03/20/2013 3:12PM

Oaklawn: Arkansas Derby one possibility for Carve


Carve is to make his next start at Oaklawn Park on April 13, in one of two stakes, trainer Steve Asmussen said Tuesday. He said the horse is to run in either the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby or the $100,000 Northern Spur.

Carve won the first two starts of his career at Oaklawn, then ran sixth in the track’s Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel last Saturday. He trailed for much of the race before putting in a strong stretch bid.

“He left himself too much to do,” Asmussen said. “He made up quite a bit of ground.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Asmussen said his goal with Carve’s training up to his next start is to “sharpen him up a bit.”

Carve is a son of First Samurai and the mare Apt, who is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame.

On Fire Baby nearing return

The multiple Grade 2-winning filly On Fire Baby is moving closer to her comeback. She worked six furlongs last weekend at Oaklawn in preparation for her first start since May and is scheduled to breeze back Saturday.

“She’s got two real good works coming yet, maybe three,” trainer Gary Hartlage said.

Hartlage said at her current pace, there is a chance On Fire Baby, 4, could run before the close of Oaklawn on April 13, or early in the meet at Churchill Downs. He said plans will be discussed this weekend when owner Anita Cauley comes in to watch the work.

On Fire Baby went in 1:14.20 last weekend under regular rider Joe Johnson, with Hartlage catching her galloping out seven furlongs in 1:27.60 and a mile in 1:42.


Charity auction Friday night

A box for this year’s Kentucky Derby and Oaks and a shadow box frame featuring signed memorabilia from jockey Calvin Borel’s 5,000th career win are among the items to be auctioned at Friday night’s Arkansas Racetrack Chaplaincy banquet.

Tickets to the event will be available at the door for $60, organizer Robi Heffington said. The banquet is expected to draw more than 350 people and because of the large crowd is being held at the Hot Springs, Ark., convention center. The night’s activities will include the Garth Patterson Award for Horsemanship.