02/21/2012 5:00PM

Oaklawn Park: Hamazing Destiny preps for Hot Springs Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Hamazing Destiny will prep for the Hot Springs Stakes in a third-level optional claimer on Thursday at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Hamazing Destiny will prep for next month’s $75,000 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Thursday, when he runs in the featured eighth race. He is one of six older horses set to start in the third-level allowance sprint that carries an optional claiming price of $75,000.

Hamazing Destiny opened his season Jan. 28, with a runner-up finish in the $50,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn. The race was his first since running fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Hamzing Destiny contested the King Cotton pace before finishing 1 1/4 lengths back as the favorite. Hamazing Destiny’s trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, is looking for a forward move from the horse Thursday.

“The track’s a little sticky this year, even when it’s called fast, and he likes a fast track, likes probably a little firmer track,” Lukas said. “Having said that, I think it’s getting better, so I think he’ll get over it better. This is probably a pretty good spot.”

The Thursday allowance, written as an extra by Oaklawn racing secretary Pat Pope, is positioned on the calendar as a bridge between the Jan. 28 King Cotton and the March 24 Hot Springs.

“I think everybody thought that that gap was a little long, Pat Pope included,” Lukas said of the time between the stakes in the series. “I think he put this in here to probably give everybody a chance to tighten down a little bit before the Hot Springs.”

Hamazing Destiny, who races for the partnership of Westrock Stables and Barry Butzow, is a 6-year-old horse by Salt Lake. He has placed in five stakes in his career, his biggest effort a runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 2010. Hamazing Destiny’s last appearance in an overnight race came in September 2010, a $65,000 optional claimer he won under Terry Thompson who has the mount again Thursday.

Agastache also exits the $50,000 King Cotton, a race in which he finished fourth. Jon Court has the mount for trainer Rick Hiles.

Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out Chipshot, a stakes winner making his first start since Sept. 2 when he was a troubled fifth in the $75,000 Distorted Humor at Saratoga. Before that race, Chipshot won the $75,000 Select at Monmouth Park with a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 100. Asmussen also has Cornpiper, a winner of back-to-back allowance races at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn.

The field Thursday also includes Prime Objective, who is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Prime Directive.