By Jennifer Hoyt —-
Petrov and Silver Dust Work towards Arkansas Derby
Petrov and Silver Dust began more serious preparations for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 15 at Oaklawn with half-mile workouts on a sunny Friday morning.
Petrov, the day’s first officially timed worker, covered the distance over a fast track in :50.40 for co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs. Clockers caught Petrov’s last quarter-mile in :24 and galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:03. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles March 18, the final major local prep for the Arkansas Derby. The colt also ran second in Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 and $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20.
Silver Dust, fourth in the Southwest and fifth in the Rebel, breezed in :48 after the renovation break for trainer Randy Morse. The Tapit colt, who worked in company, covered his last quarter-mile in :23.20 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:12.40, according to clockers.
Other locally based horses pointing for the Arkansas Derby include Untrapped and Lookin At Lee, third and and sixth, respectively, in the Rebel.
Also scheduled to run in the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby is Classic Empire, the country’s champion 2-year-old male.
Blueridge Traveler, runner-up in Saturday’s $500,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park, is possible for the Arkansas Derby, trainer Kenny McPeek said Friday morning. He broke his maiden Feb. 20 at Oaklawn before making his stakes debut in the Spiral.
McPeek said Blueridge Traveler is scheduled to work April 8 at Keeneland
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Friday morning that Dilettante is under consideration for the Arkansas Derby. The colt ran sixth, beaten 16 ¼ lengths by Hence, in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) Sunday at Sunland Park under Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.
Dilettante broke his maiden Jan. 29 at Oaklawn before finishing fifth in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 20. Hence finished seventh in the Southwest, Oaklawn’s second of four major Kentucky Derby prep races.
“He didn’t handle the track at all down there, and they say that’s very typical,” Lukas said. “I’m not familiar with Sunland. I haven’t been there for 40 years. Gary Stevens called me after the race and said that he struggled with it all day. He had beat Hence last out, so it was kind of freak thing. I don’t know what to make of the race.”
Hence and Dilettante are owned by Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley).
Lukas said Dilettante is his only candidate for the Arkansas Derby. Warrior’s Club, 11th in the Southwest, remains probable for the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 15, Lukas said.
Lukas said Silver Bullion, 11th in the Rebel, will resurface in a conditioned allowance race, possibly at Keeneland.
The Arkansas Derby offers 170 points (100-40-20-10) to the top four finishers toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Derby. Nominations to the Arkansas Derby close Friday.
Just a Fantasy
Torrent worked a sharp 5 furlongs over a fast track Friday morning in advance of a probable start in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies April 14. She was timed in 1:00.40 and galloping out 6 furlongs in 1:12.40 for trainer Moquett and owner/breeder Westrock Stable LLC (Joe and Scott Ford).
Torrent hasn’t started since finishing third in the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 11.
Westrock also campaigned Torrent’s dam, Tidal Pool, who ran second to eventual divisional champion Blind Luck in the 2010 Fantasy.
Martha Washington runner-up My Sweet Stella is pointing for the Fantasy, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Friday morning, although the 1 1/16-mile race still “isn’t chiseled in stone.” The filly also finished second in the $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes Jan. 21.
Dixie Belle and Martha Washington winner Chanel’s Legacy is pointing for the Fantasy, trainer Lynn Chleboard said Thursday morning.
Dawn At Oaklawn
Daily Racing Form correspondent/handicapper Mary Rampellini and Equibase representative Jeff Taylor are the special guests for Saturday’s Dawn at Oaklawn (7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., Central).
Rampellini and Taylor will discuss handicapping, specifically Saturday’s fourth, sixth and eighth races at Oaklawn, with paddock analyst Nancy Holthus at 8:30 a.m. on the south grandstand apron.
The free program also features barn tours and complimentary coffee and pastries.
Past performances for Saturday’s fourth, sixth and eighth races will be distributed free, courtesy of Daily Racing Form.
Rockshaw worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 Friday morning in preparation for the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters April 13. Rockshaw won the $125,000 Gazebo Stakes March 4 in his last start. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Marquee Miss worked a half-mile in :48 Friday morning in advance of the $150,000 Carousel Stakes April 8. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Far Right worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.20 Friday morning for trainer Wayne Catalano. … Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas – 299 career Oaklawn victories – has two horses entered Friday. … Jockey Ramon Vazquez completed a double Thursday when he guided favored Dutch Parrot ($3.80), a 3-year-old Eskendereya filly trained by Will VanMeter, to a one-length victory against Arkansas-breds in the sixth race. … Vazquez trails Geovanni Franco 38-37 for leading rider. Four-time defending champion Ricardo Santana Jr. is third with 35 victories after winning Thursday’s feature aboard favored Big World ($3.20) for trainer Tom Amoss. … Apprentice jockey Katie Clawson recorded her sixth victory of the meeting, and 12th overall, in Thursday’s fourth race aboard favored Since Forever ($6.60) for Karl Broberg, the country’s winningest trainer the last three years. Clawson began riding last summer at Churchill Downs. … Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said Friday morning that it “doesn’t look like” Suddenbreakingnews will run again at the meet after finishing fourth and sixth in two allowance/optional claimers, the last coming Feb. 20. “Probably run in Kentucky on the turf somewhere,” Von Hemel said, referring to the 4-year-old gelding’s next start. “Give that a whirl.” Suddenbreakingnews, who worked a half-mile in :50.20 Monday morning, won the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) and was second in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) last year at Oaklawn. Suddenbreakingnews won his career debut on turf, but was disqualified for interference in the stretch. The gelding’s subsequent 12 starts have been on dirt. … Two-time Apple Blossom winner Zenyatta (2008, 2010) celebrates her 13th birthday Saturday. Zenyatta was the 2010 Horse of the Year.
Cover Photo: Petrov; Coady Photography