March 30, 2014
Ride On Curlin Readies for Arkansas Derby Start
Daniel J. Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin, third in both the Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2) Stakes, remains on target for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 12 and on Sunday, he worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 over a fast track.
“It was exactly what we were looking for,” trainer Billy Gowan said. “He broke him off slow and came home perfect. He’ll work 7/8ths next weekend. We’re sitting on go.”
Jockey Jon Court, who won the Arkansas Derby in 2010 with Line of David and in ’11 with Archarcharch, was aboard for the workout and will have the mount in the 1 1/8-mile season finale of the Oaklawn meet.
On Fire Baby Shares Sunday’s Bullet
Anita Cauley’s defending Apple Blossom Handicap winner On Fire Baby worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 Sunday in preparation for the April 11 running of the Grade 1 race. Her time, the fastest of 46 at the distance, was shared by likely Fantasy Stakes contender Kiss Moon.
“It was super,” said trainer Gary Hartlage. “It was just what we were looking for. I just hope I can have her this good on the 11th.”
On Fire Baby was most recently fourth in the Azeri Stakes March 15, which was her first start in five months.
Sugar Shock and Please Explain Lead Fantasy Works
Sugar Shock, who was disqualified from first and placed second in the March 8 Honeybee Stakes (G3), moved one step closer to possible redemption in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 5 by breezing five furlongs Sunday in 1:02 1/5 under regular rider Channing Hill.
“She went nice and easy,” trainer Doug Anderson said. “She went the way we wanted and we’re still on target for the Fantasy.”
Please Explain, third in the Honeybee, worked a half mile Sunday in 48 4/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 4/5. The Curlin filly, who had shipped in from Tampa Bay prior to the Honeybee, has remained in Hot Springs since the March 8 race.
“She did it on her own,” trainer Tom Proctor said via phone from Kentucky. “With this work, she’s definitely on track for the Fantasy.”
Nominations for the Fantasy closed with 22 fillies made eligible for the 1 1/16-mile race. Florida shipper Stopchargingmaria, trained by Todd Pletcher, is scheduled to arrive Monday. Entries will be drawn Wednesday.
Gentlemen’s Bet and Right to Vote Work toward Festival Starts
Gentlemen’s Bet, preparing to make his first start since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) last November in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10, worked a half mile in :50 Sunday under jockey Greta Kuntzweiler. Last year, the 5-year-old Half Ours horse finished third in the Count Sprint.
“It was a good step forward,” trainer Ron Moquett said. “I was really pleased with it. I feel comfortable about where we’re at.”
Moquett’s other expected Racing Festival of the South starter, Right to Vote, also worked a half mile in :51 1/5 in preparation for the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 12. The Political Force horse won the Essex Handicap and was most recently finished fourth in the March 15 Razorback Handicap (G3).
“It was just a maintenance work for him,” said Moquett. “I was happy with it.