Track Reports

Oaklawn Report #11: Will Munnings Dominates the Gazebo Stakes

WILL MUNNINGS - The Gazebo - 5th Running - 03-26-16 - R09 - OP - Credit Coady Photography
Coady Photography

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: WILL MUNNINGS – It’s safe to say this horse might have things figured out.  After struggling a bit to start the year he’s now won two in a row including The Gazebo Stakes on Saturday which was his first stakes win.  It’s not just the fact he won, but it’s the way he won that makes you excited for the future as he dominated what looked to be an evenly matched field.  It’s nice that he is living up to his potential as this first out winner had last six in a row before winning an allowance at Oaklawn in February.  Hopefully he can continue down this improved path and point towards some bigger sprint stakes as the year progresses.

– 2nd Star: W.B. SMUDGE – Thursday’s featured allowance race was meant to be a prep for the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap towards the end of the meet, and W.B. Smudge certainly stamped himself as a contender with a solid victory.  Towards the wire W.B. Smudge looked to have little room to run, but split horses late and got up to catch the front runner at the shadow of the wire.  He now has two allowance wins in a row since finishing third in the King Cotton Stakes so it will come as no surprise that we would be looking at the Count Fleet now.  He will likely be a decent price in that race, and could be worth throwing a couple dollars on.

– 3rd Star: TISDALE – While his stablemate Whitmore is getting all the hype, Tisdale has quietly put together a very solid meet so far for trainer Ron Moquett.  The 3 year old son of Friesian Fire has won two races in three starts at the meet, with his one loss coming by just a neck.  On Saturday he dominated a decent allowance field as he sat just off the pace and took control at the top of the stretch.  This win most likely sets him up for a stakes race next with races like the Arkansas Derby or Bluegrass Stakes being solid options.  We’ll see if he’s ready to take the next step up in class.


Flop of the Week

– BAYERD –  He went off as the favorite in Thursday’s feature race, and didn’t feel like doing much running.  After being close to the lead on the backside, Bayerd faded badly down the stretch to finish off the board.  I thought this race would lead to a start in the Count Fleet Handicap for sprinters to end the meet, but now I don’t think that will be the case.

Trainer Standings Jockey Standings
1. Steve Asmussen – 30 1. Ricardo Santana Jr. – 61
2. Ron Moquett – 21 2. Roman Vazquez – 30
3. Chris Hartman – 20 3. Corey Nakatani – 26
4. Brad Cox – 19 4. Alex Birzer – 24
5. Frederico Villafranco – 15 4. Channing Hill – 24
5. Robertino Diodoro – 15 6. Alex Canchari – 22
7. Randy Morse – 13 7. Jon Court – 21
8. Jack Van Berg – 11 8. Chris Landeros – 18
8. Ingrid Mason – 11 9. Walter De La Cruz – 15

Preview to Next Week

  • Friday April 1st – $100,000 Arkansas Breeders Open Division – 3 year olds and up (Ark. Bred)  – 1 1/16th miles
  • Saturday April 2nd – $100,000 Rainbow Miss – 3 year old fillies (Ark. Bred) – 6 furlongs
  • Sunday April 3rd – $100,000 Rainbow Stakes – 3 year olds (Ark. Bred) – 6 furlongs
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