03/19/2013 3:45PM

Oaklawn Park: Oxbow firm for Arkansas Derby

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Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Oxbow, with Jon Court up, wins the Lecomte.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Oxbow will make his next start in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn on April 13, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday. The horse had been possible for the race after finishing second in the Rebel. Before that start, Oxbow traveled twice to Fair Grounds from his Oaklawn base and ran a close fourth in the Grade 2 Risen Star and won the Grade 3 Lecomte.

"Oxbow is confirmed for the Arkansas Derby," said Lukas, who trains the horse for Calumet Farm. "We've settled on that."

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

Lukas said there were several reasons for the decision.

"He's shipped a couple of times. He's got a lot of seasoning. He doesn't need to find out if he can travel and run. We know he can," Lukas said. "And, he's a tough little rascal that needs probably another race just to keep him on the ground so he doesn't hit orbit. So, we'll keep him right here at home, walk out of his own stall, and we know he likes the racetrack."

Will Take Charge remains a strong possibility for the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 13, Lukas said. However, he said another option with the horse, who leads all 3-year-olds in points towards the Kentucky Derby with 60, is to train up to the May 4 classic at Churchill Downs.

"He's in a tremendous growth spurt right now," Lukas said of Will Take Charge. "Weekly, I think he grows an inch! He's like that kid that you wake up one day and all of the sudden he's six-foot-six. This horse is making such a growth spurt and he's maturing rapidly. I think he's headed in the right direction, big time."

Will Take Charge races for Willis D. Horton.

jttf More than 1 year ago
what is the pink color on will take charge's front left leg ? would that color come from ice bandages to help take away some pain ?
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
White legs turn pink when they sweat and there is blood flow to the leg (the skin itself is pink). As soon as the hair dries they go back to looking white. Give Wayne Lukas a little credit for being a great horseman instead of looking for some non-existent problem. The only concern with this colt is his size (look at how he towered over Oxbow at the finish line). He is by Unbridled Song, who is 17 hands tall. This is not the soundest bloodline, but Lukas knows that - he is obviously being very careful with him.
jttf More than 1 year ago
he was a great horseman. back when lukas didnt give his horses lasix early in their racing career. lukas' derby starters all use charismatic's schedule. run every month on lasix. these include optimizer, dublin, flying private, going wild, ten cents a shine, and scrimshaw. none of these horses ran better than 7th in the derby. proud citizen did not run on lasix at the age of 2 and finished 2nd in the derby. tabasco cat's first 4 starts of his career were run without lasix. thunder gulch and grindstone never ran on lasix, even though their competition did. why would a so called great horseman not notice that lasix is hurting his horses ?
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Most of the horses you mentioned had absolutely no chance of winning the Derby (grass horses or sprinters). Lasix had nothing to do with it. Todd Pletcher gives his horses lasix every time they breeze. Every European trainer based in this country uses lasix. Europeans who come over for the Breeder's Cup use lasix. Wayne Lukas was, and still is, a great horseman. Lasix is irrevelant.
jttf More than 1 year ago
lukas best 2 year old in 2012 wasnt will take charge or oxbow. it was titletown five. titletown lost to pletcher's violence by only a neck and beat orb. but titletown didnt use lasix for that race. his first 3 races were without lasix. then won by 9 lengths with first time use of lasix. too bad this horse had chips in the knee like arazi. now, look at orb. no lasix at two and has blossomed with the use of lasix at three years of age. lasix at 2 years of age is killing our horses.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Hopeless.
jttf More than 1 year ago
the rock always sinks to the bottom
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Oh, so clever.
jttf More than 1 year ago
i love people who never have a point. why am i the only one that explains why lukas lost his touch ?
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
See above.
avlamal More than 1 year ago
incredible greed here obviously wayne burning another out he will have zero horse left 4 derby i know the truth hurts
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith has a bunch of mounts that w/e. And no helicopter, nor plane, will get him to all those places Jon Court seems a logical fit for Oxbow. Good to see D. Wayne in the thick of things. Everyone comments on Bob Baffert and the quarters, but DWL was there long before.
P More than 1 year ago
Will DWL revert back to Jon Court on Oxbow, who had the mount prior to Mike Smith's last effort?
Dave More than 1 year ago
Oxbow reminds me of a horse trained by DWL, Proud Citizen.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Proud Citizen has turned into a really good stallion, too. Proud Spell, Believe You Can among others - some really high class horses. Oxbow is going to be one of the horses in the Derby with a good foundation - and he's got the pedigree to get the distance.
cigar1872 More than 1 year ago
did u hear something new verrazano to the fl derby
Gunner More than 1 year ago
To quote Mr. Pinault, "Don't listen to him. He is out of his mind" true
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Lots of good closers this year in the mid-west! And the Florida Derby will be interesting - you have Verrazano on the lead, Itsmyluckyday running in the pace spot and Orb closing. Remember when Dunkirk couldn't cath Quality Road in the 2009 Fla Derby? He was the lone speed, but Verrazano will not get away that easily this year...
Gunner More than 1 year ago
ERRRRRRRRRRRRRR Verrazano is in the Wood.
anonymous More than 1 year ago
Things don't happen according to script in a horse race, dude.