01/09/2013 5:19PM

Oaklawn Park: Alternation back galloping

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Barbara D. Livingston
Alternation went over the $1 million mark in earnings last year.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Alternation, who won last year’s Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, was freshened in Kentucky this fall and returned to Oaklawn in mid-December. He has been galloping, said his trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

“It will be a bit before he’s ready to breeze,” said Von Hemel, who trains the horse for Pin Oak Stable.

Von Hemel said there is no set time frame for Alternation’s return, but that defense of his Oaklawn Handicap title is a goal. The $500,000 race will be run on the closing day card, April 13.

“I think that’s something we’d like to do,” he said. “We’ll see how things go.”

Alternation went over the $1 million mark in earnings last year, when he won five stakes, including the Grade 3 Pimlico Special over Endorsement, another local who has an eye to the Oaklawn Handicap.