Barn Notes 1/25/24

Compiled by Robert Yates

Trainer Lindsay Schultz’s career ascent continued last Saturday at Fair Grounds when she saddled Creative Cairo to win the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes for older female grass runners.

Creative Cairo, with only a maiden special weight and entry-level allowance victory on her 17-race resume, represented the first career Fair Grounds stakes victory for Schultz, 35, an assistant under Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey before going out on her own in late 2021. Creative Cairo races for the estate of Brereton C. Jones. A nationally prominent Kentucky breeder/owner, Jones died in September.

“This is the first horse I’ve had for them,” Schultz said Thursday morning at Oaklawn, her winter base. “Special. She’s a 6-year-old, so they had to take their time with her.”

Creative Cairo made her first start for Schultz in August at Monmouth Park after previously being trained by Christophe Clement.

Following a memorable 2023, Schultz is off and running in 2024 with three victories from seven starts. Schultz’s 2023 statistics included a robust 22-percent strike rate (30 of 139), a career-high $1,735,806 in purse earnings and her first four stakes victories.

Whelen Springs, a homebred for Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable, provided the biggest highlight, capturing the $250,000 Philip H. Iselin (G3) Aug. 19 at Monmouth Park. It was Schultz’s first career graded stakes victory. Schultz began training for Shortleaf, now a major client, last winter at Oaklawn.

“Definitely exceeding expectations,” Schultz said. “I’d hoped that we would kind of grow slowly, which we have. But to go from seven horses to 32 horses in 2 ½ years, or something, is pretty huge. We won some stakes races this summer. Really to have an owner like Shortleaf, to be able to get those type of horses, is a really good feeling.”

Schultz has two victories at the 2023-2024 Oaklawn meeting. The first came with Redfield, who broke his maiden Dec. 15 for Anthony, Oaklawn’s all-time winningest owner. Redfield, a Shortleaf homebred, is entered in Sunday’s eighth race, a $140,000 entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds at 1 mile.

“It’s the logical next step for him, to run in an allowance,” Schultz said. “It’s only a mile. We wish, maybe, it was a little bit farther, but it’s the right spot for him.”

Schultz recorded her first career victory Jan. 8, 2022, at Oaklawn and won 11 races at last season’s meeting. She has 47 career victories overall, including 17 at Oaklawn.

Remembering Brandon Burlsworth

Burlsworth, a 3-year-old Practical Joke gelding for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, is scheduled to make his career debut in Friday’s sixth race at Oaklawn, a $115,000 Arkansas-bred maiden special weight sprint.

Burlsworth is named after Brandon Burlsworth, the Arkansas All-American offensive lineman who was killed in an automobile accident shortly after being selected in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

“We’re going to wait and see how he runs before we start bragging,” Moquett said.

Moquett has already won races at Oaklawn with McFadden and Hunter Henry, two other horses named after Arkansas football standouts. Tailback Darren McFadden was a two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up (2006 and 2007). Hunter Henry won the John Mackey Award in 2015 as the nation’s top tight end.

Moquett also bred and co-owns Burlsworth, who is scheduled to break from post 3 under Rafael Bejarano. Burlsworth is the 6-1 fourth choice on the morning line.

Finish Lines

Oaklawn is scheduled to resume racing Friday at 12:30 p.m. (Central). … Oaklawn resumed normal non-race day training hours Thursday – 7 a.m.-11:45 a.m. (Central), with surface renovation breaks at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Oaklawn reopened for training Wednesday after having been closed since Jan. 13 because of freezing temperatures, snow and rain. … Millionaire multiple stakes winner Tejano Twist is pointing for the $150,000 King Cotton Stakes for older sprinters Feb. 3 at Oaklawn, trainer Chris Hartman said Thursday morning. Tejano Twist won the $150,000 Ring the Bell Stakes Dec. 9 at Oaklawn in his last start. Hartman said he has several other horses under consideration for the King Cotton, which was postponed one week because of severe winter weather. … Count de Monet, winless since the $150,000 Advent Stakes for 2-year-old sprinters in December 2022, is scheduled to make his first start since being gelded in Saturday’s eighth race, a $141,000 allowance sprint for older horses. Count de Monet exits a sixth-place finish in a Dec. 16 allowance sprint.