Barn Notes 2/29/24

Compiled by Robert Yates

The truth will finally come out Saturday at Oaklawn.

Lightly raced Time for Truth will make his first start around two turns – a week later than originally scheduled – in the eighth race, an 8 ½-furlong, entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds that offers a purse of $140,000.

A Triple Crown nominee, Time for Truth was entered in the $1.25 million G2-Rebel Stakes last Saturday at Oaklawn, but was scratched after suffering a minor shin injury on the eve of the race, trainer Ron Moquett said. The 1 1/16-mile Rebel, Oaklawn’s third Kentucky Derby points race, was supposed to be Time for Truth’s two-turn debut.

“It was just poor timing, as far as the little injury thing,” Moquett said. “It was just acting up in his stall and he kind of bumped his shin. We thought he would, hopefully, be a little skin sore one day and everything would be OK. And then the morning of the race, he jogged perfectly sound, but he had an inflammation and these owners are smart and they allowed me to just be cautious.”

Time for Truth, who is co-owned by Arkansan Harry Rosenblum and Oklahoman Everett Dobson (Cheyenne Stables), was entered in the allowance race roughly 24 hours after scratching from the Rebel.

“There was nothing wrong with the bone,” Moquett said. “It just had a bruise on it. But if somebody was to grab it, he would be reactive. So, there was no sense in that (running).

Time for Truth is from the first crop of millionaire Omaha Beach, who won the second division of the $750,000 G2-Rebel and $1 million G1-Arkansas Derby in 2019.

Time for Truth became the first Oaklawn winner for Omaha Beach with a front-running 1 ¾-length debut score at six furlongs Dec. 31, generating a robust 89 Beyer Speed Figure. Time for Truth tackled stakes company in his next start and finished second to the accomplished Valentine Candy in the six-furlong $150,000 Ozark Feb. 10. Time for Truth, the betting favorite, was beaten 2 ½ lengths after leading to midstretch.

Time for Truth was 15-1 on the morning line for the Rebel, which was the final major local prep for the $1.5 million G1-Arkansas Derby March 30. He’s the 5-2 second choice in the program Saturday.

“Still got the same goals,” Moquett said, referring to the Arkansas Derby. “You just have to find a different way to get there.”

Rafael Bejarano has the return call on Time for Truth, who is scheduled to break from post 10 in the projected 11-horse field.

The 8-5 program favorite is Triple Crown nominee Ethan Energy, who exits a fourth-place finish in the $200,000 G3-Lecomte Stakes Jan. 20 at the Fair Grounds for trainer Brad Cox.

Awesome Road is 9-2 in the program for Cox. Another Triple Crown nominee, Awesome Road, finished fourth in the $800,000 G3-Southwest Stakes Feb. 3.

Probable post time for the eighth race is 4:15 p.m. (Central).

Finish Lines

Favored Zeitlos ($3.40) represented the record-extending 110th career Oaklawn stakes victory for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen in last Saturday's $150,000 Carousel for older female sprinters. It was also the record-extending eighth Carousel victory for Asmussen. … Asmussen won six races last week at Oaklawn, pushing his meet-high total to 39 after 30 days of the scheduled 64-day season. The late Cole Norman won a single-season Oaklawn record 71 races in 2003. Asmussen (915 victories) is the winningest trainer in Oaklawn history. … Trainer Brad Cox enters Friday with 298 career Oaklawn victories. Only 15 trainers have reached 300 career Oaklawn victories.