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Oaklawn: Tidal Pool caps two-win day for Lukas in Redbud Stakes
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s powerhouse meet at Oaklawn Park continued on Wednesday, when he sent out two winners on the card including Tidal Pool in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Redbud.
Lukas has led the local trainer standings for a good portion of the meet, and was up by three wins at the close of racing Wednesday. The Redbud was an important win as he seeks to nail down his first training title since a Turfway crown in 2005, but Lukas said the score was much more meaningful for Tidal Pool, who last year was third in the Kentucky Oaks.
“That was her initial stakes win so it was very significant that we get one,” he said. “She’s had such a good run, so to get a stakes win on her is important. It’d be almost criminal if she went through her career and not be a stakes winner.’
Lukas trains Tidal Pool for Westrock Stables. The filly had been stakes-placed four times prior to the Redbud, among them the Grade 2 Fantasy last spring at Oaklawn, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, and the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.. Lukas said the next stop for Tidal Pool would be Churchill Downs, as he has nominated her to the Grade 2, $300,000 La Troienne on May 6; and the Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Turf Mile and Grade 1, $300,000 Humana Distaff, both on May 7.
“We’re going to look at one of those stakes,” he said. “There’s a couple of different options.”
Tidal Pool ($3.60) was hustled to the lead soon after the start, and was up by a length through an opening quarter in 23.50 seconds. She remained in command through fractions of 46.72 for the half-mile and 1:10.79 for six furlongs. In the stretch, Tidal Pool held off a determined bid from Tiz Miz Sue for a neck win, covering the mile and a sixteenth for fillies and mares in 1:43.22.
“She didn’t break that sharp, and I had to use her,” said Calvin Borel, who was aboard for Lukas. “I was a little concerned, but he had her ready.”
Kimber Lilly finished third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Tiz Miz Sue. Payton d’Oro and Forthelonghaul were scratched from the Redbud.
The race was one of nine stakes that are being run over the final week of the Oaklawn meet. The cluster of major races, known as the Racing Festival of the South, continues Thursday with the Grade 3, $200,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap.
Lukas is the winningest trainer in the history of Oaklawn’s annual festival, which began in 1974.
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