Ahead Of Big Weekend At Oaklawn, Industry-Wide ‘Uncertainty’ Has Crow Taking It ‘Day By Day’

Approaching a big weekend with three live contenders in graded stakes races at Oaklawn Park, bloodstock agent and racing manager Liz Crow is, of course, grateful there’s somewhere to run.

Meanwhile, live racing has not resumed in one of her primary markets, Kentucky, and there aren’t any immediate plans for that to change. With changing schedules of major sales and stakes races all across the United States, the unforeseen challenges just keep adding up.

“It’s very similar to what everybody in our industry is dealing with right now: uncertainty,” Crow told a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference on Tuesday afternoon. “Everybody’s just trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.”

When Keeneland cancelled its spring meet, for example, Crow and trainer Brad Cox had to pivot with juvenile filly champion British Idiom. The plan changed from the Grade 1 Ashland during the first week of April to this weekend’s Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn, in which the Flashback filly will try to step forward after finishing second in the G2 Rachel Alexandra first off the layoff at the Fair Grounds.

“She’s doing really good,” Crow said. “Obviously with everything going on with the coronavirus, this wasn’t our plan. We were hoping for the Ashland the first week of April, so she’s been ready to go for a month now. I think we’re excited to see what she can do second off the layoff. Brad didn’t have her fully cranked for the Rachel, so that loss wasn’t super surprising… I expect to see her a little tighter in this race.”

British Idiom drew post 10 of 14 sophomore fillies lining up in Friday’s $400,000 contest, which offers 100 points toward the re-scheduled Kentucky Oaks to the winner.

Crow is also excited to watch 3-year-old Wells Bayou, winner of the G2 Louisiana Derby last out, take on a tough field of challengers in Saturday’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. The Lookin at Lucky colt drew the outermost post 11 in the second division of the Kentucky Derby points race, which also features Rebel Stakes winner Nadal, juvenile champ Storm the Court, Tampa Bay Derby winner King Guillermo, and Southwest Stakes winner Silver Prospector.

“His division looks like the Arkansas Derby, while the other division looks like an allowance race,” Crow said. “It’s a really good race from top to bottom. It will be fun to watch, and he’s doing extremely well. He really couldn’t be doing any better.”

The third stakes horse in with a big shot this weekend is Warrior’s Charge, drawn post six of 14 in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap. The nine-furlong contest is another tough race, but Warrior’s Charge is coming off a big win in the Razorback last out and Crow said he has been doing well in the mornings ever since.

In the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, Crow’s day-to-day routine still includes checking in with trainers and other bloodstock agents and keeping up to date with the latest sales company changes. The major difference, of course, is that there are a lot more changes as well as very few places to run horses that are raring to go.

Champion Monomoy Girl, for instance, is ready to run off an 18-month layoff. The mare has breezed three straight bullets at Keeneland and “couldn’t be doing any better,” Crow said. She hopes to be able to run the Brad Cox trainee at Churchill Downs, but Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has yet to grant the Louisville track permission to resume live racing, even without spectators.

“I’ll be honest, I’m very frustrated with the way our governor has handled the situation in Kentucky,” said Crow. “I think we safely could have returned to racing a few weeks ago… I think it’s hurting a lot of horsemen unnecessarily here.

“I don’t want to sound like this isn’t a big deal, but I do think we could race safely without spectators.”

Crow added that trainer Brad Cox has done a particularly good job managing the horses in his care during the period of uncertainty, keeping horses ready to go without overworking them.

“He’s just taking it day by day, which is really all we can do,” she said.

The post Ahead Of Big Weekend At Oaklawn, Industry-Wide ‘Uncertainty’ Has Crow Taking It ‘Day By Day’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.