Moysey Gearing Up for Oaklawn’s 2022-2023 Meet
The last horse trainer Chelsey Moysey started in 2021 was Red Hot Mess in an allowance race for 2-year-old fillies New Year’s Eve at Oaklawn.
That $120,000 allowance race was really masquerading as a stake.
Secret Oath, winner of the 1-mile event, subsequently dominated newly turned 3-year-old fillies in Oaklawn’s $200,000 Martha Washington Stakes and $300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) before capturing the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) last May at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Oaks is the country’s biggest prize for 3-year-old fillies.
Matareya, a distant runner-up to Secret Oath last December at Oaklawn, developed into a multiple graded stakes winner, highlighted by the $500,000 Acorn (G1) last June at Belmont Park.
“Isn’t that crazy?” Moysey said during training hours Sunday morning at Oaklawn. “This is the thing. We she ran first off her layoff at Delaware, when you looked at her form, it was Secret Oath, Nest. Just the horses that had hit the board in the two races that she had ran in, we were like ‘Oh, my God.’ At the time, you really didn’t know who those horses were.”
Red Hot Miss, prior to finishing eighth in the allowance race, had run against Nest in Belmont’s $150,000 Tempted Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 mile. Nest emerged as the country’s top 3-year-old filly of 2022 after winning three Grade 1 races and finishing second against males in the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown.
A year later, Moysey is preparing another 2-year-old filly to run on New Year’s Eve at Oaklawn in Fabulous Candy, who is pointing for the inaugural $150,000 Year’s End Stakes. The 1-mile Year’s End, which evolved from the allowance race won by Secret Oath, is a major local prep for the $200,000 Martha Washington Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 28.
Fabulous Candy, like Red Hot Mess, is owned by Lewis Mathews of Bismarck, Ark., best known for campaigning millionaire multiple stakes-winning sprinter Ivan Fallunovalot. Fabulous Candy, by Grade 1 winner Twirling Candy, has won 2 of 4 career starts, including a two-turn allowance race Nov. 2 at Delaware Park. Fabulous Candy also finished fourth in her stakes debut, the $100,000 White Clay Creek at 1 mile Oct. 14 at Delaware Park. Red Hot Mess won the 2021 White Clay Creek to give Moysey her first career stakes victory.
“Honestly, I think she has a lot more talent,” Moysey said, comparing Fabulous Candy to Red Hot Mess. “I think she’s every bit of a two-turn horse. She’s a little bit smaller, so has a little bit of growing up to do. That filly has a lot of heart and a lot of talent.”
As for Red Hot Mess, Moysey said a knee issue sidelined the daughter of Shackleford for more than eight months following the December allowance race. Red Hot Mess returned to win her Aug. 24 allowance comeback at Delaware Park and ran second and fourth in allowance races last month at Delaware Park and Laurel, respectively.
“We kind of shortened her back up this year and kept her that way,” Moysey said. “I know she won the stake at a mile, but I think we asked a lot of her to stretch out. I think she’s definitely a much better sprinter than she is a route horse. She kind of proved that this summer and fall in the races that she ran in.”
Moysey said Red Hot Mess is being pointed for the $150,000 Poinsettia Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 and up, at 5 ½ furlongs Dec. 17 at Oaklawn.
A former assistant under now-retired trainer Buff Bradley, Moysey recorded her first career victory in 2019 and has already set a career high this year for purse earnings ($626,134), according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.
Moysey won three races at the 2021-2022 Oaklawn meeting and 13 more this year at Delaware Park to finish 11th in the standings. Moysey returns to Oaklawn with 27 horses, roughly twice as many as last season, including seven for Mathews and two for prominent Arkansas owner Frank Fletcher. Among Moysey’s best horses is Chief Ron, who has bankrolled $103,385 in 11 starts this year.
“It’s growing,” Moysey said of her stable. “I had around 35 this summer at one point. It kind of stayed that way, between 30 and 35, at Delaware. There’s a lot of horses that stayed there, went other places and then I picked up some clients to come here. Bought some more horses at a sale. So, we do have quite a few more than last year.”
Moysey is among several up and coming female trainers with stalls at Oaklawn this season. In addition, Lindsay Schultz, who earned her first career victory at Oaklawn last year, is back with a larger stable and Rachael Keithan, a former assistant to Christophe Clement and Danny Gargan who went out on her own in 2021, is at Oaklawn for the first time. They join veterans Lynn Chleborad, the winningest trainer in Oaklawn’s history with 132 victories, and Ingrid Mason, a close second with 127 wins.
Lone Rock Gearing Up for Oaklawn
Photo Credit: Coady Photography
Millionaire multiple graded stakes winner Lone Rock should return to Oaklawn in 30 to 45 days to continue preparations for his yet-to-be determined comeback spot, the 7-year-old gelding’s trainer, Robertino Diodoro, said Tuesday morning.
Diodoro said Lone Rock, a multiple Oaklawn stakes winner who has flourished in marathon events since being claimed for $40,000 by Flying P Stable (Jay Provenzano) in November 2020 at Churchill Downs, resumed training about three weeks ago in Florida following a lengthy vacation. The gelding hasn’t started since finishing third, beaten 2 ¼ lengths, in the $200,000 Birdstone Stakes for older horses at 1 ¾ miles July 28 at Saratoga.
In his prior start, Lone Rock finished third, beaten three lengths, in the $400,000 Brooklyn Stakes (G2) for older horses at 1 ½ miles June 11 at Belmont Park. Lone Rock had scored runaway victories in both races in 2021.
Diodoro said following the 2022 Birdstone, Lone Rock remained at Saratoga for approximately a week and his shoes were pulled because he was “always getting a little foot sore.” He then spent time at a local farm before shipping to Florida.
“Had nothing wrong,” Diodoro said. “Like Jay says – his theory is we take care of them, they’ll take care of us. The horse has been good to us. Never had a break. We’re not making any plans, but he’ll run here later in the meet.”
Diodoro said Lone Rock probably will be seen again in races like the $150,000 Temperence Hill Stakes for older horses at 1 ½ miles April 2 at Oaklawn and the Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes, another 1 ½-mile race, later in the spring at Churchill Downs before heading “up North.” Lone Rock swept both races in 2022 before his form tailed off slightly in his final two starts this year.
“Just a little bit flat, like a tired horse,” Diodoro said. “He never had that kick like he had for a while there.”
Lone Rock began a spectacular 2021 campaign (seven victories from nine starts and earnings of $842,884) with a 1 1/16-mile allowance victory at Oaklawn, his first start since Diodoro had re-claimed the gelding on behalf of Flying P Stable. Lone Rock’s career took off after Diodoro began targeting races beyond the American classic distance (1 ¼ miles). After a 1 ½-mile allowance victory at Oaklawn, Lone Rock won the $130,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight at Churchill Downs, $400,000 Brooklyn (G2) at Belmont Park by 11 ¼ lengths and the $120,000 Birdstone at Saratoga by four lengths. The Isaac Murphy and Brooklyn were also 1 ½ miles. The Birdstone was 1 ¾ miles.
Lone Rock surpassed $1 million in career earnings with a 1 ½-length victory in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes (G2) at Del Mar, setting a 1 5/8-mile track record (2:42.61). He closed 2021 with a victory in the inaugural $200,000 Tinsel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles last December at Oaklawn.
Lone Rock, by Majestic Warrior, has a 16-5-3 mark from 42 starts overall and earnings of $1,412,541. He is an eight-time stakes winner.
While Lone Rock won’t defend his Tinsel title, Diodoro said he will still “probably” be represented in the Dec. 17 race by Bal Harbour, who finished third in the $350,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes (G2) at 1 5/8 miles Nov. 4 at Keeneland. Diodoro claimed Bal Harbour out of a Sept. 5 victory at Saratoga for $50,000. The 7-year-old gelding is owned by Little Rock, Ark., attorney John Holleman, among Diodoro’s newest clients.
Diodoro, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2020, said he could have another Tinsel candidate in Soy Tapatio, who set a 1 1/8-mile track record (1:47.18) in a one-length victory in the $100,000 Zia Park Championship Stakes for 3-year-olds and up Tuesday at Zia Park.
The Zia Park Championship Stakes marked the 2,970th career North American victory (United States and Canada) for Diodoro, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. That total, through Wednesday, ranked 37th in North American history, according to Equibase. Diodoro has 279 career victories at Oaklawn.
Nominations to three stakes – $150,000 Advent for 2-year-old sprinters Dec. 9, $150,000 Mistletoe for fillies and mares, 3 and up, at 1 mile Dec. 10 and the $150,000 Ring the Bell for 3-year-olds and up at 6 furlongs Dec. 10 – close Nov. 29. … Post positions for opening day (Dec. 9) will be drawn Dec. 3. … Post positions for opening day of the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting that begins Dec. 9 will be drawn Dec. 3. … Recent arrival Barber Road recorded his first workout of the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting Wednesday morning, covering a half-mile in :49.20 immediately after the first surface renovation break under exercise rider Darwin Lopez. Splits over the fast-rated surface were :12.60 for the opening eighth of a mile and :25.20 for a quarter mile, according to clockers, with a 5-furlong gallop-out time of 1:01.80. Barber Road finished second in the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) last April at Oaklawn before finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby. The major 2022-2023 Oaklawn objective for Barber Road is the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (G2) for older horses at 1 1/8 miles April 22, trainer John Ortiz said. Barber Road, unraced since June, resumed training around Labor Day. … Protege, a sharp debut winner Sept. 21 at Churchill Downs, is under consideration for the $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds Jan. 1, trainer Ron Moquett said. The 1-mile Smarty Jones is Oaklawn’s first of four Kentucky Derby points races. Nominations to the Smarty Jones close Dec. 16. It will offer 20 points (10-4-3-2-1, respectively) to the top five finishers toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Derby. … David Cabrera, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2021-2022, will be getting on horses Friday morning in Hot Springs, his agent, Joe Santos, said. Cabrera is now based at Remington Park in Oklahoma City. Santos said another rider he represents, apprentice Rene Diaz, will be getting on horses Saturday morning at Oaklawn in advance of the 2022-2023 meeting. Diaz will be riding regularly for the first time at Oaklawn in 2022-2023. … Robertino Diodoro, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2020, said he plans to ride Cristian Torres and Orlando Mojica at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting. Torres, a combined 41 victories at the last two Oaklawn meetings, is the runaway riding leader this year at Remington Park. Mojica is returning to Oaklawn after a year’s absence. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winners Fulsome and Last Samurai are entered in the $750,000 Clark Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles Friday at Churchill Downs. … Agent Gene Short of Hot Springs said he will represent jockey Rocco Bowen during the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting. Bowen rode 12 winners at the 2021 Oaklawn meeting before wintering last season in Florida. … In addition to Elvin Gonzalez, agent Bobby Dean said he will represent jockey John Hiraldo during the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting. Hiraldo, runner-up for an Eclipse Award as the country’s champion apprentice jockey of 2021, rode 20 winners last season at Oaklawn. Gonzalez rode 25 winners to finish ninth in the standings in 2021-2022. … Eclipse candidate Kylee Jordan (2022 champion apprentice) has been getting on horses at Oaklawn in advance of the 2022-2023 meeting. Jordan won eight races last season at Oaklawn before capturing riding titles at Will Rogers Downs and Prairie Meadows. Now a journeyman, Jordan finished second, beaten a half-length, aboard Knocker Down in the $250,000 Steel Valley Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds Monday, Nov 21 at Mahoning Valley in Ohio. Late-running Tejano Twist won the 6-furlong race for 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman. … Jordan said Sunday morning that her father, Iowa-based trainer Todd Jordan, plans to have a small string at Oaklawn in 2022-2023.