03/05/2013 3:50PM

Oaklawn: Flashy Gray and Brethren to have Mike Smith aboard

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Barbara D. Livingston
Flashy Gray, who is pointing for the Grade 3 Honeybee on Saturday, was bet down to 6-1 favoritism in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Jockey Mike Smith will be active in both stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, when he rides Flashy Gray in the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee for trainer Bill Mott and and Brethren in the Grade 3, $150,000 Razorback Handicap for trainer Steve Asmussen.

When last seen at Oaklawn, Smith was winning the Arkansas Derby for the second time in his career, aboard Bodemeister in April 2012. His first win in the race came in 2008 on Gayego. Smith’s other major wins at Oaklawn include six runnings of the Apple Blossom, a race he took twice with Zenyatta and three times with Azeri. Smith also won the Honeybee in 2011 with Joyful Victory.

Flashy Gray, who closed as the 6-1 favorite in the first pool of the last weekend’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, arrived at Oaklawn on Tuesday morning aboard a flight from Florida. She will be making both her stakes and two-turn debut in the Honeybee, a 1 1/16-mile race that Mott said fit her schedule off a Feb. 10 allowance win at Gulfstream. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

“I think it’s probably time for her to race again,” said Mott, who trains Flashy Gray for West Point Thoroughbreds and Tom Keithley. “She ran a month ago.”

Mott noted that the Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks is not until March 30 and that Flashy Gray would not be eligible for the full purse of the Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday because she was not bred in Florida.

Flashy Gray, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Flashy Bull, was a $775,000 purchase out of last year’s Keeneland November breeding sale. She has two won of three starts, including a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs by 10 lengths on Nov. 8. She started her career with Dolph Morrison, the breeder and original owner of Rachel Alexandra, and before Morrison’s dispersal at Keeneland was trained by the Oaklawn-based Lon Wiggins.

The Honeybee is worth 50 points to the winner on the new qualifying system for the Kentucky Oaks if the May 3 race is oversubscribed. Others expected for the Honeybee include American Sugar, Broken Spell, Flash Forward, Rose to Gold and Sister Ginger. Sister Ginger won the Martha Washington by 2 3/4 lengths over Rose to Gold last month at Oaklawn.

Liberty Girl, who is 2 for 3 in dirt routes, also will run, said her trainer, Eoin Harty. She is to be ridden by Luis Quinonez.

Brethren to Razorback

Brethren, a half-brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, will bring some strong recent Beyer Figures into the Razorback, which is for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles. Brethren earned a 95 for his fifth-place finish in the $100,000 Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds in his last start Jan. 19 and before that a 97 when second by a neck in the $75,000 Tenacious, also at Fair Grounds. Brethren has been based in Hot Springs since early February.

“He’s worked really well over the Oaklawn course,” said Asmussen.

Brethren is weighted at 114 pounds for the Razorback.

Alternation is weighted at 119 pounds, the top assignment among the nominations. He is expected to make his first start of the year in the race, which he won last meet. Donoharm, a winner of his last five starts, is being pointed for the race, according to his trainer, Bret Calhoun. He is weighted at 117. Others expected include Atigun (116), Cyber Secret (113), and Najjaar (112). Atigun is to be ridden by Victor Lebron, said trainer Ken McPeek.

San Pablo, weighted at 117, flew in Tuesday from Florida, according to an official with Oaklawn.

Endorsement, a multiple Grade 3 winner based at Oaklawn, was not nominated to the Razorback after “reaggravating an old issue,” Harty said. He said the horse is “in a holding pattern” as far as plans for his next start. Endorsement had been pointing for the Razorback.

fbwinners More than 1 year ago
Cyber Secret with a good post draw is an easy winner. The past two races at Oaklawn were very impressive. His middle move two back was absolute awesome. He beat Unstoppable U that dat with ease and Unstoppable has came back to win his last two in easy fashion. I hope I can get at least 7/2 or more.
Flint King More than 1 year ago
Alternation/brethren exacta straight.alternation-loves oaklawn -run good fresh.wins by1 1/4 lengths
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
I could not agree with you guys more . Mike Smith has paid his dues and is a superb athlete and a god fearing man.
Amanda More than 1 year ago
Mike is one of the best big money riders in the game. People knock him all the time for some reason but he is a great guy and good for the sport.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Looky here Mike Smith headed to Oaklawn to pick up some more pocket dough. For those doubting Thomases who bash Mikey when will you wake up and give this guy the respect he deserves? It is easy to bash riders when they lose on the favorite but more times than not it isn't poor rides, it's a combination of many things which transpire on the track. Racing luck plays a huge part as do the break and post position, track condition, weight etc. etc. etc. But as know it all gamblers convinced it couldn't be our handicapping that failed us, we pass the blame along to the rider. Seems it flows down hill in this game. Mike Smith is a class guy and a top notch rider who can ride them from anyplace on the track and win. He is equally adept on the front as he is from off the pace, ie: Giacomo 50-1 Kentucky Derby. There is little room for bashing this guy as all riders are prone to mistakes from time to time. Love ya Mikey boy, keep on dancing brother.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Amen.