Bye Bye J, Lieblongs’ Future Date For The Big Beast, Making Hay In Arkansas-Bred Ranks

The Big Beast has yet to be represented by a winner at the 2020 Oaklawn meet as a sire, but one of his future dates continues to flourish against Arkansas-breds at the Hot Springs racetrack.

Heavily favored Bye Bye J remained perfect in three starts against state-breds in Saturday’s $125,000 Downthedustyroad Stakes, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths under Ricardo Santana Jr. in her 4-year-old debut and first start for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

Prominent Arkansas owners Alex and JoAnn Lieblong privately purchased Bye Bye J following a runner-up finish in the $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G3) in February 2019 at Gulfstream Park. The daughter of Uncaptured has feasted on Arkansas-bred company since being relocated to the Midwest, winning an allowance race by 8 1/4 lengths last March in her local debut and the $100,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths in April. The Rainbow Miss is Oaklawn’s biggest prize for state-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Alex Lieblong said he purchased Bye Bye J with the intent of breeding her to The Big Beast upon retirement. The Lieblongs raced The Big Beast, who captured an allowance race in 2015 at Oaklawn, and stand their Grade 1 winner at Ocala Stud in Florida. The Lieblongs board their mares, approximately 13, at Ocala Stud and are heavily supporting The Big Beast, who was Florida’s second-leading first-crop sire last year.

“That was the whole plan from the start,” said Alex Lieblong, chairman of the Arkansas Racing Commission. “I thought putting her with The Big Beast might make a speedy horse. I hope it’s a while off.”

A perk, Lieblong said, was running Bye Bye J in the lucrative Arkansas-bred program at Oaklawn. Bye Bye J has already bankrolled $190,200 for her three Oaklawn victories.

“We thought we might be able to pick up a purse and that would help ease the pain just a little bit after purchasing her,” Lieblong said.

Bye Bye J ($3.20) was making her first start since finishing sixth behind future dual Eclipse Award winner Covfefe in the $150,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) May 17 at Pimlico. Lieblong said because Bye Bye J’s form was beginning to slide, it was decided to give her a lengthy break.

“The calendar was really working against us and she certainly wasn’t as tight as she could have been,” Alex Lieblong said, noting Bye Bye J had only been in training for roughly eight weeks before her return. “But the calendar is kind of unforgiving, so we had to go with what we had and hoped she had enough.”

Bye Bye J won for the fifth time in nine starts to push her career earnings to $298,105. In addition to the Rainbow Miss and Downthedustyroad, Bye Bye J owns a stakes victory in open company – $75,000 House Party – in December 2018 at Gulfstream Park.

“She’s a well-built filly,” Lieblong said. “She’s broadened out. She didn’t get a lot taller this year. But she’s like me, she’s spread out.”

Lieblong said next-race plans are pending for Bye Bye J.

The Lieblongs have several offspring of The Big Beast training at Oaklawn in preparation for their local debuts, including Big Affair, Classy Beast and Ms Big Spring – all fillies – with trainer David Fawkes and The Big Bluff, a colt, with trainer Steve Hobby of Hot Springs. Ms Big Spring, a homebred, is out of Spring Included, a multiple Oaklawn stakes winner for Hobby and the Lieblongs.

The Lieblongs were Oaklawn’s third-leading owners last year and have three victories at this year’s meet. Bye Bye J was bred by McDowell Farm.

The post Bye Bye J, Lieblongs’ Future Date For The Big Beast, Making Hay In Arkansas-Bred Ranks appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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