Edited Press Release
Three scheduled starters for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 16 recorded their final workouts for the race over a fast surface Saturday morning at Oaklawn Park.
Whitmore, in company with stablemate Regulatory, went a half-mile in :48.80 for co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett. The horseman opted to work Whitmore just after the track opened, rather than a 15-mintue window reserved for Racing Festival of the South candidates immediately after the break to renovate the racing surface.
“It was the cliché work,” Moquett said. “Perfect. Exactly what we needed.”
Whitmore has finished second in Oaklawn’s two major preps leading up to the Arkansas Derby – the February 15 Southwest (G3) and March 19 Rebel (G2).
Breezing after the break Saturday morning were Southwest winner Suddenbreakingnews and Discreetness, who won the January 18 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn in his three-year-old debut.
Suddenbreakingnews went a half-mile in :48.40 for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel. Discreetness traveled three furlongs out of the gate in :36.40 for trainer Jinks Fires.
Discreetness is coming off seventh-place finishes in the Southwest and Rebel.
“I just want to put him on his toes,” Fires said before the work. “He needs to break better.”
In addition to the three definite starters, three horses under consideration for the Arkansas Derby worked after the break Saturday morning.
Dazzling Gem covered a half-mile in :49.40 for trainer Brad Cox, Tisdale went a half-mile in :49.60 for Moquett and Cutacorner clocked five-eighths in 1:01.20 for Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg.
Dazzling Gem won his first two career starts this year at Oaklawn before finishing third in the March 26 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. He was scheduled to run in the Rebel but re-routed to the Louisiana Derby because of a foot abscess, Cox said.
Cutacorner finished ninth in the Southwest and eighth in the Rebel. Tisdale would be making his stakes bow in the Arkansas Derby off maiden and allowance/optional claiming wins in his past pair.
The Arkansas Derby will highlight a 12-race closing-day card.
Photos courtesy of Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography