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Oaklawn Report #10

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Close Hatches (KY) – She shipped in and stole the show from the three year olds!  Sometimes horses struggle with the Oaklawn surface when shipping, but Close Hatches proved to be a champion Saturday when winning the Azeri Stakes and turning back several worthy challengers in the stretch run.  When you consider her race record, and also considering when she did lose last year it was to some seriously good horses, this one could be turning into a super star.  You’d think they’ll come back now for the Apple Blossom, and unless someone ships in with some serious class it could be lights out for everyone else who enters.

– 2nd Star: Hoppertunity (KY) – It’s a Rebel Stakes that we’ll be talking about for a long time, but through all the bumping, grinding, and controversy it was Hoppertunity who came out on top.  Is Hoppertunity the best horse moving forward?  That’s certainly up for debate, but it also doesn’t matter when it comes to this particular race.  All the credit must be given to jockey Mike Smith for this one as he made things as difficult as possible for Tapiture and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.  Santana rode a brave race himself, but the veteran Smith did just enough to make the difference.  Hopefully we’ll see the top four finishers of this one all come back for the Arkansas Derby.

– 3rd Star: Golden Lad (KY) – Pletcher’s success at Oaklawn isn’t as strong as many of the other tracks he comes too, but Golden Lad broke that trend as he dominated the Razorback Handicap over a field that looked evenly matched.  The field is probably not the best Grade 3 you’ll find, but it still included several horses that like Oaklawn and were highly touted.  Who knows where he’ll pop up next, it could be virtually anywhere.  It would be nice to see him back in a month to run in the Oaklawn Handicap…but will he come to challenge Will Take Charge?

Flop of the Week

Govenor Charlie (KY) – He was bet down to the 2-1 favorite and thought of by most as being the better of the two Baffert horses that had shipped in for the weekend, but Govenor Charlie didn’t run a step in the Razorback step.  He was out-ran from the beginning, and never got into the race at any point.  With the track starting to play strangely his connections could point to that as an excuse, but to me it looks like he’s not a true two turn horse.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 92 21 20 6 $1,117,655 23% 47 51%
2 Chris   Richard 61 19 5 6 $472,416 31% 30 49%
2 Federico   Villafranco 58 19 13 7 $394,153 33% 39 67%
4 Cody   Autrey 81 17 16 11 $477,911 21% 44 54%
5 Chris A. Hartman 59 15 10 6 $441,515 25% 31 53%
6 Ron   Moquett 76 9 9 6 $389,282 12% 24 32%
6 Brad H. Cox 43 9 6 7 $335,329 21% 22 51%
8 D. Wayne Lukas 72 7 8 10 $410,471 10% 25 35%
8 Kellyn   Gorder 30 7 5 2 $285,976 23% 14 47%
8 Randy L. Morse 54 7 8 3 $278,087 13% 18 33%
8 David R. Vance 28 7 4 1 $162,441 25% 12 43%
8 Joseph R. Martin 58 7 7 11 $156,050 12% 25 43%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo   Santana, Jr. 195 37 34 14 $1,721,982 19% 85 44%
2 Norberto   Arroyo, Jr. 183 28 27 24 $973,504 15% 79 43%
2 David   Mello 149 28 18 19 $658,411 19% 65 44%
4 Ken S. Tohill 99 18 16 10 $526,001 18% 44 44%
5 Ramon A. Vazquez 108 17 17 16 $492,874 16% 50 46%
6 Terry J. Thompson 135 16 12 16 $555,867 12% 44 33%
7 Channing   Hill 98 14 11 13 $691,055 14% 38 39%
7 Alex   Birzer 165 14 20 14 $530,800 8% 48 29%
7 Jon Kenton Court 112 14 11 14 $412,090 13% 39 35%
10 Luis S. Quinonez 121 13 13 15 $489,342 11% 41 34%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 56 18 13 7 $383,293 32% 38 68%
2 Maggi   Moss 32 12 3 4 $226,655 38% 19 59%
3 Steve   Landers 51 10 9 8 $175,719 20% 27 53%
4     Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 43 8 8 3 $244,740 19% 19 44%
5     Ulwelling, Al and Bill 24 6 4 2 $149,162 25% 12 50%
6     Driver, James L. and Ywachetta H. 15 5 5 2 $238,737 33% 12 80%
6 William   Stiritz 40 5 3 1 $191,852 13% 9 23%
6     Zayat Stables, LLC 21 5 1 3 $174,792 24% 9 43%
6 Craig   Drago 15 5 0 4 $162,780 33% 9 60%
6     Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC 22 5 3 3 $124,436 23% 11 50%
36     N P H Stable 11 5 1 2 $73,407 45% 8 73%

Preview to Next Week

– Saturday: The Gazebo Stakes – Three Year Olds – Six Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

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