Track Reports

Oaklawn Park Barn Notes: Rafael Bejarano to Ride American Pioneer in Arkansas Derby

Terra Promessa - OP - Work - 040316- Credit Coady Photography
Coady Photography

Discreetness Drills for Arkansas Derby Try

Xpress Thoroughbreds’ Discreetness worked 5 furlongs in 1:03.20 Sunday morning at Oaklawn, the first breeze for the multiple stakes winner since finishing seventh in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19. The Rebel is the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16, which is Discreetness’ next scheduled start.

Discreetness breezed just after the track opened for trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs. Under regular rider and Fires’ son-in-law, Jon Court, he covered his final quarter-mile in :24.40 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:16. The track was rated fast.

“He went really well,” Court said. “He felt really good underneath me.”

Fires said the work was a “maintenance” drill, adding Discreetness will probably breeze out of the gate next week in preparation for the Arkansas Derby.

“We’ll blow him out again,” Fires said. “We’ll try to prep him so he breaks better.”

Discreetness, a Kentucky-bred son of Discreet Cat, won the $250,000 Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 13 Remington Park in his final start at 2. He won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn in his 3-year-old debut, then finished seventh in the track’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 15 in his next start.

Southwest winner Suddenbreakingnews and Rebel runner-up Whitmore are among the other locally based 3-year-olds pointing for the Arkansas Derby.

Another horse based at Oaklawn, lightly raced American Pioneer, will be ridden in the Arkansas Derby by Rafael Bejarano, trainer Wayne Catalano said Sunday morning. The Arkansas Derby will mark the third career start for the colt, who finished second in his Jan. 18 career debut before breaking his maiden March 19.

Both races were at Oaklawn and around two turns.

Bejarano won the Arkansas Derby in 2009 aboard Papa Clem and in 2013 aboard Overanalyze.

Catalano said American Pioneer galloped two miles Sunday morning at Oaklawn and is doing well.

Trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Tisdale remains under consideration for the Arkansas Derby, $150,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) April 16 at Keeneland and $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 16 at Oaklawn.

Moquett also co-owns and trains Whitmore.

$10 Million Dollar Man

Runaway riding leader Ricardo Santana Jr. reached two career milestones Saturday at Oaklawn. He surpassed $10 million in purse earnings when Matuszak won the third race for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen.

According to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization, Santana’s mounts have amassed $10,039,122 at Oaklawn since he began riding in Hot Springs in 2011. The 23-year-old rider also set a single-season personal record for purse earnings with Matuszak’s victory.

Santana begins Sunday with a meet-high $2,590,113 in purse earnings. His mounts earned $2,552,303 at the 2014 meeting.

Santana is assured of his fourth consecutive Oaklawn riding title, with 69 victories through 45 days of racing. Runner-up Ramon Vazquez has 32 victories.

Santana is named on eight horses Sunday and needs two victories to surpass his previous single-season high in Hot Springs. He rode 70 winners in 2013.

Finish Lines

Taxable (:50.60) and Terra Promessa (:50.80) recorded half-mile works Sunday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Steve Asmussen in advance of Saturday’s $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3), which begins Oaklawn’s annual Racing Festival of the South. … Super Saks worked a half-mile in :50.40 Sunday morning at Oaklawn for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Super Saks is pointing for the $150,000 Carousel Stakes April 14 at Oaklawn, Lukas said. … Cinco Charlie recorded a 5-furlong bullet work (1:00) Saturday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Asmussen in preparation for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10 at Oaklawn. … Trainer Grant Foster said it “looks like” the Count Fleet is next for Speightsong, a recent arrival from Fair Grounds. Speightsong won a Feb. 6 allowance/optional claimer at Oaklawn before finishing second in the $50,000 Colonel Power Stakes March 19 at Fair Grounds in his last start. … In addition to Gentlemen’s Bet, trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Den’s Legacy is under consideration for the Count Fleet. Gentlemen’s Bet recorded a 3-furlong bullet work (:36.60) Sunday morning at Oaklawn. … Two candidates for the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) worked 5 furlongs Saturday morning at Oaklawn. Financial Modeling went in 1:01.20 for trainerBrad Cox. Carve went in 1:00.80 for Asmussen. The Oaklawn Handicap is April 16. … Oaklawn surpassed 400 claims at the meeting Saturday.

Source: Oaklawn Park

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