02/25/2011 3:57PM

Dublin’s return to racing delayed by bout of colitis

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas hopes to have Dublin ready for the Grade 2, $350,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 9.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Dublin will miss a few weeks of training due to a recent illness, and the development will push his seasonal debut back to at least April, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. The goal for Dublin’s return is the Grade 2, $350,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 9.

“At this point, that’s what we’re targeting,” Lukas said Friday.

Dublin, who won the Grade 1 Hopeful in 2009, had been training right along for his first start since finishing fifth in last year’s Preakness. He was on schedule to return to action at Oaklawn in the middle of March, Lukas said.

“We were going in great shape,” he said. “We were actually looking at the Razorback, but he got a bout of colitis. It only lasted a couple of days, but it set us back and I’m going to give him two weeks off. So, I’m going to be set back. Now, we’re pushing all the way to the handicap.”

Dublin was seventh in last year’s Kentucky Derby. Lukas has said a long-term objective for the horse this year in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in May.

Tidal Pool points to Azeri

Tidal Pool, who rolled to an 8 1/2-length win in an allowance earlier this month, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Azeri at Oaklawn on March 19, Lukas said.

Tidal Pool earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97 for the win, which came Feb. 18. It was the second year in a row that she has won an Oaklawn allowance by eight lengths. The other one came on Feb. 18, 2010.

“Next year, Feb. 18, we’re going to breed her,” Lukas joked.

Tidal Pool, who last year was third in the Kentucky Oaks, is a long-term candidate for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on April 15. She races for Westrock Stable.

Absinthe Minded, who on Feb. 19 won the $100,000 Bayakoa at Oaklawn, also is headed to the Azeri, Lukas said. He trains the filly for Briland Farm. She won her second race at the meet in the Bayakoa and earned a career-high 98 Beyer for the wire-to-wire effort.

Lukas had a double at Oaklawn on Thursday to move into a tie atop the trainer standings with Randy Morse.

Coronet of a Baron eyes stakes

Coronet of a Baron will be considered for some of the upcoming sprint stakes at Oaklawn following his allowance win Thursday, trainer Grant Forster said. Coronet of a Baron ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet in his race, when he covered the distance in 1:10.11.

“As strong as he ran, we’d certainly like to try him another time at three-quarters,” said Forster, who believes the horse also will be effective at distances of a mile to 1 1/16 miles.

Coronet of a Baron was a private purchase last spring by the Arkansas-based Fly Racing. Earlier in his career, the horse was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

For his sweeping, 2 3/4-length win Thursday, he earned an 83 Beyer. The upcoming sprint stakes are the $60,000 Hot Springs on March 20 and the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap on April 14.

◗ Ruidoso Downs on Thursday received New Mexico Racing Commission approval to change the structure of its race week for its 60-date meet that opens May 27. The track will race Friday through Monday after traditionally racing Thursday through Sunday. The main exception to the schedule will be that trials for the Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity will be on a Thursday, Aug. 18.