04/03/2013 4:42PM

Oaklawn Park notes: Taptowne may get another crack at Fort Larned in Oaklawn Handicap

Barbara D. Livingston
Fort Larned, the winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, likely will face impressive allowance winner Taptowne in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 13.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Taptowne was a powerful allowance winner last month at Oaklawn, and on the strength of his score over graded stakes winners Sabercat and Win Willy, he is a candidate for the Grade  2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 13.

“Our intention is to run him in the race here,” trainer Tim Glyshaw said Wednesday. “We’ve pretty much extinguished his allowance conditions.”

A final decision on the Oaklawn Handicap will be made after Glyshaw sees how Taptowne emerges from a five-furlong work he was to have had Thursday under jockey Calvin Borel. Glyshaw said he also is monitoring how the field is taking shape for the race, which he knows is expected to draw Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned.

Taptowne has faced Fort Larned before, running fifth to him in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows last June. Taptowne’s allowance win at Oaklawn on March 24 came in his second start for Glyshaw. The horse, who races for Clovertowne Farm, led throughout under Borel and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

“I was very impressed with his race here,” Glyshaw said. “I thought he’d run his best race sitting off the pace, [but] then you looked at the race here, and there was a total void of speed. Calvin is the best at sending and nursing them along on the lead. It was impressive. I didn’t know if he could win on the lead. He’d never done it before.”

Glyshaw said if Taptowne does not go in the Oaklawn Handicap, options for him include the Grade  3, $200,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star Park on April 27.

Get Happy Mister stretches out

Get Happy Mister, a winner of 4 of 5 starts, including last year’s $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park, is likely to make his two-turn debut later this month at Oaklawn. Trainer Kelly Von Hemel said Wednesday the horse is a candidate for the $100,000 Northern Spur, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds on April 13.

“We’re looking at the Northern Spur,” he said. “We’ll see what it looks like. He’s doing really well.”

◗ Lee Forrester, a 28-year-old whose first win as a trainer came last July at Louisiana Downs, died in a car accident March 24, according to a racing official.

Forrester also competed at Oaklawn and registered his most recent win at Delta Downs on March 15. He was a resident of New Boston, Texas. In addition to training, Forrester was a rancher, according to an obituary from Bates Family Funeral Home. Forrester is survived by wife Jennifer and children Taylor, Adison, and Lawson.