Lake Ouachita Stakes

Compiled by Robert Yates

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

Sunday, May 5, 2024

FROSTED DEPARTURE - Photo Credit: Coady Media
Lake Ouachita Stakes - 2nd Running

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Frosted Departure capped a memorable weekend for trainer Kenny McPeek with an easy victory in the $200,000 Lake Ouachita Stakes for older horses at 1 1/16 miles Sunday afternoon at Oaklawn.

Frosted Departure’s victory came on the heels of McPeek becoming the first trainer since Ben Jones in 1952 to sweep the Kentucky Oaks (Thorpedo Anna) and Kentucky Derby (Mystik Dan) in the same year. Both horses were stakes winners this year at Oaklawn, with Mystik Dan claiming the $800,000 G3-Southwest Stakes Feb. 3 and Thorpedo Anna capturing the $750,000 G2-Fantasy March 30. Mystik Dan ran third in the $1.5 million G1-Arkansas Derby.

The Lake Ouachita mirrored Frosted Departure’s first race this season at Oaklawn, a front-running 7 ¼-length allowance victory Dec. 15. Frosted Departure’s final time (1:43.06) was the fastest for 1 1/16 miles in December in Oaklawn history.

In the Lake Ouachita, Oaklawn’s closing-day feature, Frosted Departure ($11.40) again controlled the pace from the start under Julien Leparoux and strolled home by 4 ½ lengths. Strong Tide, a 40-1 outsider, and Nautical Star, dead-heated for second. They finished three lengths ahead of Ben Franklin, who was followed, in order, by Silver Prospector, defending champion Ain’t Life Grand and Law Professor. Alexander Helios was a late scratch.

Silver Prospector, the 5-2 favorite, was bidding to give Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen his record 72nd victory at the 2023-2024 Oaklawn meeting. Asmussen won two races earlier on the card and finished with 71, equaling the late Cole Norman’s single-season record, set in 2003.

Frosted Departure, a 4-year-old son of Frosted, completed 1 1/16 miles over a muddy, sealed surface in 1:43.83. Frosted Departure was exiting an allowance victory at 1 1/16 miles April 13 at Keeneland.

Owned by R.T Racing Stable (Ramon Tallaj), Frosted Departure has a 6-2-3 record from 23 lifetime starts and earnings of $736,381. The Lake Ouachita was his second career stakes victory. Frosted Departure also won the $150,000 Renaissance Stakes for 2-year-old sprinters in 2022 at Oaklawn.

Pending Arkansas Racing Commission approval, Oaklawn is scheduled to resume racing Dec. 6.


WINNING JOCKEY JULIEN LEPAROUX/FROSTED DEPARTURE: “That was the plan, go and get the lead. The plan was to break good and get the lead. I was able to back up the pace a little bit. We got a nice, easy pace and he kept on going. The horse is improving and he ran big today.”

WINNING TRAINER KENNY McPEEK/FROSTED DEPARTURE: “That’s like the cherry on top of the cake or something, isn’t it? (after winning this weekend’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks). Wow! Just really proud. Amazing ride by Julien (Leparoux), too. Just let him cruise up there. When he gets his way, he’s brilliant. When it doesn’t go his way, sometimes he’s not so. But the way it set up, it looked like he was the speed and Julien did a great job.”