03/17/2011 6:19AM

Oaklawn shippers Blind Luck, The Factor, Sway Away arrive

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Barbara D. Livingston
Blind Luck (above) will face Havre de Grace in Saturday's Azeri.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Blind Luck, The Factor and Sway Away all rolled through the Oaklawn Park backstretch around 5:15 p.m. Central on Wednesday, in town for stakes races on Saturday. The horses flew in from Southern California along with Grade 1 winner Smiling Tiger, who is being pointed for the Grade 3, $200,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn on April 14, said his trainer, Jeff Bonde.

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Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, is here for the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri, which is the prep for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn on April 15. Her trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, said on Wednesday night that she had traveled well. Garrett Gomez has the mount in the Azeri.

“It was very easy on her,” Hollendorfer said of the trip. “The flight was very direct.”

Jimmy Barnes, assistant to The Factor’s trainer, Bob Baffert, said the two-hour and 48-minute flight was uneventful. The horses flew into Hot Springs, Ark., and took a short van ride to Oaklawn.
“He’s super-happy,” Barnes said of The Factor, who is to start in the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel on Saturday.

Sway Away, another candidate for the Rebel, was munching on hay in the early evening Wednesday, along with his stablemates Smiling Tiger and Slew the Man, who also came in from California.
Entries for the Azeri, for fillies and mares, and the Rebel, for 3-year-olds, will be taken on Thursday.