01/27/2009 12:00AM

Lakin reacquires Pure Clan from IEAH


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Lewis Lakin, breeder of Pure Clan, said Monday night that he has bought back a majority interest in the millionaire filly from IEAH Stable and Pegasus Holding Group in a private deal that closed over the weekend, making him the sole owner. Lakin originally sold majority interest in Pure Clan to IEAH last February.

Lakin is very active in breeding, while IEAH has a strong focus on racing.

"I wanted her back for my family's broodmare band, and they agreed," Lakin said of IEAH. "They were very pleased with the situation. They were very nice to deal with. I think basically, they're interested more in 3-year-old racing. I plan to race her this year and then we'll go from there."

IEAH, which won the Kentucky Derby last year with Big Brown and recently purchased 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound, bought into Pure Clan last winter when she was considered a top prospect for the Kentucky Oaks. She was undefeated, and her biggest win at that point had come in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs. Pure Clan went on to run third in the Kentucky Oaks for IEAH, Pegasus, and Lakin, and later in the year captured the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park.

Pure Clan has just returned to trainer Bob Holthus's barn at Oaklawn following a freshening, and Holthus expects her to be ready to run this spring. Lakin said turf would be the focus of the filly's campaign this year, with her first possible stakes start in 2009 coming in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile in May.

Lakin's broodmare band includes Gather the Clan, who is the dam of both Pure Clan, a winner of 6 of 11 starts and $1,052,416, and Greater Good, a retired Grade 2 winner of $546,720. Running Clan, a 3-year-old half-sister to Pure Clan, is at Oaklawn with Holthus and could make her career debut before the meet ends, Lakin said. Running Clan is by Cherokee Run.

Hobby horses fire away at Oaklawn

Trainer Steve Hobby is sitting atop the Oaklawn standings heading into the third week of the meet after a highly productive weekend, and he jokingly used just two words to sum up his fast start this season: "Chindi's coaching!"

Chindi, the popular retired millionaire sprinter, now works as a stable pony for Hobby.

The trainer has 40 horses on the grounds at Oaklawn. He had a double last Friday, and among his wins was the featured eighth race with Grand Sensation. He came back with a fast-closing maiden winner, Golden Chapel, on Sunday to move to the lead in the standings, with 5 wins from 18 starts so far at Oaklawn.

"It's been a good start," Hobby said. "I have a lot of clients that live in Arkansas. They come to the races every day. It's important to do well at home."

Hobby has a balanced stable, thanks in part to the different areas of focus of some of his largest clients. Alex and JoAnn Lieblong tend to buy high-end prospects at auction. Carol Ricks breeds her racing prospects, and Joe Hardin is active in the claiming ranks.

One of Hobby's top runners last year was Telling, who is being pointed for the $100,000 Essex Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn on Feb. 7. The Lieblong-owned horse last raced in November at Churchill Downs and was third in the Grade 3 River City Handicap with a Beyer Speed Figure of 99. Telling is 3 for 3 at Oaklawn, having won all of his starts at the track in 2008.

Another top older horse in the Hobby barn is Shim's Pride, who won the allowance prep for the Essex over opening weekend. He defeated a strong group that included past Essex winners Jonesboro and Spotsgone, and for the effort earned a career-best 93 Beyer. Hobby said Shim's Pride has been nominated to the Essex, but he is not sure if the horse will start in the race.

"He ran so hard the other day," Hobby said.

Better consult with Chindi.

Tiger's Song eyes Martha Washington

Tiger's Song, a recent private purchase, was scratched from the $50,000 Dixie Belle at Oaklawn on Saturday because she suffered a foot bruise the day before the race, trainer Chris Richard said.

"It was a minor setback," he said. "She's already back to the track."

Richard said Tiger's Song could run next in the one-mile, $50,000 Martha Washington for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn on Feb. 15. He said the other option would be an allowance race.

Darrell and Evelyn Yates bought the stakes-placed Tiger's Song out of Florida recently, with an eye toward some of the 3-year-old filly stakes at Oaklawn.

* There is a $6,568 pick-six carryover for Thursday.