DAY 1 of 57
ESTIMATED ATTENDANCE 13,500
TOTAL HANDLE $4,264,019
OFF-TRACK HANDLE $3,431,572
ON-TRACK HANDLE $832,447
TODAY’S SIMULCAST SCHEDULE Gulf-stream Park, 11 a.m.; Aqueduct, 11:20 a.m.; Laurel Park, 11:30 a.m.; Tampa Bay, 11:35 a.m.; Santa Anita, 2:30 p.m.; Golden Gate, 2:45 p.m.; Penn National, 5 p.m.; Turfway Park, 5:15 p.m.; Delta Downs, 5:30 p.m.; Charles Town, 6 p.m.; Gulf (G), 6 p.m.; Derby Lane (G), 6:30 p.m.; Southland (G), 7:30 p.m.; Los Alamitos, 8 p.m.
Jockey C.J. McMahon was the only multiple winner of the day, riding long shots to victory in the eighth and ninth races. McMahon rode Sonneteer (30-1) first to the finish line in the feature race, The Fifth Season, nipping Futile and Far Right to the wire of the 1 1/16-mile race. Sonneteer paid $61.60, $24.20 and $13.20 for trainer Keith Desormeaux. McMahon capped the day by taking Spotitude to the winner’s circle in the final race (6 furlongs). Going off just under 30-1, Spotitude held off Hamazing Vision and Just a Coinkydink to pay $60.80, $19.60 and $9.80. Hall of Fame Gary Stevens jockey returned to Oaklawn Park and quickly got into the winning act. The 54-year-old jockey, who began riding at the track in 1985, rode Articulator to victory in the second race. Articulator held off You’re Killin Me and jockey Luis Quinonez to pay $5.80, $3.60 and $2.60 in the 6-furlong race.
FARRELL IN THE PIPPIN
Multiple-graded stakes winner Farrell is scheduled to make her Oaklawn debut in today’s $125,000 Pippin Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. The Pippin has drawn a field of 11, including its last two winners, Streamline and Terra Promessa, the early morning favorite. Farrell was among the country’s top 3-year-old fillies last year after winning 4 of 6 starts and $575,720. All four of Farrell’s victories were in stakes races, including the $200,000 Rachel Alexandra and $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds and the $200,000 Chilukki at Churchill Downs in her last start. “I’m excited about Farrell,” said regular rider Channing Hill, son-in-law of the filly’s trainer, Wayne Catalano. “Farrell’s the queen right now. She’s been doing so good. Wayne does such a good job.”
SMARTY JONES UPDATE
Seven 3-year-olds are entered in Monday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, Oaklawn’s first of four major preps for the Kentucky Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has dominated Oak-lawn’s 3-year-old prep series in recent years, has probable favorite Mourinho entered. Mourinho has a 1-2-0 record in three lifetime starts and has jockey Drayden Van Dyke riding from the fourth post. Also entered in the 1-mile Smarty Jones are Combatant, Lone Rock, Tap Daddy, Arched Feather, Navistar and Bode’s Maker. Combatant and Tap Daddy are from the barn of eight-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen. Navistar, a Dec. 16 maiden winner at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher, will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez.
Today’s nine-race card features a split first-level allowance/optional claimer for 3-year-olds at a mile (races 5 and 7). … The races could produce a starter, or starters, for the $500,000 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 19, Oaklawn’s second of four major preps for the Kentucky Derby. … Nine horses are entered in the 1-mile seventh race, including Higher Power, a half-brother to millionaire and 2012 Oaklawn Handicap winner Alternation for owner/breeder Pin Oak Stable (Josephine Abercrombie) and trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. Higher Power enters his 3-year-old season with the same resume as Alternation did in 2011 for the same connections. Also entered in the seventh race are Shortleaf Stable’s Lone Rock, a maiden winner Sept. 2 at Indiana Grand for trainer Will VanMeter, and New York Central, a gray son of Tapit, who is making his two-turn debut after breaking his maiden by 7 ¼ lengths Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs in his last start. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is named to ride New York Central, whose second dam, Hold to Fashion, produced 2004 Oaklawn Handicap winner Peace Rules. … Today is Oaklawn’s annual 50-cent corned beef sandwich promotion.