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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Trainer Brad Cox’s graded stakes winners Warrior’s Charge and Wells Bayou topped Sunday’s lengthy list of workers at Oaklawn Park who are gearing up for big starts in the coming weeks.
Clockers caught Warrior’s Charge completing his 4-furlong work in :47.00, co-second-best of 53 to go that distance on Sunday. Warrior’s Charge is expected to vie for favoritism in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) on May 2, having won the local Razorback Handicap (G3) in his most recent start.
“He’s obviously a horse that does not need company as he gets older,” Cox said about his tendency to work Warrior’s Charge solo. “(Older horses) tend to do things on their own, get some races underneath them. He’s a really, really solid work horse. He’s doing what we like to see leading up to this race. Very similar to how he led up to the Razorback. It looks like it’s going to be a really solid race. He’s a solid horse, so we’ll see what happens.”
Wells Bayou worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 as he prepares for the Arkansas Derby (G1), also scheduled for May 2. The 3-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky won a local allowance event on January 26, then finished second in the Southwest Stakes (G3) before shipping to Fair Grounds to win the Louisiana Derby (G2).
Wells Bayou currently sits second on the Kentucky Derby (G1) leaderboard with 104 points and may have an opportunity to earn many more in the near future, though Cox remained noncommittal after the work.
“We were looking for a good work today – if we decide to run,” Cox said, indicating that Wells Bayou is currently “a candidate” for the Arkansas Derby. “It was one of those things where we were just kind of looking to see how he would respond and he worked really well. Pleased with him.”
Wells Bayou was not Cox’s only Kentucky Derby prospect to work over the Hot Springs main track on Sunday. Shared Sense, most recently the winner of a local allowance event on February 29, covered 4 furlongs in :48.00 as he builds back toward his next afternoon appearance. His lone prior Derby Trail start was a sixth in the Smarty Jones Stakes here on January 24.
Four other stakes winners were among the notable names to appear on the Oaklawn Park Sunday worktab:
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