Lake Hamilton & Arkansas Breeders' Championship Stakes

Compiled by Robert Yates

Contact: Chris Ho, Vice President of Marketing,, 501-623-4411 ext. 4201

Saturday, May 4, 2024

SKELLY - Photo Credit: Coady Media
Lake Hamilton Stakes - 2nd Running

LOCHMOOR - Photo Credit: Coady Media
Arkansas Breeders' Championship Stakes - 6th Running

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Eight is enough, at least for now.

Heavily favored Skelly stretched his Oaklawn winning streak to eight with a front-running 2 1/4-length victory over Mish in Saturday’s $200,000 Lake Hamilton Stakes for older horses at 6 furlongs.

Quickly shaking a sluggish start, Skelly ($2.40) assumed his customary position on the lead and coasted into the stretch with a three-length advantage under regular rider Ricardo Santana Jr.

Mish mounted a challenge on the outside through the lane, but never seriously threatened the millionaire multiple stakes winner.

Skelly, under equal top weight of 122 pounds, completed 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.12. His early splits, as expected, were fast – :21.34, :44.33 and :56.53 for 5 furlongs.

Mish, a Florida shipper, was 4 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Payne, who was followed, in order, by Mahomey, Perfect Dude, Ruggs and Edge to Edge. Straight No Chaser was a late scratch.

Skelly, who races for Red Lane Thoroughbreds LLC (Chris Hicks) and Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, won for the 10thtime in 15 starts to raise his career earnings to $1,574,163.

Skelly’s eight consecutive Oaklawn victories – four at the last two meetings – is highlighted by five stakes. Skelly won the $500,000 G3-Count Fleet Sprint Handicap and Lake Hamilton the last two seasons and the $150,000 King Cotton Feb. 3 in his 5-year-old debut.

Skelly is a son of millionaire Grade 1 winner Practical Joke.

First post for Sunday’s closing-day card is 12:20 p.m. (Central).


Heavily favored Lochmoor took command with a three-wide move turning for home en route to a 2 ¼-length victory in the $200,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship Stakes for Arkansas-breds, 3 and up, at 1 1/16 miles.

Francisco Arrieta rode Lochmoor ($3.20) for owner William Kennedy Jr. and trainer Bruce Riecken. It was the first career Oaklawn stakes victory for Riecken, who, on behalf of Kennedy, claimed Lochmoor out of his March 4, 2022, career debut at Oaklawn for $12,500.

One Ten Stadium finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of stablemate Man in the Can.

Lochmoor’s winning time over a fast track was 1:44.24. A four-time winner this season at Oaklawn, Lochmoor is 6 of 17 overall with earnings of $475,987. The Arkansas Breeders’ was his third consecutive victory and first career stakes score.

Lochmoor is a 5-year-old gelded son of Oaklawn stakes winner Laurie’s Rocket. Lochmoor’s dam, Copperelle, had previously produced Weast Hill and Usual Suspect – both state-bred stakes winners at Oaklawn.

Navy Seal, another half-sibling to Lochmoor, finished fifth in the Arkansas Breeders’ for trainer Nancy Knott.


WINNING JOCKEY RICARDO SANTANA JR./SKELLY: “He’s a beast. He didn’t break again today. The only thing I can say is he’s a beast. He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden in my life. Extremely fast. I’ve ridden some fast horses for (trainer Steve Asmussen). This horse is a beast.”


WINNING JOCKEY FRANCISCO ARRIETA/LOCHMOOR: “All the credit goes to Bruce (trainer Bruce Riecken), having this horse in great shape and sound. (Lochmoor) wanted to go early. I got a little scared and was like: ‘No, no, no.’ When I pulled on him, he relaxed and put me wherever I wanted to be. When I asked him for it, he took off. Nice horse.”