02/22/2011 5:25PM

Coronet of a Baron back from a layoff at Oaklawn

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Barbara D. Livingston
Coronet of a Baron will return from a layoff in a $35,000 optional claimer on Thursday at Oaklawn.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – After the pick six that had a $100,093 carryover into Thursday is either hit or missed, there will still be one more significant handicapping puzzle on the program at Oaklawn Park.

The featured ninth race brings together name-brand horses Coronet of a Baron and Moyer’s Pond, who were both graded stakes placed earlier in their careers.Each must overcome a layoff, however, to win the $35,000 optional claimer, which carries second-level allowance conditions. It will be run over six furlongs, and the field of nine also includes Delong Road, a son of Storm Cat and the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Tates Creek.

Coronet of a Baron, who as a 2-year-old was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and third in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, will be making his Oaklawn debut. He races for the Arkansas-based partnership of Fly Racing after being purchased privately last March.

“We purchased him from Darley, not quite a year ago,” said Grant Forster, who trains Coronet of a Baron. “He was at Oaklawn last year, but we didn’t get to run him at the time. He got here toward the end of the meet.”

Fast forward to Oaklawn 2011, and Forster said the horse is set to get his 5-year-old campaign going. He will be making his first start since Nov. 25, when he was sixth in a second-level allowance at Churchill Downs.

“Last time, it was in the slop and he didn’t handle it at all,” Forster said. “So, we’re just hoping for a fast track on Thursday. He’s training well and is sharp and is ready to go.”

Coronet of a Baron is making his return at six furlongs, and while he has won at a similar trip, Forster said down the line he looks for the horse to be best at distances of a mile to 1 1/16 miles. Jon Court, who was aboard Coronet of a Baron when he was fourth in a second-level allowance sprint at Churchill, reunites with him Thursday. The horse will break from post 4.

“I expect him to probably be settling somewhere in midpack,” Forster said.

Coronet of a Baron could get a decent pace to stalk on account of Delong Road, Spookey’s Ready, and Lone Star Cowboy. The scenario also would benefit Moyer’s Pond, who as a 3-year-old ran second in both the Grade 2 Ohio Derby and Grade 3 Lone Star Derby. Moyer’s Pond is 7 years old.