Barn Notes 12/16/23

Compiled by Robert Yates

Jockey Luis Quinonez is poised to reach a career milestone, possibly this weekend at Oaklawn.

Quinonez, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2007, enters Saturday with 3,998 career North American victories (United States and Canada) after winning the $75,000 Jeffrey A. Hawk Memorial Stakes aboard favored U.S. Army Friday night at Remington Park, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

U.S. Army ($5.60) represented the final mount of the 2023 Remington Park meeting for Quinonez, who has moved his tack to Oaklawn for the 2023-2024 season that ends May 4. Remington closes Saturday.

Quinonez, 56, is named on five horses this weekend at Oaklawn – three Saturday and two Sunday. Quinonez (641 victories) is the ninth-winningest jockey in Oaklawn history and his overall total ranks 83rd in North American history.

Quinonez rode his first career North American winner May 10, 1989, at Canterbury Park.

Secret’s Out?

Sunday’s eighth race at Oaklawn, a $140,000 entry-level allowance for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs, could be a two-turn stakes audition for several entrants, including Saratoga Secret for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

From the final crop of champion Arrogate, Saratoga Secret has a 1-1-0 record from three starts. Saratoga Secret exits a third-place finish in the $225,000 Fern Creek Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs. She also finished second in the six-furlong $175,000 G3-Schuylerville Stakes July 13 at Saratoga.

“She had a rough trip the last time,” Lukas said Saturday morning. “Really rough. I’m just going to let her build her confidence a little bit. She’s only 2. I’ll run her here and maybe point for the Martha Washington.”

The $250,000 Martha Washington Stakes is Jan. 27, a 1 1/16-miles event that is Oaklawn’s first Kentucky Oaks points race. Saratoga Secret (5-1 on the morning line) has never raced around two turns.

Unbeaten Coastal Invasion is the 7-5 program favorite for trainer Brad Cox. Coastal Invasion was a front-running debut winner sprinting Oct. 29 at Churchill Downs.

Probable post time for Sunday’s eighth race is 3:46 p.m. (Central). Racing begins at 12:30 p.m.

Finish Lines

Jockeys Eduardo Gallardo and Chris Landeros escaped serious injury after being involved in a spill in Friday’s ninth race at Oaklawn. Gallardo was unseated after his mount, Tonka Warrior, clipped heels. Landeros, aboard trailing Hozier, was unseated after his mount fell over Tonka Warrior. Gallardo is off his mounts Saturday and Sunday after suffering a deep bruise on his left leg, according to his agent, Jodie Sinclair. “The doctors are saying seven or eight days, for sure, and then we’ll go from there,” Sinclair said Saturday morning. “No broken bones.”