04/02/2013 3:39PM

Oaklawn Park notes: Titletown Five eyes Derby Trial, Preakness Stakes

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Titletown Five will return to the scene of his best effort, Churchill Downs, for the Grade 3, $175,000 Derby Trial on April 27.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Titletown Five ran the biggest race of his career at Churchill Downs, and he is headed there for his next start, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday. The horse is being pointed for the Grade 3, $175,000 Derby Trial, a one-turn mile for 3-year-olds April 27.

Titletown Five earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 98 at Churchill in October, when he won a maiden special weight at seven furlongs. He has raced twice since then, finishing second in the $60,000 Gazebo at his Oaklawn base March 2, then ninth in the Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby last Saturday at Fair Grounds.

“He’ll go in the Derby Trial,” Lukas said. “Were going to do what’s right by the horse and give him the chance to run a one-turn mile. If he runs well, we’ll look at the Preakness.”

Titletown Five set a quick pace in the Louisiana Derby, contesting fractions of 22.84 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.34 for the half-mile. He continued to lead through six furlongs in 1:11.84 before being overtaken by eventual winner Revolutionary.

Titletown Five races for a partnership that includes Lukas and Hall of Fame football players Paul Hornung and Willie Davis.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Optimizer, a two-time Grade 3 winner this winter at Fair Grounds who was fifth in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz at the New Orleans track Saturday, also will run next at Churchill, Lukas said. He is to make his next start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on May 4.

Retired jockey Day visits Oaklawn

The retired Hall of Fame rider Pat Day was making the rounds on the Oaklawn backstretch Tuesday. He was in town to be part of a gala at the Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs.

“I’m out renewing old acquaintances, taking a walk down memory lane,” said Day, 59. “I couldn’t come to Hot Springs and not come see everybody.”

Day said it’s been three or four years since he was last at Oaklawn, where he won 12 consecutive riding titles from 1983 to 1994.

Dates proposed for 2014

Oaklawn has asked the Arkansas Racing Commission for a 57-date meet for 2014 that closely mirrors the current season. The meet next year would open Jan. 10 and continue through April 12, which would be the date of the 2014 Arkansas Derby. The calendar will be up for approval at the next commission meeting April 13, said the panel’s chairman, Cecil Alexander.

Oaklawn has asked to race on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis most weeks, with holiday Monday cards Jan. 20 and Feb. 21. The track also has proposed a Wednesday card April 9.

Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
yes ,lukas has been known for taking flyers in the past.some he failed with miserably.others like charismatic paid off dividends.somehow and it might be a stretch.as much as we the public think we know about horseracing,somehow wayne might be a little tad smarter than us when it comes to the ponies.in this instance,i think it is the connections pushing for this more than lukas.paul hornung was born in louisville,he wants to win a stake at CD.nothing wrong with that.he wants a horse to run in a triple crown race.again,if the horse qualifieswithin the boundaries of entry rules.who is the public to tell him you can't or should not do that.as far as lukas hanging them up.why? i assume you are a gambler,so why not let guys like lukas with their so called 9% winnings race.they take money at the windows.better for you.he is a great bet against.but why deprive someone the enjoyement of what he has done his entire life.why are you not trashing lukas about oxbow or the horse that won the prep at oaklawn.i guess in those instances,it is the horse.wayne only has an affect on them when they stink up the joint
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My main point was Lukas ego letting it get the better of him once again. Your probably right that I should not have say in his exit from the game, but here is a trainer (much like Jack Van Berg) who are Hall of Famers but either the game has passed them by or they forgot how to get into the winners circle. Van Berg is hitting on less than 3% of winners/starters but at least Van Berg doesn't embrass himself by sending sub-par horses to triple crown races like Lukas continues to do. Wayne loves the camera, but sadly he just doesn't visit the winners circle all that much anymore and this horse Titletown of his has no business running in the Preakness. Live with it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only somebody with as big as ego would start talking the Preakness Stakes for a sprinter than finished ninth in the La. Derby. Lukas has no shame. He loves the spotlight and doesn't give a hoot if his horse has no shot. He just wants to be interviewed on TV and relive his glory days. If you look at his win percentage over the past six years you will see he is hitting around only 9% winners vs horses started. Sadly this Hall of Famer should call it a day but his ego won't let him.
pennyandy More than 1 year ago
probably didn't figure the triple digit shot would be so contentious in the early going; hopefully the V will learn to be more easy going for races up the track so he won't finish up the track!