For Immediate Release

Contact: Jennifer Hoyt, Director of Racing or 501-363-4305

Kaboom Baby

Photo credit: Coady Photography


HOT SPRINGS, AR (Wednesday, May 3, 2023) – John Carver’s Summer Shoes is scheduled to make her long-awaited two-turn debut in the $150,000 Natural State Breeders’ Stakes for Arkansas-bred fillies and mares, 3 and up, Thursday at Oaklawn.

Probable post time for the 1-mile Natural State is 4:18 p.m. (Central). Racing begins at 12:25 p.m., with the Natural State Breeders’ the eighth of nine races.

The projected 14-horse Natural State Breeders’ field from the rail out: Sulwe, Walter De La Cruz to ride, 119 pounds, 15-1 on the morning line; Arden Ar, Calvin Borel, 117, 50-1; Kaboom Baby, Luis Quinonez, 124, 3-1; Connie K, Martin Garcia, 119, 9-2; Courtney Fay, Ramsey Zimmerman, 117, 20-1; Bennykayandsuzytoo, Isaac Castillo, 118, 20-1; Summorya, Gabriel Saez, 113, 15-1; Too Pretty, Francisco Arrieta, 119, 8-1; Kantex, Colby Hernandez, 124, 4-1; Run Fearless, Cristian Torres, 124, 15-1; Summer Shoes, Chel-c Bailey, 124, 7-2; Pattern Bet, Keith Asmussen, 124, 15-1; Proud Victoria, Erick Medellin, 117, 30-1; and She’s Storming, Kylee Jordan, 118, 20-1.

Summer Shoes, a 5-year-old daughter of Commander's Shoes, is among the top Arkansas-breds in training. She was supposed to make her stakes and two-turn debut in last year’s Natural State, but was scratched because “she just didn’t seem right,” trainer Tom Swearingen said. Summer Shoes is unbeaten in four lifetime starts at Oaklawn against state-breds, highlighted by the $150,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes March 4 at 6 furlongs.

“She’ll get into a cruise speed and she acts like she’ll do two turns,” Swearingen said.

Summer Shoes exits a closing fourth in open company, a March 31 allowance, behind Gunning, who returned to run second in the inaugural $150,000 Dig a Diamond Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 mile last Saturday at Oaklawn. Summer Shoes has made two other starts at the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting, beating Connie K by three-quarters of a length in a state-bred allowance Dec. 30 and finishing third, beaten three-quarters of a length by Sue Ellen Mishkin, in open allowance company Jan. 29. Sue Ellen Mishkin was a starter/optional claiming winner April 25 at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

“There’s a lot of horses in there,” Swearingen said, referring to the Natural State. “I think a lot of it is going to be who gets the best trip, but we’re ready to give it a go.”

Connie K won the 2022 Downthedustyroad and finished third in this year’s running for trainer Randy Morse. She was also a distant second behind The Mary Rose in last year’s Natural State. Connie K exits a second behind Natural State program favorite Kaboom Baby in a state-bred allowance sprint March 31 at Oaklawn.

Kaboom Baby ran third in the 2022 Natural State and second in this year’s Downthedustyroad for trainer Ernie Witt II. Witt, an Arkansas native, is seeking his first career stakes victory.

“She’s doing good this year,” Witt said. “She had a few very minor physical issues last year. She’s laying a lot closer now than she did before, and I think she’s just healthy.”

Trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs has three entrants in Sulwe, Summorya and Pattern Bet, who will be making her two-turn debut for breeder/owner Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock, Ark.

Pattern Bet has made 10 career starts, all at Oaklawn against state-breds, and finished in the top three eight times. Pattern Bet will be ridden for the first time by Asmussen, who recorded his first career Oaklawn stakes victory aboard Ryvit in last Saturday’s $150,000 Bachelor.

“I think Pattern Bet is, obviously, ultra-consistent, but she’s got to overcome a poor draw,” Moquett said. “I love that our rider has already broken his (Oaklawn) stake maiden now, so we’re excited about that. We think we’re as good as anyone in there and I wouldn’t be surprised if (any) of them won. Going a distance with a bunch of horses that’s never done it is a fun race to gamble on, but it’s kind of a little mind burning for us trainers to try and figure out where we need to be.”

She’s Storming will be making her two-turn debut after winning the $150,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes April 8 at Oaklawn in her last start for trainer Michael Hewitt. The Rainbow Miss was for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies at 6 furlongs.