in :22.20 and final three-eighths in :34.60.
Campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (Ron and Joan Winchell) and Three Chimneys Farm, Gun Runner has a 6-2-2 record from 12 starts and lifetime earnings of $2,037,800. The son of Candy Ride finished third in last year’s Kentucky Derby.
Also breezing Monday toward a scheduled start in the Razorback was multiple stakes winner Shotgun Kowboy, who covered a half-mile in :48.80 for breeder/owner/trainer C.R. Trout. Shotgun Kowboy was a Jan. 27 allowance/optional claiming winner in his 5-year-old debut.
Southern California-based Blue Tone arrived at noon (Central) Tuesday for trainer Bob Hess Jr., who plans to start the 8-year-old gelding in the Razorback. He was vanned to Oaklawn after a two-hour, 55-minute flight earlier Tuesday from Ontario, Calif., to Little Rock, Ark. (approximately 50 miles northeast of Hot Springs).
Blue Tone is coming off a front-running victory in the $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes (G3) Jan. 7 at Santa Anita. The 1 1/8-mile race was switched from the grass to the main track because of rain.
The Razorback, which will offer a record purse this year, closed Friday with 31 nominations. It is the second major local prep for the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G1) April 15.
Post positions for the Razorback Handicap will be drawn Friday.
Uncontested Completes Final Southwest Work
Uncontested completed major preparations for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds with an easy workout Tuesday morning at Oaklawn. Breezing over a fast track for Monday’s 1 1/16-mile Southwest, Uncontested was credited by clockers with a half-mile in :51.
The son of Tiz Wonderful went his final quarter-mile in :24 and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:04.40 for trainer Wayne Catalano and co-owners Harry Rosenblum and Robert LaPenta. Rosenblum said Tuesday’s move was actually a “two-minute lick” (a horse moving at a slower tempo to cover a mile, or one lap of the track, in approximately two minutes).
“A lot of trainers do things different ways,” Rosenblum said Wednesday morning. “And, what he basically did was he two-minute licked him a mile and let him finish the last half and he did the last quarter in :24. So it really wasn’t a half-mile work – as was posted – but that’s what they caught him, the last half-mile. It was really a two-minute lick of a mile.”
Uncontested, exiting a record-setting 5 ¼-length wire-to-wire victory in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16, is among at least 10 locally based horses scheduled to run in the Southwest.
Six projected Southwest starters worked over a fast track Monday, including Smarty Jones runner-up Petrov, who breezed 5 furlongs in company in 1:00. He covered his final quarter-mile in :22.80 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:13.
“I’m proud of where we’re at,” co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Monday morning. “I’m ready to see what happens.”
Lookin At Lee worked a half-mile in :50.20 for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. He hasn’t started since finishing fourth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.
Chief Know It All, a Jan. 27 first-level allowance/optional claiming winner, worked a half-mile in company in :48.40 for trainer Brad Cox.
Rowdy the Warrior, third in the Smarty Jones, worked a half-mile in :49.40 for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel.
Silver Dust, who will be making his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest, worked a half-mile in :48.40 for trainer Randy Morse.
Dilettante, a Jan. 29 maiden winner for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, went 5 furlongs in 1:00.60.
Other locally based horses pointing for the Southwest include Warrior’s Club, fourth in the Smarty Jones; Hence, who broke his maiden the race before the Smarty Jones to give Asmussen his 500th career Oaklawn victory; and P C Cowboy, recently sold and transferred to trainer John Ortiz after a Jan. 13 maiden victory for Oaklawn leading owner Danny Caldwell.
The Southwest, which closed Friday with 40 nominations, offers 17 points to the top four finishers (10-4-2-1) toward starting eligibility for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1) May 6 at Churchill Downs.
Post positions for the Southwest will be drawn Friday.
The Smarty Jones and Southwest are two of Oaklawn’s four major preps for the Kentucky Derby, a series that continues with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15.
Millionaire and Oaklawn stakes winner Alsvid has been retired, trainer Chris Hartman said Tuesday morning.
Hartman said the 8-year-old Officer gelding emerged from a bullet half-mile workout Saturday morning a “little ginger” and the decision was immediately made to retire him.
Hartman had been targeting the $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 11 for Alsvid, who won a Jan. 26 allowance/optional claimer in what would be his 47th and final career start.
“He came back out of the work and wasn’t 100 percent,” said Hartman, who trained Alsvid for the Black Hawk Stable of James Rogers, an oil and gas businessman in Elk City, Okla. “We decided it was time for him to quit. He’s got a little minor injury to his leg. Actually, the horse is perfect today, but it’s one of those situations where he can’t go forward. He is a fast horse and we don’t want to have anything happen to him. We’re not going to risk the horse, in any fashion.”
Hartman said Alsvid is now at nearby Step Ahead Farm, where he will wind down for approximately 45 days before shipping to Rogers’ ranch in Oklahoma.
“He’s got a paddock with his name on it, waiting for him in Elk City,” Hartman said.
Alsvid retires with 16 career victories and earnings of $1,372,815. The gelding was an 11-time stakes winner, including the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) in 2015 at Oaklawn and the $100,000 Aristides (G3) about seven weeks later at Churchill Downs. The Count Fleet was among eight consecutive winners Hartman saddled for Black Hawk during the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, helping Hartman secure his first Oaklawn training title.
Among the horses Alsvid toppled in the Aristides was Work All Week, the country’s reigning male sprint champion. He won stakes races in Oklahoma, Iowa, New Mexico, Arkansas and Kentucky and also ran in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in 2015 at Keeneland.
“He gave us a lot of good memories,” Hartman said. “Took us a lot of places, me and the Black Hawk Stable. Both of our families went on a ride. Been coast to coast with him. It’s been a wonderful ride, all because of him.”
On behalf of Rogers, Hartman unearthed one of the biggest bargains ($55,000) at the 2011 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training. Hartman said he loved the way Alsvid breezed in his OBS under tack preview work (a furlong in :10), but noted some potential buyers were probably turned off because he was a cribber. He was the only horse Rogers bought at the sale.
“He was an awesome horse, and he’s going to retire in one piece,” Hartman said. “We knew this day was going to come someday, just not as quickly as it did. I wasn’t ready for it. I’m not really sure the horse is, either. My wife was telling me he was pretty upset. He was still wanting to do some things.”
Ramon Vazquez, Oaklawn’s co-leading jockey with 22 victories, will continue to ride under a circuit court appeal, his agent, Ruben Munoz, said Wednesday morning. Stewards originally suspended Vazquez Feb. 2-4 “for making contact with his hand to the head” of Set the Trappe aboard After Hours in the first race Jan. 21. After Hours was disqualified from first to second following the incident. Vazquez appealed to the Arkansas Racing Commission, which voted Saturday to uphold the stewards’ ruling. Under the new stewards’ order, Vazquez was to serve his days Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Munoz said Vazquez is scheduled to ride Impasse for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas in Saturday’s $150,000 Bayakoa Stakes, Hence for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen in Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) and possibly Domain’s Rap in Monday’s $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3). … Chanel’s Legacy earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 79 – a career high – for her 2 ½-length victory in Saturday’s $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile. Chanel’s Legacy, who won for the first time around two turns, will be pointed for the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 11, trainer Lynn Chleborad said Sunday morning. … Torrent, third, beaten 6 ¼ lengths in the Martha Washington, will also be pointed for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee, trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Monday morning. … Apprehender is a “very big possibility” for the $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 11, trainer Gene Jacquot said Sunday morning. Apprehender ran third in the Hot Springs in 2014 and 2015 and third in the $125,000 King Cotton Stakes Feb. 4 in his last start. Other early probables for the 6-furlong Hot Springs include Storm Advisory and Ivan Fallunovalot, first and fourth, respectively, in the King Cotton and Whitmore, who ran the fastest 6 furlongs ever in January at Oaklawn (1:08.81) in his last start, a third-level allowance/optional claimer. … Jockey Santo Sanjur recorded his first victory of the meet in Sunday’s sixth race aboard Bad Student ($8) for four-time Oaklawn training champion David Vance.