Oaklawn Barn Notes: March 1

March 1, 2014

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Nancy Ury-Holthus, nury@oaklawn.com, (501) 623-4411 ex. 496

Jennifer Hoyt, jhoyt@oaklawn.com (501) 623-4411 ex. 497

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Tanzanite Cat Gets Back to Work

Smarty Jones winner Tanzanite Cat, most recently fifth in the Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 17, was back on the worktab Friday after working a half mile in :52 2/5 over a fast track.

“It was just an easy work, nothing special,” said trainer Cody Autrey, who is considering several races for the Graeme Hall colt’s next race. Autrey mentioned the colt could start in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 15, the Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park March 23 or the one-mile $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 12.

Tanzanite Cat was making just his fourth career start in the Southwest Stakes and carried top weight of 122 lbs under the allowance conditions of the race, which was three more pounds than the winner Tapiture and five more than runner-up Strong Mandate.

“I thought he ran a credible race,” said Autrey. “Corey (Nakatani) said he wished he could have sat off (the pace) a little more. The top two horses on form showed up and he was giving five pounds to a Grade 1 winner.” 

Busy Morning for Azeri Stakes Runners

Saturday was a busy morning for three top contenders preparing for the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) in two weeks. The Azeri and the $200,000 Razorback Handicap (G2) are the supporting stakes on the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) card March 15.

Leading the trio of workers was likely Azeri favorite Don’t Tell Sophia, winner of both the Pippin and Bayakoa Stakes the last two years, who breezed five furlongs 1:00 2/5 under jockey Alex Birzer. Birzer was subbing in for regular rider Channing Hill, who was in Kentucky to ride Poker Player in a stakes at Turfway Park.

“It was a good work,” said trainer Phil Sims, who co-owns the 6-year-old Congaree mare with Jerry Namy.

Anita Cauley’s On Fire Baby, the 2013 Apple Blossom winner, worked six furlongs in 1:17 1/5 under her regular rider Joe Johnson. She is preparing to make her first start since the Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last October.

“She did good,” said trainer Gary “Reddog” Hartlage. “I probably would have liked her to go a little faster, but Joe thought it was perfect. She’s right on target. We’ll work one more time next week.”

Preston Stable’s Flashy American, third behind Wine Princess and Don’t Tell Sophia in the Falls City Handicap (G2) last November at Churchill in her most recent start, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 under jockey Terry Thompson.

Taptowne Fires Bullet Toward Razorback Start

Clovertowne Farm’s Taptowne took another step closer to his seasonal debut in the $200,000 Razorback (G3) Handicap March 15 with a bullet five-furlong workout in :59 Friday. The 6-year-old Tapit gelding is preparing to make his first start since winning the Swatara Stakes at Penn National last November.

“It was a good, needed work,” trainer Tim Glyshaw said. “He chased a horse (Birdsone) that was four or five lengths in front of him down. Charlie, our assistant was on him.”

Last year, Taptowne won an allowance race and finished second in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in his two local starts and then went on to a very productive season where he was no worse than third in his seven other starts.

Also working towards a possible start in the Razorback Friday was fan favorite Win Willy, who worked a half mile in :50 1/5.