04/02/2013 4:17PM

Oaklawn Park: Dipsy Drew, now healthy, back at two turns for Thursday optional claimer


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The team behind 2011 Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch will be moving one of its more promising 3-year-olds back to two turns Thursday in the eighth race at Oaklawn Park. Dipsy Drew will be making his second start of the year in the $65,000 optional claimer, to be run over 1 1/16 miles.

He is part of a field of 10 3-year-olds that includes Perfect Title, an impressive maiden special weight winner at Fair Grounds invading for trainer Dallas Stewart, and Chuck, who took a division of the Oklahoma Stallion Stakes last fall at Remington Park.

Dipsy Drew races for Robert and Val Yagos, is trained by Jinks Fires, and is to be ridden by Jon Court. He launched his season March 24 at Oaklawn in a first-level allowance sprint and finished fifth to stakes winner Officer Alex.

It was Dipsy Drew’s first start following a maiden special weight win at a mile at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12. In between, the horse suffered an unusual setback – a tumor in his right shoulder that has since been removed. The first sign that something was amiss popped up the day Dipsy Drew was to make his stakes debut in the Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity last October at Keeneland.

“It came up almost overnight,” Fires said, noting that some filling the morning of the race led to the diagnosis of the tumor, which was not cancerous.

Fires said he is looking forward to getting Dipsy Drew back racing on a regular basis.

“He’s a really nice horse,” he said. “We think he wants to go long. He’s always shown us he did.”

A son of Pleasantly Perfect, Dipsy Drew is nominated to the Triple Crown.

Archarcharch in 2011 won the Southwest Stakes and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn before advancing to the Kentucky Derby. He finished 15th at Churchill Downs and afterward was found to have a condylar fracture that led to his retirement and subsequent stallion career.

“We never felt better about leading a horse over,” Fires said of the Kentucky Derby. “I felt very confident he was going to win that day. Unfortunately, he hurt himself.

“But I felt we were leading a winner over there, and a lot of people felt that way,” Fires added, noting that Archarcharch got 159 mares in foal last year.

One of those mares, Angel in Command, delivered a colt late last month. The new arrival is an Arkansas-bred expected to be named Commanding Arch, and he will be raced by the Yagoses and Krystal Court, the wife of Jon Court. Fires will train the colt, as he did the horse’s dam, a maiden winner at Oaklawn in 2007.

◗ There is a $13,925 pick-six carryover Thursday.