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story.lead_photo.caption Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas is shown in this file photo.

DAY 31 of 57





TODAY'S SIMULCAST SCHEDULE Laurel Park, 11:30 a.m.; Gulfstream Park, 11:35 a.m.; Tampa Bay, 11:35 a.m.; Aqueduct, 12:20 p.m.; Golden Gate, 2:45 p.m.; Santa Anita, 3 p.m.; Fair Grounds, 5 p.m.; Penn National, 5 p.m.; Turfway Park, 5:15 p.m.; Delta Downs, 5:40 p.m.; Charles Town, 6 p.m.; Daytona Beach (greyhounds), 6:25 p.m.; Derby Lane (greyhounds), 6:30 p.m.; Sam Houston, 7 p.m.

Lukas goes old school

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas went old school Monday morning at Oaklawn Park, working Grade 1 winner Sporting Chance a mile in preparation for the $900,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds on March 17.

Sporting Chance went in 1:41.40 over a muddy track, moments after the track opened, under two-time Oaklawn riding champion Terry Thompson, the colt's regular workout partner. Sporting Chance's work started and ended at the regular finish line, with clockers catching his first half-mile in :50.40 and final half-mile in :51.

Lukas said he wanted even splits in the stamina-building work moving toward the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, which is the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14.

"It's kind of an old-school move," Lukas said. "I'm an old man, so reaching down for the old methods sometimes is where you go. I was really pleased with the way he did it."

Lukas, 82, said he instructed Thompson to go the first half-mile in ":51 and change" and come home the last half-mile in ":50 and change."

"That's exactly what he did," said Lukas, who praised Thompson for his ability to hit target times in works. "On that muddy track, he looked good."

Sporting Chance for Velazquez

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride Sporting Chance in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds March 17, Lukas said Monday morning. Velazquez will replace Luis Saez, who has ridden Sporting Chance in his last three starts, including a victory in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 4 at Saratoga and a third in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes onFeb. 19.

Both riders are based this winter at Gulfstream Park.

"That, I think, is a great fit," Lukas said. "John's excited about it. He wanted to ride this horse when he was up at Saratoga. He asked me to ride this horse. He knows the horse, and he's pretty excited about coming."

Finish lines

Higher Power worked 6 furlongs in 1:13 over a fast track Tuesday morning for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel, who is targeting the $900,000 Rebel Stakes on March 17 for the 3-year-old colt's next start. ... Next-race plans are pending for Chanteline, winner of Saturday's $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes for older female sprinters, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said Monday morning. Asmussen said Chanteline will be considered for the $150,000 Carousel Stakes April 7 and a grass stake at Keeneland. ... Asmussen entered Wednesday with 7,945 career North American victories, according to Equibase, racing's official data gathering organization, trailing only the late Dale Baird (9,445). Asmussen recorded his 7,000th career North American victory April 1, 2015, at Oaklawn, where he has led the standings eight times since 2007. He has a meet-high 19 victories this year. ... Asmussen said Monday morning that he plans to start Terra Promessa in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes for older fillies and mares and Untrapped in the $300,000 Essex Handicap for older horses. Both 1 1/16-mile races are March 17. ... Plans are pending for Feb. 19 entry-level allowance/optional claiming winner New York Central, Asmussen said Monday morning. New York Central, a son of Tapit, edged Transgress by a neck in a 1 1/16-mile race that featured several promising 3-year-olds. ... Chance, who is headed for the Rebel, have the same owners, Robert Baker and William Mack. ... Post positions were to be drawn Wednesday for Saturday's $200,000 Honeybee Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes for older sprinters.

Information for this report was contributed by the Oaklawn media department.

Photo by Richard Rasmussen
Trainer Steve Asmussen is shown in this file photo.

Sports on 03/08/2018

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