Updated on 09/17/2011 11:44PM

Private Vow tightens up for Arkansas Derby


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Private Vow finished his major prep work for Saturday's Grade 2, $1 million on Tuesday morning, when he breezed a half-mile in 48.24 seconds at Oaklawn Park.

He is one of 13 probables for the Arkansas Derby, which has a gate limit of 14. The 1 1/8-mile race is part of the Racing Festival of the South, during which at least one stakes a day is run at Oaklawn over the final week of the meet, which ends Saturday.

Private Vow came onto the track after the renovation break, accompanied by a pony ridden by his trainer, Steve Asmussen. Donnie Meche was aboard for the drill, as clockers tracked Private Vow through an opening eighth of a mile in 12 seconds, the first quarter in 24.46, and caught him out five furlongs in 1:02.32.

"He did it the way you would like, pretty effortless," said Asmussen. "He went over the ground well. He was very relaxed and came back nice."

Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount on Private Vow, a multiple Grade 2 winner. Asmussen said Private Vow was to walk on Wednesday and gallop on Thursday.

With a City, the winner of the Grade 2, $500,000 Lane's End, is scheduled to van to Oaklawn from Kentucky late Tuesday night and will arrive on Wednesday morning, said his owner, Ron Peltz. He was committed to the field on Monday.

Jealous Profit and New Joysey Jeff arrived via plane from California on Tuesday for the Arkansas Derby. Other probables for the race are favorite Lawyer Ron, Film Fortune, High Cotton, Nob Hill Deelite, Red Raymond, Sayhellotolarry, Simon Pure, Steppenwolfer, and Well Said.

The Arkansas Derby is the richest race of the meet, and it will be televised on ABC. There are two other stakes on the Saturday card, the $100,000 Northern Spur Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds at one mile, and the $100,000 Instant Racing Breeders' Cup.

The Arkansas Derby and Instant Racing will be part of a with the Blue Grass Stakes and Commonwealth Breeders' Cup at Keeneland.

Chindi begins career as stable pony

The incredibly popular Chindi started a new career early Monday morning at Oaklawn. Tacked up in a Western saddle for the first time, he led a horse to the track in his new role as a stable pony for his longtime trainer, Steve Hobby.

"I think he'll enjoy it," said Hobby. "He'll get to go up a lot of sets a day instead of just one a day. He'll get to stand up there and watch horses train, and I think he'll love it."

Chindi, 12, earned $1 million racing for his owner, Cresran LLC. He was officially retired in a ceremony Sunday at Oaklawn, where in 1998 he won the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. He was paraded before the public under jockey Tim Doocy.

Overall, the late-running Chindi won 18 of 81 starts. His five stakes wins include the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Hobby plans to bring Chindi to Chicago with him after Oaklawn, and said Chindi will also spend part of the year turned out. Chindi last raced in July, and finished sixth in the $40,000 Better Bee at Arlington Park. From there, he spent some time on the farm in Oklahoma.

"He just ran an even race, and I told [Cresran] it's time," said Hobby.

Chindi is an intelligent horse whose popularity is widespread. Hobby said he has gotten inquiries on him when he is out around town, and even the other day when he was working out.

"Everybody asks me how he is before they ask me how I'm doing," said Hobby.

Options for Capeside Lady

The multiple Grade 2 winner Capeside Lady won her comeback from a more than five-month layoff on Sunday, cruising to a 3 1/2-length win in the $100,000 Bayakoa at Oaklawn. She was making her first start for trainer Steve Asmussen after being sold at a Keeneland auction in November.

Asmussen said Capeside Lady has been flown to Churchill Downs. She is scheduled to make her next start in one of two spots: the Grade 2, $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill on May 5, or the Grade 3, $200,000 Allaire duPont Breeders' Cup Distaff at Pimlico Race Course on May 19.