Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
12th Crown

Calvin "Bo Bo" Borel moves his tack back to Oaklawn Park

Calvin “Bo Bo” Borel just couldn’t resist the lure of budding three year-olds at Oaklawn Park, where he picked up the mount on Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver in 2010.  His agent Jerry Hissam recently announced that the 45 year-old Cajun jockey with the famous ear to ear grin will be moving his tack from short-lived Gulfstream Park effective this weekend.  There is no doubt he will receive a rousing welcome – much deserved at that – from the soggy Oaklawn railbirds come post time Saturday. 
Oaklawn Park heads into its third weekend of racing, which means you will start seeing some repeat runners at the spa where rivalries could begin to develop.  That is the case with today’s feature – the $100,000 Essex Handicap , where the top three finishers from the Fifth Season Stakes on opening day; Color Me Blue, Twice the Appeal and It Happened Again toe the starting line. The problem is that the heavy hitters also start to come off the bench for these six digit purses.  Alternation, a grade 2 winner last summer from the Donnie K. Von Hemel barn, was installed as the 2-1 favorite for the 8.5 furlong Essex.
On the Triple Crown trail, the Ken McPeek trained Atigun (Istan) and Ingrid Mason’s Apprehender (Posse) have thrown their proverbial “horse hats” into the ring for the $250,000 Grade 3 Southwest Mile on a special President’s Day card at Oaklawn. If you have a mare in the central Kentucky region there’s still time to breed to Istan (son of Gone West) at a $3,500 stud fee before the exploits of sons Mr. Bowling (winner Lecomte Stakes) and Atigun boost up that meager fee.  And there's a new Posse in Hot Springs and his name is Apprehender. He turned many heads in his 5 ½ furlong dash where he put up a 98 Beyer in his debut race. Being out of the Grade 1 winning mare Missy’s Mirage, owners John and Chris Robson stole this gelding at $21,000 towards the back sessions of the 2010 Keeneland sale. But their work is cut out for them when they square off against the top two finisher of the Smarty Jones in Junebugred and Reckless Jerry. Fun times ahead at the spa of the South!


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Older Comments about Calvin "Bo Bo" Borel moves his tack back to Oaklawn Park...

Borel at Oaklawn is a good thing ... Alternation is the class, and should have a good year, but today, and especially if the track is sloppy, may be a vulnerable favorite.

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Meet Eric Kords
Eric is a historian of thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas and across the country. He has witnessed in person nearly every significant race that has occurred at Oaklawn Park since the mid-1980’s including such recent Eclipse champions as Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin at Lucky, Summer Bird and Curlin, classic performers including Afleet Alex, Smarty Jones, Victory Gallop, Lil’ E Tee, Pine Bluff and Grindstone, top handicap champions Cigar, Lawyer Ron and Best Pal, and finally Distaff champions the likes of Azeri, Bayakoa, Paseana, Escena and Ginger Punch.  
Eric has also attended the most historically significant races across the country including the 2010 Breeders' Cup featuring Zenyatta’s epic finale, 2008 Breeders' Cup featuring Curlin’s final race, the Eclipse clinching victory by Rachel Alexandra against the boys in the 2009 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, 2010 Preakness Stakes won by Eclipse champion Lookin at Lucky, 2004 Belmont Stakes where Smarty Jones was denied the Triple Crown by Birdstone, 1996 Pacific Classic at Del Mar where Cigar’s 16 consecutive win streak ended at the hooves of Dare and Go, Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes at Saratoga, Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park and Summit of Speed Festival at Calder just to name the most memorable.  Eric now resides in Dallas, TX and counts Oaklawn Park, The Fair Grounds and Lone Star Park as his “home tracks.” He has recently entered the thoroughbred owner ranks with the launch of his Saturday Racing Syndicate.

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