Barn Notes 4/25/24

Compiled by Robert Yates

Oaklawn-based Jackman returned to co-owner/trainer Greg Compton’s barn following a one-length victory over favored Connors Outlaw in the $50,000 Highland Ice Stakes April 16 at Will Rogers Downs.

The six-furlong Highland Ice marked the first career stakes victory for Jackman ($7), the winningest horse at the 2023-2024 Oaklawn meeting that began Dec. 8. Jackman won three starter-allowance races for owner/trainer Karl Broberg before Compton claimed the 6-year-old Munnings gelding for $30,000 out of his fourth victory Feb. 23.

In his first start for Compton and co-owners Danny Brown and Charis Brenneman, Jackman had his five-race winning streak snapped with a runner-up finish in a March 9 starter-allowance sprint at Oaklawn. He began a new winning streak in the Highland Ice – his second career stakes try – after shipping to the northeast Oklahoma venue two days before the race.

“I was actually in Ocala buying 2-year-olds, so I watched on TV,” Compton said Sunday morning. “He just ran his race. I was a little concerned at the top of the stretch because he’s usually right up there on the front and he kind of sucked back a little bit turning for home. He’s about two lengths off and looked like he wasn’t going anywhere and then he just kept grinding away. The other horse (Connors Outlaw) started to tire and he just ran him down.”

Jackman, whose winning time over a fast track was 1:10.17, received a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 86, a rating in line with his four victories this season at Oaklawn (84, 89, 83 and 79). Prior to having his winning streak snapped, Jackman finished third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, by millionaire multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Skelly in the $100,000 Speightstown Sprint Stakes last May at Lone Star Park.

Compton said he wasn’t disappointed with Jackman’s March 9 loss, noting the gelding has still won five of his last six starts.

“Although I’ve only had him for two starts, second and a win, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Compton said. “We claimed him for ($30,000) and now we’ve made $45,000, $46,000 with him. We’re free and clear and got spots to run him in the summer back in the Mid-Atlantic. There’s some starter races for him.”

Compton said Jackman will probably make his next start at Delaware Park, where the trainer will be based after the Oaklawn meeting ends May 5.

Jackman began his racing career in Canada for his breeder, Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable, and dual Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse. Anthony is the winningest owner in Oaklawn history.

Overall, Jackman has a 14-9-6 record from 40 lifetime starts and earnings of $490,706. He has a 7-6-1 mark in 16 career starts at Oaklawn and earnings of $314,100.

Harry Hernandez, Oaklawn’s eighth-leading rider this season, rode Jackman in the Highland Ice.

Finish Lines

Jockey Cristian Torres, who is assured of his second consecutive Oaklawn riding title, is scheduled to ride May 3-4 at Churchill Downs, his agent, Cody Autrey, said Sunday morning. Autrey said Torres will return for Oaklawn’s closing-day card, May 5. Autrey said Torres will again be based in Kentucky after the Oaklawn meeting ends. Torres leads Keith Asmussen 76-54 with six days remaining in the 2023-2024 Oaklawn meeting. Torres also leads all riders at the meeting in purse earnings ($5,886,788), just off his single-season Oaklawn record set in 2022-2023 ($6,163,941). … Staton Flurry of Hot Springs leads Steve Amussen 21-18 in the race for leading owner. Each is seeking his first Oaklawn owner’s title. … Entries will be taken and post positions drawn Friday for the $150,000 Natural State Breeders’ Stakes May 3 at Oaklawn. The Natural State Breeders’ is for Arkansas-bred fillies and mares, 3 and up, at one mile. … Trainer John Haran recorded his 500th career North America victory April 17 at Horseshoe Indianapolis with favored Eye Shadow ($4.40), according to Equibase. Haran’s 499th victory came with American Band ($57) in the $250,000 Matron Stakes for older female sprinters March 30 at Oaklawn. Haran’s 502nd victory came in last Sunday’s second race at Oaklawn with Royal Act ($13). … Bentley Combs, who wintered the last three seasons at Oaklawn, recently stopped training to work under Chad Brown, a four-time Eclipse Award winner (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) as the country’s outstanding trainer. Combs has won 14 career races at Oaklawn, including the 1 ¾-mile Trail’s End marathon in 2021, 2022 and 2023. The now-retired David Vance is the only other trainer to win the Trail’s End, the traditional final race of the Oaklawn meeting, three consecutive years.