04/06/2009 12:00AM

Old Fashioned gets tune-up


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Old Fashioned and Danger to Society both worked Monday at Oaklawn Park for Saturday's Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby. The 1 1/8-mile race will close out the Oaklawn season, and as of Monday there were eight to nine probables following the defection of Wise Kid. Entries for the Arkansas Derby are to be taken Wednesday.

Old Fashioned came onto the track about 7oa.m. Monday and breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 under Terry Thompson. Clockers carried the Grade 2 Remsen winner through an opening quarter in 24.20 seconds, three furlongs in 37.20, a half-mile in 49.20, and out six furlongs in 1:12.80.

"He came home well and he really went out well around the turn," trainer Larry Jones said. "That was the big thing. He galloped out really well.

"It was really good. Old Fashioned was very relaxed early. We're just getting him to relax and finish. It was perfect. He came back and wouldn't have blown out a match. He's ready."

Danger to Society arrived at Oaklawn last week for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. and breezed six furlongs here Monday under assistant trainer Michelle Nevin. He covered the distance on a windy, 35-degree morning in 1:16. Danger to Society, who has won 2 of 3 starts, will be making his first start for Dutrow after being transferred to his barn following a seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan. 31.

"We're learning more and more about him every day," he said. "He's kind of a straightforward horse, doesn't have issues or quirks. He's got a good mind to him, doesn't get overly excited about things."

Cornelio Velasquez has the mount for the Arkansas Derby.

Wise Kid, a two-time winner at the meet, will pass the race, trainer Tim Ritchey said. Wise Kid went a two-minute mile Sunday, but a subsequent endoscopic exam revealed signs of a lingering lung infection. Ritchey said the horse would be given some time off and could return to action in May, in a race like the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont Park.

"The weather change is just killing these horses," he said of temperatures that have swung from 70 to 30 degrees the last few days. "But we'll get over it."

Papa Clem emerged from his final work for the Arkansas Derby - a bullet five furlongs in 58.80 seconds Sunday - in good order, trainer Gary Stute said. Others considered probable include Win Willy, Poltergeist, Flying Private, Flat Out, and Summer Bird.

Stephen Foster possible for It's a Bird

It's a Bird was due to arrive back at trainer Marty Wolfson's barn at Calder on Tuesday, following his six-length win in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap here Saturday. He equaled his career-best Beyer Speed Figure, a 107, which he had first earned in January when he won the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park.

"It was a strong performance for him," Wolfson said of the Oaklawn Handicap. "It was very similar to his Sunshine Millions."

Wolfson said It's a Bird may start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 13. The horse also will be considered for marathon stakes as he won the $55,000 Plagiarize at 1 1/2 miles last fall at Calder.

Rachel Alexandra heading to Kentucky

Rachel Alexandra is to ship to Churchill Downs on Wednesday to begin preparations for the Grade 1, $500,000 Kentucky Oaks on May 1. She established herself as the probable favorite for the race by winning the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy here Saturday by a stakes-record margin of 8 3/4 lengths. It was her fourth consecutive stakes win, and she earned a 101 Beyer.

Hal Wiggins, who trains Rachel Alexandra, said Monday that she emerged from the race in good order and plans are to breeze her twice heading into the Oaks.

"The Oaks is on Friday, so I'll give her like an easy half on Monday before the Friday," he said, "and 10 to 12 days before that we'll give her kind of a serious five-eighths and let her gallop out a little bit."

Rachel Alexandra has spent her winter living just one stall from where Smarty Jones was stabled when he won the Arkansas Derby. He then shipped to Churchill and won the Kentucky Derby.

Doocy wins his 5,000th race

After a false start, jockey Tim Doocy officially picked up the 5,000th win of his career Sunday at Oaklawn when he guided Drinks to Go ($4) to victory in the seventh race for longtime patrons Cresran and trainer Steve Hobby. He became the 24th rider to reach the milestone.

Doocy hit 5,000 wins in the 11th race Saturday, but on Sunday afternoon Oaklawn stewards issued a ruling stripping Coyotepass, a horse Doocy had ridden to victory on March 8, of a win because of a medication infraction. The ruling had not been appealed as of Sunday, the stewards said, and Doocy's win count officially stood at 4,999 entering Sunday's card.

Doocy won the 11th race Saturday with Color Out ($24.60), and following the race was greeted in the winner's circle by his family, a number of trainers, and the Oaklawn jockey colony. He was presented with a cake and then a pie in the face in an extended ceremony.

"It all worked out," Doocy, 53, said after riding Drinks to Go on Sunday. "Yesterday, to me, was the day it happened. That was 5,000."

Doocy rode his first winner in 1974 at the now-closed Commodore Downs in Erie, Pa. He has amassed more than $65 million in mount earnings, and among his most popular horses was the retired millionaire sprinter Chindi.