04/13/2013 6:52PM

Oaklawn Handicap: Cyber Secret rolls; Fort Larned fifth as favorite

Tom Keyser
Cyber Secret, under Robby Albarado, dominates the Oaklawn Handicap by 5 3/4 lengths.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Cyber Secret gave his owner, Charles Cella, one of the biggest thrills of his 55 years in racing when he ran down pacesetter Taptowne and then pulled clear by 5 3/4 lengths in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on Saturday. Cyber Secret won before an ontrack crowd of 66,158, on what was the final card of the meet at Oaklawn.

Fort Larned finished fifth as the 1-2 favorite in the Oaklawn Handicap, his second start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic last November. Trainer Ian Wilkes said he had no excuses for the defeat, and said the horse scoped clean following the race Saturday. 

“Maybe he just didn’t fire today. Sometimes those things happen,” said Wilkes.

Fort Larned is to ship Sunday to Churchill Downs and could target the Alysheba, said Wilkes.

Cyber Secret ($15), meanwhile, won his fourth straight race in the Oaklawn. He raced in fourth early under jockey Robby Albarado, as Taptowne took the field through fractions of 22.95 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.56 for the half-mile, and 1:10.97. Cyber Secret went after Taptowne in the stretch, forged his way past him, and  then pulled clear to cover 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.67.

The win was one of the biggest in Cella’s racing career. The 76-year-old is the longtime president of Oaklawn and he raced champion Northern Spur. 

“There are a lot of emotions in it,” Cella said. “Certainly it’s one of the top wins that I’ve ever had. We’re talking about racing that goes back in my life for about 55 years, so, that speaks for itself. It’s a great, great thrill.”

Lynn Whiting trains Cyber Secret, a horse Cella purchased privately a few years ago. 

“Whiting and I, we came up about the same time,” Cella said. “We’re very close in age, and I talked to him a couple years ago, and I said, ‘Look, let’s you and I develop a partnership. We’re both getting old. Our shadows are shrinking. Let’s see if we can’t put a streak together.’ ”

Cyber Secret will head to Churchill Downs, with his next start to be determined, said Cella.

“He’ll tell us where he wants to go,” Cella said. “But we’re ready for all comers.” 

Sabercat finished third, a half-length clear of fourth-place finisher Optimizer. Win Willy was sixth, followed by Atigun, Alternation, Unstoppable U, and Golden Ron.

The Oaklawn Handicap was one of four major stakes that closed out the annual Racing Festival of the South. The program was led by the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby won by Overanalyze.


Forego137 More than 1 year ago
I also wanted to touch bases in regards to the ideal track conditions for the winner who was notching his 4th win in a row and was the only horse out there that was handling the racing surface ? ? ? ? Oh yes, did I mention the winner is owned by the president of Oaklawn Park Hmmm . . . . . . . What a lucky guy after 55 yrs in the race horse owner business he notches his biggest victory on dirt ? ? ? ? Presidents of race tracks should not be allowed to run horses on tracks they over see, it creates a conflict of intrest IMO.
jay More than 1 year ago
Another conspiracy theory. Absolute rubbish and nonsense.
Flint King More than 1 year ago
Ill say this oaklawns track was a mess all season. It was tiring and very inconsistent. If the track superintendent isnt gone by next years meet ill be staying away from it
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
So he threw in a bad race, he probably needed the race, expect a big effort next out. He also appeared to be struggling with the racing surface and the horse for course was just floating over the track as evident by his 5 3/4 length blow out. Fort Larned will be back to his old self in the Alysheba.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Thank god Wise Dan won horse of year. Fort lar ned is weak, think about it he only beat Mucho Macho Man by a wisker in the weakest classic race in a decade.. He looked real good last out with out a jock??
Flint King More than 1 year ago
115 beyer is weak?come on man.hes a hell of a horse. Just ran on a track that was bad all season. Horses either loved ot hated that track
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Some poster compared FL to Ghostzapper,on here yesterday
denali1 More than 1 year ago
I gotta agree with nancyb Fort Larned looked very tired and quit at the top of the stretch. I hope is ok as well. I know he is in good hands with Mr. Wilkes.
nancyb More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry to see that Fort Larned is looking uncomfortable. I am alarmed when I see a horse holding his head at an odd angle and switching leads and his weight back and forth like he did in deep stretch. Hope he's ok. He seemed like he was running his race until the top of the stretch.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Fort Larned is a dud.Was best of a bad bunch. Beat the weakest BC field ever last year. Mucho Macho Man has yet to win a gr 1.
jttf More than 1 year ago
you need to throw a few clunkers out there to get a break in the weights.
Mark Ford More than 1 year ago
well you gotta expect some kind of bounce when you have a hundred pound weight break in your last out and win by a Football field.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Fort Larned... They have some work to do before the Alysheba or any other next start.
Maria More than 1 year ago