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DAY 38 of 57





TODAY'S SIMULCAST SCHEDULE Derby Lane (greyhounds), 11:30 a.m.; Mahoning Valley, 11:45 a.m.; Parx, 11:55 a.m.; Palm Beach (greyhounds), noon; Daytona Beach (greyhounds), 12:05 p.m.; Will Rogers, 12:55 p.m.; Turf Paradise, 3:25 p.m.


Ricardo Santana won three races to increase his season total to 43 victories in 204 starts. He has won 14 more races than David Cabrera, who has won 29 races in 199 starts. Santana won the third race with Mucho Macho Dan ($19.20), covering 6 furlongs in 1:10.90, the fourth race with Cumber ($8), covering 6 furlongs in 1:12.01 and the eighth race with Tenfold ($3.20), covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.16. Fernando De La Cruz won the the second race with Dreamrider ($9), covering 6 furlongs in 1:11.96 and the sixth race with Shabang Baby ($26.80), covering 6 furlongs in 1:12.83. De La Cruz has 17 victories in 117 starts this season.

Steve Asmussen won two races to increase his lead in the trainer standings to 27 victories in 136 starts. Asmussen won the fourth race with Cumber and the eighth race with Tenfold. Robertino Diodoro won two races to improve his totals to 24 victories in 99 starts. Diodoro won the fifth race with Daftar ($21.40), covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.95 and the seventh race with Council Rules ($16.20), covering 6 furlongs in 1:11.49.


Robert and Lawana Low, owners of Magnum Moon, said the Rebel Stakes winner is headed to the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14 at Oaklawn Park.

Magnum Moon, who was making his stakes debut, recorded a 3 ½-length victory over favored Solomini and secured a spot in the Kentucky Derby May 5 at Churchill Downs.

Magnum Moon (3 for 3) earned 50 points for his victory and ranks fifth on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, according to a news release Saturday from Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 starters, with starting preference given to horses with the highest point totals in designated races like the Rebel, if the race overfills.

Trainer Todd Pletcher's assistant Ginny DePasquale said Sunday morning that Magnum Moon and stablemate Hedge Fund emerged from their victories in good order. Hedge Fund was a front-running winner of the $300,000 Essex Handicap for older horses.

"They both came back very well," said DePasquale, who saddled the horses in Pletcher's absence. "Both came back in good shape."

Magnum Moon is scheduled to be flown back to his south Florida base today, but DePasquale said the flight may be delayed until Tuesday.

If Magnum Moon returns for the Arkansas Derby, Pletcher would be following the same script he did last year with Malagacy, who, in his stakes debut, won the Rebel in his third career start. Malagacy finished fifth in the Arkansas Derby.

A son of Malibu Moon, Magnum Moon has earned $577,800 for the Lows, who live in Springfield, Mo., and previously won Oaklawn stakes races with trainers Dan Peitz and Steve Margolis.

Sporting Chance emerged in good order from his fifth-place finish in the Rebel, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Sunday morning, and will be pointed for the Arkansas Derby.

"It's hard for me to handle that one because I thought I had him trained to the minute," Lukas said. "I really felt like he would run a monster race, and he didn't. He flattened out a little bit. He had a decent trip. I was disappointed in him. Don't have a lot of explanations, but he did come back good."

Sporting Chance ranks 38th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with the two points he earned from a third-place finish in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 19.

Back to Work

Unbeaten 3-year-old Exclamation Point returned to work Saturday morning, breezing an easy half-mile in :49.80 seconds over a fast track just after the renovation break for trainer Brad Cox.

Cox said Exclamation Point (2 for 2 at the meeting and in his career) is a candidate for the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn and the $200,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. Both races are April 14.

"I would say it would be one of those two spots," Cox said following the breeze, the colt's first since winning his two-turn debut in a first-level allowance/optional claimer March 3.

Cox said the half-brother to champion and 2017 Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire came out of the race well. He was a front-running winner of his Feb. 3 debut sprinting.

"He looks good," Cox said. "His weight's good. He looks like he's traveling well. We worked him with no company. We weren't looking for much, just kind of let him stretch his legs."

Next-race plans are pending for several of Cox's other top runners, but he said he is pointing Zippy Lou for the $100,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies on March 31 and Five O One for the $100,000 Arkansas Breeders' Stakes (open division) for state-breds April 7.

Zippy Lou, second in her March 11 career debut, is named for Oaklawn guest services manager Lou Siegel. The Flurry-owned Five O One captured last year's $100,000 Rainbow Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred colts and geldings.

Cox said Mythical Tale, a sharp allowance/optional claiming winner Friday, is a candidate for the $150,000 Carousel Stakes for older female sprinters April 7.

Sassy Sienna is pointing for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies April 13, Cox said. Sassy Sienna finished third in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 10 in her last start.

Leofric, scratched from the $300,000 Essex Handicap Saturday at Oaklawn, is entered in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (G2) Saturday at Fair Grounds.

"We'll just kind of see how it comes up," Cox said.

Straight Talk

Inside Straight, winner of last year's $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap for older horses at Oaklawn, arrived Saturday morning following an 18-hour van ride from Turf Paradise in Phoenix, trainer Robert Diodoro said Sunday morning.

Diodoro said Inside Straight, who has been based this winter with the trainer's Turf Paradise division, will be pointed for the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 14. Inside Straight has raced three times this year at Turf Paradise, winning the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap Jan. 13, finishing fourth in the $30,000 Turf Paradise Handicap Feb. 10 and winning an allowance race March 3. The first two races were on grass.

"Just a few works to keep him on his schedule," Diodoro said of his game plan to reach the Oaklawn Handicap. "He runs good fresh. This little space between is going to be nothing but good for him."

Diodoro trains Inside Straight, a career winner of $810,656, for Randy Howg.

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

Sports on 03/19/2018

Print Headline: AT THE POST

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