01/15/2011 8:37PM

Borel stars on Oaklawn opener


Oaklawn's opener on Saturday was particularly sweet for jockey Calvin Borel, who won the first race of the season in his first mount back from breaking his jaw in a spill in November. He also had two seconds and two thirds on the initial card of the meet for arguably the most productive afternoon in a very deep riding colony. Alex Birzer won the first stakes of the meet, the $50,000 Dixe Belle, aboard Mazucambera ($34).

There were two winning favorites on the nine race card, with the first under Borel, Jersey Shore Girl ($6.80). The other winning favorite was Miner Bird in the ninth, and he paid a generous $9.40.

Oaklawn, which was forced to cancel Friday's scheduled opening day because of inclement weather, drew 20,176 on Saturday. Handle on the nine-race card from all sources was $3.9 million.

"It was a good crowd, a festive crowd," said David Longinotti, the assistant general manager of racing at Oaklawn.

Oaklawn offered 50 cent corned beef sandwiches as part of an opening day promotion, and went through three tons of product on Saturday, Longinotti said. He said the track was out of corned beef at about 4 p.m. Central.

Racing will resume on Sunday at Oaklawn, with Win Willy heading the lineup for the $75,000 Fifth Season.