01/18/2013 6:01PM

Oaklawn: Pure Fun will take Arkansas path to Kentucky Oaks

Benoit & Associates
Pure Fun could make her first start of the season in the Honeybee on March 9.

Leading Kentucky Oaks candidate Pure Fun returned to trainer Ken McPeek’s stable in Florida this past week after a freshening, and he said she could launch her 3-year-old season in the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn on March 9. McPeek also has a division at Oaklawn.

Pure Fun won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet at Betfair Hollywood Park in her last start Dec. 8. It was her second straight win and it followed a nine-length romp in a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs, a race in which she defeated Dancinginthecircle, a next-out stakes winner and leading contender for the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. Pure Fun, who races for Magdalena Racing, was freshened in Kentucky.

“We had a van going either direction the other day, and when weather turned [in Arkansas], we sent her south,” said McPeek. “The intention is to run her at Oaklawn later in the winter. We’re going to prepare her here in Florida, and more than likely fly her there, assuming arrangements can be made, to run later in the winter.

“If I can get her ready for the Honeybee, we may go there. If not, then the Fantasy. We could pull the trigger one time before the Oaks.”

The Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy will be run April 10 at Oaklawn.

McPeek’s local division is led by Atigun, who in his last start was third in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

“Atigun is galloping right now and kind of getting ready for his first workout,” said McPeek, who trains the horse for Shortleaf Stable. “Right now he’s going to be pointed for the Razorback and Oaklawn Handicap.”

The Grade 3, $150,000 Razorback Handicap is to be run here March 9, while the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap is April 13.