12/07/2013 12:25PM

Mid-South notes: Bahnah to focus on sprints in 2014

Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 3 winner Bahnah likely will stay in sprints as a 3-year-old in 2014.

Bahnah is being freshened and likely will focus on sprinting when she returns to action next year at 3, trainer Bret Calhoun said. The dead-heat winner of the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga in July, Bahnah closed out her 2-year-old season with a runner-up finish in the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess on Nov. 23.

“She came back good, and we sent her to the farm to give her two, three months off, let her rest,” said Calhoun, who trains Bahnah for Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch.

Calhoun said specific plans for Bahnah’s campaign next year have not been determined. She is being freshened at a farm in Texas.

“We’ve talked some, and I would think we would keep her around one turn, up to a mile,” Calhoun said. “We’ll see how she develops and grows up, and she might go to two turns. Right now, I’d say we’re thinking one turn.”

Bahnah earned a 91 Beyer when she won a maiden special weight sprint at Churchill Downs. In the Princess, a one-mile race run around two turns, she was overtaken in the late stages to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Tepin.

Calhoun said Bahnah might race at Keeneland next year.

“I would think synthetic would be a good option for her,” he said of the main-track surface at Keeneland. “It’s something we might look at.”

Bahnah is a daughter of Elusive Quality.

Donoharm eyes Fifth Season

Donoharm, a multiple stakes winner who was fourth in the $150,000 Delta Downs Mile in his comeback race Nov. 23, is being pointed for the $100,000 Fifth Season at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 11, Calhoun said. Donoharm won the race last season, as well as the track’s $100,000 Essex Handicap in February. He races for Sanders and Hirsch.

“We’re looking at the same path as last [meet],”Calhoun said.

The Delta Mile was Donoharm’s first start since April. He had been freshened following a campaign in which he won five consecutive races. For his return, Donoharm earned a Beyer of 81.

“I thought he had a nice comeback race at Delta,” Calhoun said. “It didn’t set up too well for him. They went too fast early, and he got in chase mode.”

Grand Contender opened up on the Delta Mile field on the final turn and went on to win in a track-record time of 1:36.80.

New claiming, workout rules

The Arkansas Racing Commission recently adopted a number of amendments to its claiming and workout rules, and the changes will go into effect during the Oaklawn Park meet that opens in January, according to commission executive director Ron Oliver.

On the claiming front, stewards now have the authority to void the claim of a horse who either dies during a race or is removed from the track in an ambulance. Last season, owners who claimed such horses had one hour from the time the race was declared official to request that the claim be voided.

Under the amended rule, if the successful claimant wishes to keep the horse, he or his agent must inform the stewards, in writing, within 15 minutes of the race being made official. A new amendment also allows stewards, after consultation with the state veterinarian, to void the claim of an injured horse not removed from the track in an ambulance due to certain circumstances. In such cases, the successful claimant would again have 15 minutes to inform stewards of his desire to keep the horse.

The commission also adopted an amendment that extends the amount of time a claim can be deposited into the claim box from 10 to 15 minutes.

Another rule change adopted concerns waiver claiming, by which a horse is ineligible to be claimed in his first start back from a layoff of a certain length, provided he is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the tag for which he last raced. The new amendment has reduced the minimum layoff requirement from 120 days to 90 days.

Workout rules now require horses returning from layoffs of 60 or more days to have at least two published works in the 30 days prior to their race. The previous requirement was one published work.

As part of the new amendment, one of the works must be a half-mile or longer. In another amendment, the three published works required of first-time starters must now fall into certain time frames, and one of them must be a half-mile or longer. Another requirement calls for one work to be from the starting gate within 30 days of the race.

◗ A winter storm forced Remington Park to cancel three of its four cards last week. The track plans to seek makeup dates from the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission.