01/11/2012 2:20PM

Oaklawn: Ex-claimer It Happened Again seeks third stakes win in Fifth Season

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Since Maggi Moss claimed him for $20,000, It Happened Again has won two stakes, including the Grade 3 Razorback.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Maggi Moss has made some cracker-jack claims through the years and one of her very best, It Happened Again, will be in action Friday at Oaklawn in the $75,000 Fifth Season. He will be seeking his third stakes win since Moss took him for $20,000.

The Fifth Season, a 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and up, opens the meet. A field of eight will go, including Twice the Appeal, who will be making his first start since finishing 10th in the Kentucky Derby, and Racing Bran, a past winner of the Essex at Oaklawn.

Moss claimed It Happened Again out of an October 2010 race at Woodbine. He finished fifth in a sprint that day, which was run on Polytrack.

“I liked to claim a lot of horses at Woodbine that have dirt form, that just have prior class on the dirt,” Moss said. “I find that a lot of horses that really thrive on the dirt don’t thrive on the Poly. And he was a horse that had a ton of stakes history.”

It Happened Again, who is now 6, was a stakes winner on dirt at 3. The same season, he placed in a pair of Grade 3 races, the Barbaro on the main track at Delaware Park and the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park.

In his second start for Moss and trainer Steve Asmussen, It Happened Again finished third in a second-level optional $40,000 claiming route at Fair Grounds. He then shipped to Oaklawn, where he reeled off three straight wins, topped by the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap. He earned $219,300 in 2011.

“I’m very lucky to own him,” Moss said. “I respect that horse.”

It Happened Again tried graded company again last June in Moss’s home state of Iowa and finished 10th in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. He was given time off after the race, and in his return to action Dec. 3 he won the $138,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Fair Grounds.

“We turned him out right after the [Prairie Meadows] festival with Hot Springs in mind,” Moss said. “He just seemed to love Hot Springs. You never know if that’s going to translate again, but he loved it last year.”

Channing Hill has the mount from post 7.

Twice the Appeal shows some strong works for his first start in eight months, his latest a five-furlong move in 1:02 on Monday. He had been sidelined by bone chips in an ankle that have been removed, said his trainer, Jeff Bonde.

“He’s been training steady,” he said.

Luis Quinonez has the mount in the Fifth Season.

Fifth Season Stakes, Post Time: 4:33 CT Friday

Purse: $75,000; 1 1/16 miles





ML Odds


Twice The Appeal

J. Bonde

L. Quinonez




M. Biehler

A. Birzer



Color Me Blue

B. Williamson

I. Ocampo




R. Moquett

J. Court




D. Lukas

T. Thompson




J. Haran

A. Stanley



It Happened Again

S. Asmussen

C. Hill



Racing Bran

S. Becker

C. Emigh