Lindsay Schultz Now Training for Shortleaf Stable

Oaklawn Barn Notes by Robert Yates

Contact: Jennifer Hoyt, or (501) 363-4305

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Lindsay Schultz Now Training for Shortleaf Stable

In a social media post late last month, Shortleaf Stable announced, “a shakeup in our stable brings forth an old face and a new one.”

The old face is Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, 87, who has reunited with Shortleaf owner John Ed Anthony after they teamed for 10 victories at Oaklawn in 2008-2009. The new face is trainer Lindsay Schultz, 34, who now has three horses for Anthony.

“It’s really exciting for me,” Schultz said Friday morning. “I mean, that’s the first owner I have that’s trying to breed a Derby horse.”

Shortleaf horses now with Schultz at Oaklawn are The Heights, a 3-year-old son of champion Nyquist and a half-brother to 2021 Arkansas Derby runner-up Caddo River; Westover, a 3-year-old Arkansas-bred son of Double Irish; and Coromandel, a 3-year-old Arkansas-bred daughter of Tekton. All three Shortleaf homebreds have started at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting. The Heights and Westover had previously been with two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. Coromandel had previously been with trainer John Ortiz.

“That’s pretty cool,” Schultz said of training for Anthony.

Schultz was an assistant under Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey before striking out on her own in the fall of 2021. Although McGaughey and his son, Reeve, have trained for Anthony in the past, Schultz said she had no personal connection to the Arkansas lumberman and winningest owner in Oaklawn history. Anthony has campaigned three Eclipse Award winners, including homebred Vanlandingham (1985 champion older male) with Shug McGaughey. Schultz said John Gasper, Anthony's racing manager, helped steer the prominent breeder/owner to her.

“I got to know John Gasper a little bit this fall when I was in Kentucky,” Schultz said. “I think John Ed’s son (Ed) had heard of me as well, but I went out to meet Mr. Anthony at the farm a couple of weeks ago.”

Schultz already has 16 career victories as a trainer. Seven have come at Oaklawn, including her first career winner, Capture the Glory, Jan. 8, 2022, for major client Ten Strike Racing.

Schultz has a 3-1-1 mark from 10 starts this season at Oaklawn. Two of the victories have been with the Ten Strike-owned Tiger Moon, whose major 2022-2023 Oaklawn objective is the 1 ¾-mile Trail’s End starter-allowance marathon, traditionally the final race of the meeting. Ten Strike won the last two runnings of the Trail’s End, worth $125,000 last year, with the now-retired Original Intent. The gelding was trained by Bentley Combs.

“Thankfully, we have Tiger Moon,” Schultz said. “He’s the superstar. Long way to go (before the Trail’s End).”

Schultz said she has 15 horses at Oaklawn. Roughly a half-dozen are for Ten Strike, which entered Saturday as Oaklawn’s leading owner this season with eight victories from just 13 starts.

Lukas now trains Caddo River, who was previously with Cox. Under Cox’s care, Caddo River won the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds in 2021 at Oaklawn before finishing second in its $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). Shortleaf transferred its homebred from Cox to Lukas following a runner-up finish in a Jan. 21 allowance race at Oaklawn, which marked Caddo River’s 5-year-old debut.

Lukas said he’s pointing Caddo River to the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 18. Anthony won the Razorback last year with the Cox-trained Plainsman.

Caddo River, who is by Hard Spun, has a 5-5-1 record from 16 lifetime starts and earnings of $677,800. Anthony entered Saturday with 281 career Oaklawn victories. Shortleaf still has horses with Cox and Ortiz.

Ain’t Life Grand at Oaklawn

Iowa-bred star Ain’t Life Grand is close to returning to the work tab at Oaklawn, trainer Kelly Von Hemel said Friday morning.

A 4-year-old son of Not This Time, Ain’t Life Grand hasn’t started since a 13 ¼-length victory in the $100,000 Iowa Breeders’ Derby for 3-year-old state-bred colts and geldings at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 1 at Prairie Meadows. Ain’t Life Grand was then scheduled to test open company again in the $350,000 Fayette Stakes (G2) at 1 1/8 miles Oct. 29 at Keeneland, but those plans were shelved because of an illness, Von Hemel said.

“Sure want to run him here,” Von Hemel said. “Don’t have anything pinpointed at this time. We’ll see how he comes along, how fast he comes along.”

Ain’t Life Grand made his 3-year-old debut last April at Oaklawn, finishing fourth in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes at 6 furlongs. He returned to Prairie Meadows to capture two July stakes, including one in open company, the $300,000 Iowa Derby at 1 1/16 miles. Those performances propelled Ain’t Life Grand into the prestigious $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles last August at Saratoga, where he finished seventh.

“He was on his game back then,” Von Hemel said. “That’s why we took a shot.”

Von Hemel said one major 2023 target for Ain’t Life Grand is the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) this summer at Prairie Meadows.

Ain’t Life Grand was named the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association champion 2-year-old colt or gelding and 3-year-old colt or gelding. Overall, Ain’t Life Grand has a 6-0-2 record from 10 lifetime starts and earnings of $489,283. He is a five-time stakes winner.

Milestone Watch

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen entered Saturday with 9,986 career North American victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Asmussen, already North America’s all-time winningest trainer, has collected a record 12 Oaklawn training titles. He entered Saturday with 829 career victories at Oaklawn (No. 2 all time), including nine this season. The late Bob Holthus (867) is Oaklawn’s all-time winningest trainer.

Trainer Brad Cox entered Saturday with 1,988 career North American victories, according to Equibase, including 272 at Oaklawn. Cox is a two-time Eclipse Award winner (2020 and 2021) as the country’s outstanding trainer.

Finish Lines

Jockey David Cabrera won two races Friday, increasing his career Oaklawn total to 192. Cabrera won the third race aboard favored Coltons Dream ($7.40) for trainer Norm McKnight and the seventh race aboard Tough Legacy ($32.80) for trainer Norm Casse. Cabrera was Oaklawn’s co-leading rider in 2021-2022. … Tough Legacy moved Casse to 7 for 14 at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting and 12 for 35 the last two seasons in Hot Springs. … Agent Joe Santos said Saturday morning that Erick Fuentes, a 10-pound apprentice now based in New York, will begin riding at Oaklawn later this month. Santos also represents Cabrera.