Barn Notes 3/8/24

Compiled by Robert Yates

Different barn, same objective.

Jackman tries to become the first five-time winner at an Oaklawn meeting since 2019 in Saturday’s first race, a starter-allowance sprint for older horses.

Jackman will be making his first start since trainer Greg Compton claimed the 6-year-old Munnings gelding for $30,000 Feb. 23. Jackman had won his previous four starts at the meeting for trainer Karl Broberg.

“The horse is doing good,” said Compton, who won a double-digit shake, or blind draw, to claim Jackman. “I expect him to run well.”

Jackman began his racing career in Canada for Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony and Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse. After two starts in late 2020 at Woodbine, Jackman resurfaced in early 2021 at Oaklawn and broke his maiden for a $10,000 claiming tag for Anthony, who also bred the gelding, and trainer John Ortiz.

Broberg, annually among North America’s winningest trainers, claimed Jackman out of his victory.

Jackman has flourished in the last year. He finished third behind win-machine Skelly in the $100,000 Speightstown Sprint Stakes May 29 at Lone Star Park and captured a $30,000 claiming sprint Nov. 25 at Remington Park. Jackman has stretched his winning streak to five by going 4 for 4 this season at Oaklawn.

“I was standing right over there at the trainer’s stand the day that horse broke his maiden and Broberg claimed him,” Compton said. “I remember that race. He’s a massive, good-looking horse. Gorgeous animal.”

Cristian Torres, who has ridden Jackman in his last four starts, retains the mount for Saturday’s 5 ½-furlong race. Jackman, the 9-5 program favorite, drew the rail in the projected seven-horse field.

Jackman has a 13-8-6 record from 38 lifetime starts and earnings of $447,802. His best work has come at Oaklawn, where he has a 7-5-1 mark from 15 starts and earnings of $301,100.

“He’s a really, really nice horse,” Compton said. “(Ragozin) numbers were really strong, 10s and 9s, just a solid line through there. Consistent horse. Short field (Saturday). We’ll see what happens.”

Compton owns Jackman with major clients Danny Brown and Charis Brenneman.

Distance specialist Red Again won five races at the 2019 Oaklawn meeting for trainer Aaron Shorter and now-deceased jockey Alex Canchari.

Apple of His Eye

After beating open company in his last start, Black Apple returns to Arkansas-bred competition in Saturday’s fourth race at Oaklawn, a one-mile starter allowance for older horses.

Trainer John Ortiz is using the race as a prep for the $200,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship Stakes for state-breds at 1 1/16 miles May 4 at Oaklawn.

Eight-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount on Black Apple, who is scheduled to break from the rail Saturday. Black Apple is the 2-1 program favorite.

“He’s going into it amazingly,” Ortiz said. “Ricardo’s been working him and says he loves him. Another horse that’s really taken his time to mature and it’s really paid off.”

Ortiz trains Black Apple (two-for-two at the meeting) for Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony, the winningest owner in Oaklawn history. Anthony (Shortleaf Stable) also bred Black Apple, a 4-year-old son of Double Irish.

Finish Lines

Oaklawn’s infield will not be open this weekend because of wet ground. … Trainer Dan Ward recorded his first career Oaklawn double Thursday, winning the first race with Rackataptap ($6.60) and third race with Bayron ($13.40). It was the third career double for Ward, a former longtime assistant under Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer who went out on his own last summer at Monmouth Park. He also won two races Aug. 11 at Monmouth Park and two races Oct. 13 at the Meadowlands. … Rackataptap was among three winners Thursday for jockey Cristian Torres, the meet’s runaway leading rider. Torres also won the fourth race aboard Zippy Mark ($13.20) for trainer Robertino Diodoro and fifth race aboard Optimal Courage ($9.40) for trainer Miguel Angel Silva. Torres has 47 victories at the meeting. … Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and his son, jockey Keith Asmussen, teamed for two victories Thursday at Oaklawn, winning the second race with favored Just an Opinion ($5.40) and sixth race with favored Mo Moves ($4.80). The double extended Steve Asmussen’s meet-leading total to 42 after 34 days of the scheduled 64-day meeting. The late Cole Norman (71) set Oaklawn’s single-season record for victories by a trainer in 2003.