Race of the Week 2018

Kentucky Derby winner O'Neill starting Oaklawn Park string

Doug O’Neill, a two-time Kentucky Derby winner who has in recent years shipped for some of Oaklawn Park’s top races, will next in 2018 operate his own string at the Arkansas track, the Daily Racing Form reported Tuesday.

The trainer told DRF he’ll have 15 to 20 horses at Oaklawn once the meet hits full swing. Racing there starts Friday, Jan. 12, and culminates April 14 with the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby
 

“We’re going to bring a little bit of money to claim, too – have a little money there on the side to claim a few to run at that meet,” he said.

O’Neill partnered with Paul Reddam for his 2012 Derby win with I’ll Have Another and the 2016 victory with Nyquist. In Arkansas, his top client, per DRF, will be Mark Schlesinger.

The trainer was convinced to move some of his horses after Oaklawn officials visited Santa Anita Park and “were just really pumping up their track,” O’Neill told DRF.

His main base will still be in California.

 

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