Rich Foes Battle in Oaklawn Handicap
Tacitus in 2019 Travers - Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The crowning card of the 2020 Oaklawn Park meeting comes Saturday, May 2, with three graded stakes worth $1.6 million.
Sandwiched between two editions of the Arkansas Derby is the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile journey for older horses. Seven of the 14 runners have earned more than $800,000, and four more have earned nearly half a million.
Bravazo is one of the multi-millionaires, with over $2 million in the bank. A winner here in allowance company in 2018, Bravazo is seeking his first victory since the 2018 Risen Star Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds. The son of Awesome Again has been honest since then, running third in the Travers (G1), second in the Haskell (G1), and second in the Clark Handicap (G1), but he only made two starts in 2019 and has not been better than fourth since November, 2018.
Mr Freeze is coming off a win in the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2). The Dale Romans-trainee by To Honor and Serve has never run over this course, but has been an honest and hard knocking type his whole career. He has been top three in 10 of 12 starts, was a graded winner at three and four, and ran second in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) in January. Joe Talamo will ride.
Warrior’s Charge is coming off a win in the local prep for this race, the Razorback Handicap (G3). He is three for five over the course with two thirds, and was fourth in the 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1). Brad Cox trains the son of Munnings.
Combatant will make his first start since winning the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on March 7. The son of the late Scat Daddy has run here six times with a win, three seconds, and a third. He has earned over $1 million and will be making his third start since moving to the barn of John Sadler. Joel Rosario will ride.
$2.6 million earner Tacitus is making his first start since the Saudi Cup (G1) on February 29. He was fifth that day, his first start worse than fourth. Last year, the son of Tapit won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2) before officially being third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and second in the Belmont (G1). At the end of last year he ran second in the Travers (G1) and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) for trainer Bill Mott. He will have John Velazquez aboard for the first time.
By My Standards was off from the 2019 Kentucky Derby until a February 9 allowance at the Fair Grounds, but the son of Goldencents returned in style with a six-length win. He came right back to add the New Orleans Classic (G2) over Captivating Moon, who is in this field. Bret Calhoun trains the four-time winner.
Improbable drew outside. The son of City Zip is closing in on $1 million in earnings, but has been second in all three of his Oaklawn Park starts. His last win came in the listed Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar in August, but he finished second here in the Oaklawn Mile on a wet track April 11 for trainer Bob Baffert.
Chess Chief, Trophy Chaser, Identifier, Sky Promise, Tax, and Night Ops round out the field. Watch all the action at Oaklawn live on TVG.
- October 22, 2021
For good reason, much of the attention on the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) will be on the international runners who come to Del Mar for the 12-furlong contest. In the last decade, just three winners have hailed from the United States, with the other seven coming from Europe. Since 2000, that split is 16 Europe, six for America.
- October 21, 2021
This is the last of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- October 20, 2021
A superb edition of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on tap November 6, and the prospective field is a list of one sparkling star after the other.