Oaklawn Barn Notes - Jan. 8

Synchrony moved closer to his scheduled 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn with a 5-furlong workout just after the track opened Friday morning for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. Breezing with stablemate Facets of Ice over a muddy, sealed surface, the colt was credited with 1:00.40. Facets of Ice, an unbeaten 3-year-old filly, went in 1:00.60.
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Oaklawn Barn Notes - Jan. 7

Discreetness tuned up for his scheduled 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 with a sharp 5-furlong workout in company Thursday at Oaklawn for trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs. Breezing over a sealed surface rated good following overnight rain, Discreetness covered the distance in :59.80 under Fires’ son-in-law, Jon Court, and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:12.40. The work that took place about 15 minutes after the track opened at 7 a.m. (Central).
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Oaklawn Barn Notes - Jan. 6

After working a half-mile in :49 over a fast track Wednesday morning at Oaklawn, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Gray Sky will make his 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18. The 1-mile Smarty Jones is the first of three major local preps for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 31

Multiple graded stakes winner Sarah Sis wasted little time in returning to the work tab, breezing a half-mile in :49 2/5 Thursday morning at Oaklawn. The filly arrived in Hot Springs Sunday after returning to trainer Ingrid Mason Nov. 28 following a 30-day freshening at WinStar Farm in Kentucky, the trainer said.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 29

Don Von Hemel of Hot Springs was Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 1981. He’s not slowing down at age 81, either. Von Hemel did big things with his small stable in 2015, winning 23 of 69 starts for a gaudy 33.3 percent strike rate. Fueled by multiple stakes winners Smack Smack and Ghost Locket, Von Hemel’s stable amassed $799,887 in purse earnings – the trainer’s highest total since 2011.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 22

Jerry Hissam of Hot Springs, Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel’s agent for most of the last 24 years, said he has retired and hopes to work for Oaklawn during the 2016 live meeting that begins Jan. 15. In the meantime, retired jockey Larry Melancon, who has been Borel’s agent since this fall, will continue to book mounts for the rider.
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Oaklawn Report - Update on Oaklawn Runners - Dec. 19

Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said Synchrony is under strong consideration for the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 18 at Oaklawn, a mile race that is the first of three major local preps for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16. The lightly raced son of super sire Tapit, races for his breeder, Josephine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stable, and is among the most highly regarded Arkansas Derby prospects on the grounds.
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