03/13/2017 3:26PM

Pletcher trio arrives for Rebel Stakes card

Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Malagacy arrived at Oaklawn on Monday and will race in the Rebel Stakes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A trio of stakes horses from Florida flew into Little Rock, Ark., on Monday and arrived on the Oaklawn backstretch by midday, track spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt said. The horses all were from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher. Malagacy goes in the Rebel, while Madefromlucky is being pointed for the Essex Handicap and Eskenformoney is among the nominees for the Azeri.

A flight bringing horses from Southern California was due to arrive Tuesday at Oaklawn. Those expected on the flight include Rebel candidates American Anthem and Royal Mo. Mor Spirit also is expected from Southern California for the Essex and is the probable highweight for the race at 121 pounds.

Purse increase

Oaklawn on Sunday announced an overnight purse increase for the final month of the meet that will push the value of maiden special weight races to $80,000 from the current $72,000, while allowances will be worth as much as $84,000 from the previous high level of $76,000.

The increases will begin Saturday.

Starter allowances and claiming races with a tag of $30,000 or more, including maidens, will all be boosted by $2,000 each. Oaklawn also has raised the purse of its Trail’s End, the 1 3/4-mile final race of the meet, to $55,000 from $50,000.

“This year, we have benefited from strong business in racing and gaming, which is allowing us to increase purses during the season for the ninth consecutive year,” Wayne Smith, assistant general manager at Oaklawn, said in a statement.