03/24/2008 11:00PM

Haynes leads in claims - and owners standings

Email

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Of the 182 horses that have been claimed in 40 days of racing this meet at Oaklawn, 23 were taken by Jan Haynes. She leads all owners in claims, and also has a clear lead atop the owner standings as she pursues her first title at Oaklawn.

Haynes's first leading owner title came last fall at Louisiana Downs. As the year came to an end, a number of her horses were claimed. Haynes has gone to work replacing her stock, and following Oaklawn will divide her 30-plus horse operation between Louisiana Downs and Lone Star Park.

"We had to rebuild our stable," she said. "We lost a lot of horses at the end of Louisiana Downs, and some down at Fair Grounds. We had to regroup to have horses to run at the meet."

Haynes has won 14 races at Oaklawn, six more than second-leading owners K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman. She dropped the meet's first claim, and has spent $278,500 for horses this meet. A couple of her recent claims - Moon Kid and Triple Nine Fine - will run Thursday, in the sixth and seventh races, respectively.

Haynes claimed her first horse in 2000. She had always been one to constantly scan entries and call her primary trainer, Jorge Lara, with the names of horses she wanted to claim. He would evaluate them, and the two would make a decision on whether to make the purchase. But this year, the procedure has changed some.

"I guess it was probably the end of November, my husband was diagnosed with throat cancer," Haynes said. "I told Jorge, 'You're going to have to look for claims more. I'm not going to be active for a while. My main priority is to take care of my husband.' And he has done a great job."

Haynes said Lara will oversee her horses at Louisiana Downs, where he will be based after Oaklawn, while Cody Autrey, who has claimed a few horses this meet on behalf of Haynes, will train for her at Lone Star. Haynes said she also has some horses in training with Bret Calhoun and Larry Robideaux. As for the title bid, she likes how things have gone so far at Oaklawn.

"We don't want to break the bank to win one," Haynes said. "I don't buy a horse for $15,000 or $20,000 to run them for $5,000 just to win a race to be able to get it. It looks like we're doing great the way we are. But I'm not one to count my chickens before they hatch."

Haynes, 44, is a real estate investor and former cardiac nurse who lives in Dallas. Last year, she tied for 19th in wins among all owners in North America with 70, and her horses earned $934,535 in purses. Her best horses include Wheaton Home, who she said is a candidate for the $50,000 Ford Express at six furlongs at Lone Star on May 16.

In all, $2.4 million in claims have been made this meet at Oaklawn. The highest-priced horses taken are Capricious and Star Over Malibu, both of whom were claimed for $45,000 out of the third race Marcho20.

Facial reconstruction surgery set for Ferri

Elaine Ferri, the longtime trainer who was kicked in the face by a

3-year-old filly last July, said she is scheduled to undergo reconstructive surgery on May 21. It is one of two significant upcoming dates on Ferri's calendar. The other is a trip to Oaklawn, which she will make on Thursday. Ferri, 51, will be at the track for the first time since the accident in order to see Forbidden Ali, an Arkansas-bred she bred and raised, make her career debut in the fourth race.

"It will be my first trip this meet to Oaklawn," Ferri said. "I definitely need my spirits lifted. I'm looking forward to it."

Ferri, who had three stabilizing surgeries after the accident, has been rehabilitating on her parents' farm in Texarkana, Ark. Her reconstructive work will be performed by Dr. Stephen A. Chidyllo, who is the medical director of Central New Jersey Plastic Surgery. Ferri said she is scheduled to travel to New Jersey for some prep work on April 14.

"I'm anxious to get my life back," she said.

Ferri has been unable to work since the accident. John Barger took over the horses she had in training, and he is the trainer of Forbidden Ali.

Junior College to Count Fleet?

Junior College, who last Saturday won the $50,000 Hot Springs at Oaklawn, will be considered for a start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap here April 10, according to his trainer, Tony Reinstedler.

"It's tight back to the Count Fleet in my eyes," he said. "We'll look and see how he comes out of this race, see what it looks like, and make up our mind from there."

Junior College earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100 for his win in the Hot Springs.