For the Arkies
Arkansas-bred horses are in the spotlight today at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs with the $150,000 Rainbow Stakes for 3-year-olds and the $150,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-yearold fillies.
HOT SPRINGS — Arkansas-bred horses get top billing today.
Race 7 on the 10-race card is the $150,000 6-furlong Rainbow Stakes for 3-yearold horses bred in Arkansas. Race 9, the second of the day’s two features, is the $150,000 6 furlong Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies.
The Rainbow has a post time scheduled for 4:09 p.m. The Rainbow Miss is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.
Trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort’s Arkansas-bred program helps horsemen and local businesses after the season ends.
“To me, the state-bred program is a shot to keep local breeders invested in the industry,” Moquett said. “There are a lot of jobs created by the breeding industry of Arkansas. Oaklawn is there for a certain amount of time, and that brings a lot of interest, but a lot of people in Hot Springs just immediately turn to the lake when it’s over, but these people are hiring people and paying for goods yearround. It keeps a firm, permanent footprint for horse racing in the state.”
Four races in Oaklawn’s program today are limited to Arkansas-bred entrants, who will race for a total of $357,000.
Six geldings and three colts are entered in the Rainbow, including Jimbo Metheney’s Blame JD, a son of Blame and maternal grandson of Speightstown trained by former Texas Tech and Texas-El Paso volleyball player Aidan Green.
Blame J D is the Rainbow’s 5-2 morning-line favorite.
“I love his chances in here,” Green said. “He’s been training really good. His last race, we had to run against older horses, and it was the first time he got a little dirt in his face. I think he handled it really well. He came out of the race really good. We got a perfect [8th] post position. It’s all kind of playing out good right now, I hope.”
Blame J D finished fourth of 12 in a 6-furlong optional-claimer for horses 3 years old and up at Oaklawn on March 28 in his last start.
Green, 33, won her first race in her second season as a trainer with Kristo in a 1-mile starter allowance at Oaklawn on Feb. 11. She has since trained horses to another six wins. One was with the gelding Blame J D, 3 1-0-1.
Married to veteran horseman Ike Green, Aidan Green lettered four seasons at UTEP. She and her husband met in 2010 when he trained horses at Sunland Park near El Paso, Texas. They married in 2013 and have three children.
Ike Green assisted Robertino Diodoro last season as Diodoro won Oaklawn’s training championship.
“We bought a place here two years ago, and kind of made this a home base,” Aidan Green said. “We love Hot Springs, love the people, love the town, so it’s kind of cool to call it our home town now.”
Kem Stables’ Navy Seal, a gelded son of Midshipman trained by Tom Swearingen, is the 7-2 morning-line second-choice off her 6-furlong maiden win in 1:12.62 last Saturday.
Terry Thompson will ride David T. and Lacinda V. Rogers’Dusty Hill, 8-1 on the morning-line. Dusty Hill, a son of Oxbow trained by Tim Dixon, broke his maiden by 12 lengths against Arkansas-bred horses at 6-furlongs in 1:11.12 on Feb. 25. He has since finished last of six in Oaklawn’s 6-furlong Gazebo Stakes and last of 12, 15-lengths back and also at 6-furlongs on March 28.
“The way he broke his maiden, hopefully, we can get him to run that race again,” Thompson said.
“We’re just hoping for that.”
Moquett trains Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Big On Broadway, the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Rainbow Miss’ 11-filly field that includes six last-out winners, including Big On Broadway.
Horses trained by Moquett won the Rainbow Miss in 2018 and 2019 and the Rainbow last season. Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., is listed to ride Big On Broadway.
“She’s shown she’s got some ability,” Moquett said “We’ve been very lucky in this race before, and I’ve got the leading jock, and a horse that looks like he’s got promise, so I think we’re sitting in a good spot.”
Moquett said nothing will come easily in either of today’s stakes.
“It’s getting harder and harder to win those races with Arkansas-breds,” he said. “We’re starting to get some decent stallions, decent breeding, so we’re going to get a better group of horses.”