Track Reports

Oaklawn Preview Part 1 of 6: Ten Trainers to Watch for in 2015

Steve Asmussen

He’s won the trainers title three years in a row, and lets face it…he can win it again if he wants to do so.  Asmussen will overwhelm you with numbers, and this year he also looks to be loaded with quality horses as well.  He had another solid two year old season, and I’m sure many of those horses will be competing at Oaklawn.  Also older horses Tapiture and Untapable will most likely run towards the end of the meet at Oaklawn.  There is no reason to think he won’t dominate here again this year, and is the heavy favorite to repeat as leading trainer

D Wayne Lukas

It was another flashy year for Lukas 2014, including several surprising late season victories.  Lukas didn’t have a great year at Oaklawn last season, but I expect more this year.  His barn is loaded with three-year olds, and most of them are still maidens.  He also brings in Grade 1 winner Take Charge Brandi, as well as the well traveled and talented Graded stakes placed Mr. Z.  Look for Lukas to be very active once again in the Oaklawn three-year old series.

Chris Richard

You can always count on Richard to have a solid meeting at Oaklawn, and this year might be his best yet.  He’s always been backed by the powerful Maggi Moss, and last year Midwest Thoroughbreds sent some horses his way.  With these two successful owners on his side perhaps he could challenge for the training title.  Richard also has had some moderate success at the bigger Stakes levels at Prairie Meadows and Kentucky Downs, and in the past Oaklawn Park as well.

Federico Villafranco

He’s backed by owner Danny Caldwell which says everything you need to know!  Caldwell is coming off an owners championship at Oaklawn last year, as well as titles at Prairie Meadows and Remington Park.  He’s been preparing for this meet for months, and you can bet the DRC team will want to take the crown again.  Can he win enough to get trainer Villafranco the training title?  It will be a challenge…but they’ll try to get it done!

Ron Moquett

Nobody wants to win races at Oaklawn more than this guy!  Moquett considers Oaklawn his home track, and is always successful here.  He trained the speedy sprinter Gentleman’s Bet in 2013, who took him all the way to the Breeders Cup where he finished third in the Sprint.  Gentleman’s Bet took 2014 off, but is back and training well at Oaklawn so perhaps he can return to form.  No matter if he does or not, you can ben Moquett will be ready to fill the entry box when opening day rolls around!

Cody Autrey

The last three years Cody Autrey has dominated opening weekend at Oaklawn, so you better keep that in mind.  In 2012 he faded badly after dominating early, but in 2013 and 2014 he was able to continue his success throughout the year thanks in part to new owner Steve Landers.  The claiming game is his specialty, and you can bet he’ll have them spotted to win.

Brad Cox

This guy is a rising star in the game!  After Midwest Thoroughbreds dumped him two years ago it looked bleak, but Cox has built his stable back better than ever.  He’s got several claimers like always, but also has high quality clients and horses like Carve who competed in the Breeders Cup in 2014.  This year he’s brought an expanded stable to Oaklawn in hopes of winning the training title.

Randy Morse

If you are a fan of looking at horses in the paddock then this is probably your favorite trainer.  Nobody brings horses over that look any better than this guy does!  Morse is not all about looks though.  He is always in the top 15 of the trainer standings at Oaklawn, and also makes a similar impact anywhere he goes.

Kenny McPeek

McPeek will once again be present at Oaklawn, and this year he’ll be bring a few more horses than normal.  Expect him to bring a lot of quality three-year olds that will try to take advantage of the Oaklawn Stakes program.  That’s exactly what he’s done in the past, and this year his stock looks deeper than ever.

Donnie K Von Hemel

The list of horses Von Hemel has campaigned at Oaklawn has been very impressive the last few years, but a new crop must now emerge.  However, the future may be bright as he comes off another impressive finish in the trainer standings at Remington.  Von Hemel looks to have a nice group of three-year olds in his barn who are ready to fire.

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