01/29/2009 12:00AM

Schedule change for Old Fashioned


At 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., the temperature had just made it up to 32 degrees - which is why hot 3-year-old prospect Old Fashioned still was in New Orleans.

Trainer Larry Jones had targeted Wednesday as the day Old Fashioned would leave Fair Grounds, where he has been stabled since November, and move to Oaklawn, where he is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 16 Southwest Stakes. But this thing called winter still has some kind of grip on Arkansas, and with low temperatures this week still forecast to dip into the 20s there, Jones has changed his plans. Old Fashioned, he said, would work on Thursday morning at Fair Grounds and ship to Oaklawn sometime early next week.

"It looks like the weather up there should start to get better by then," said Jones.

Jones said he still planned to put Old Fashioned through two drills at Oaklawn before entering him in the one-mile Southwest. His Thursday work at Fair Grounds will be something at least slightly more taxing than Old Fashioned's first two timed breezes this winter.

Old Fashioned won all three of his starts last year at 2, and has captured his two route races by almost 23 lengths combined. His apparently effortless 7 1/4-length win in the Remsen Stakes last Nov. 28 has many eager to see how the colt has progressed into 2009.

"Everything is good with him," Jones said. "I think we're coming along like we need to. He never has got into an awkward stage. He is bigger and stronger than he was last year, but he keeps the same dimensions."

Jones said he will head to Oaklawn from Fair Grounds at the same time as Old Fashioned, but first he must get through a busy day of morning work Monday, when all his horses for Fair Grounds stakes races on Feb. 7 will have workouts. That group includes Friesan Fire and It Happened Again for the Risen Star Stakes, Just Jenda for the Silverbulletday, and Honest Man for the Mineshaft Handicap.

Prado to ride Giant Oak again

Trainer Chris Block said jockey Edgar Prado had accepted an offer to ride Giant Oak in the Risen Star next weekend. Prado will take over for veteran Eddie Razo, who rode Giant Oak to a closing second-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last November and had ridden Giant Oak to two wins over the summer at Arlington. Prado was aboard Giant Oak for the colt's only defeat, a brutal-trip eighth-place finish on the Keeneland grass course in the Bourbon Stakes last fall.

Giant Oak had an in-company work with the older horse Brothers Nicholas on Saturday, and will have his final Risen Star breeze on Monday, Block said.

The Risen Star has seven probable starters, with Au Moon, Summer's Empire, Theregoesjojo, and Uno Mas likely to join the Jones-trained pair and Giant Oak.

Summer's Empire, an Illinois-bred stakes winner at 2, has shipped into Fair Grounds from trainer Tony Mitchell's farm in Kentucky, and worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 on Wednesday.

Evita Argentina unlikely to come

Trainer Mike Stidham said that Evita Argentina was not expected to ship from California for the Silverbulletday, though Fair Grounds racing officials had listed her as a possible starter in the 3-year-old filly stakes.

Trained by John Sadler, Evita Argentina has been a regular in Southern California graded stakes races, and would have boosted the field's quality had she traveled. But Stidham said Wednesday he had spoken to the filly's connections the evening before, and that they had decided not to send her for the race.

* A field of eight was entered for Saturday's feature, the Black Gold Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters. Big Push, who finished fifth in the Jan. 10 Lecomte Stakes, could wind up a mild favorite.