Hollendorfer, With Frank Stronach As New Client, Well-Stocked For Oaklawn Meet

Southern California-based trainers flourished last year at Oaklawn, with two finishing in the top 10 in the standings.

Horses for John Sadler were scheduled to arrive at the Hot Springs, Ark., track on Sunday in advance of the 57-day meeting that is scheduled to begin Friday, Jan. 22. Sadler, in his Oaklawn debut, won 15 races in 2020 to finish fifth in the trainer standings. Horses for another Southern California-based trainer, Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, have been on the grounds since late December under the direction of his longtime assistant, Dan Ward. Hollendorfer wintered at Oaklawn for the first time in 2020 and recorded 12 victories to finish eighth in the standings.

“We finished good,” Ward said Sunday morning. “We were in the top 10. We ran a lot of horses and we stayed safe and finished up good.”

Hollendorfer has more horsepower this year, roughly 40 head, including several holdovers from the 2020 meeting and seven for a high-profile new client, Frank Stronach.

A 2008 Eclipse Award winner as the country’s outstanding owner, Stronach has campaigned, among others, 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, champions Ginger Punch, Perfect Sting and Macho Uno, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Awesome Again and Preakness winner Red Bullet. Stronach also campaigned Spun Sugar, winner of the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares in 2006 at Oaklawn.

Stronach’s 2021 Oaklawn contingent is headed by Green Light Go, who won the $200,000 Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) for 2-year-olds in 2019 at Saratoga when with trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Unraced since mid-May, Green Light Go has recorded two workouts at Oaklawn, the last a five-furlong move from the gate in 1:00.20 Wednesday.

“He’s coming along good,” Ward said.

Sunny Dale, a three-time winner last year at Oaklawn, has also recorded two local works in advance of her 5-year-old debut. The well-traveled Sunny Dale ran fifth in the $125,000 Carousel Stakes for older female sprinters last April at Oaklawn and completed her 2020 campaign with a fifth-place finish in the $80,000 Floral Park Stakes Oct. 17 at Belmont Park.

“We freshened her up a little bit and she’s doing good,” Ward said.

Another 2020 Oaklawn winner, Awesome Anywhere, could resurface late in the meeting, Ward said. Awesome Anywhere ran six furlongs in 1:08.76 to capture a starter-allowance race last March at Oaklawn and closed 2020 with a runner-up finish in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes Sept. 12 at Monmouth Park.

Hollendorfer entered seven horses for the first two days of racing, including Causeway Jones in an entry-level allowance sprint for 3-year-olds on Saturday. Hollendorfer and two partners privately purchased the Creative Cause colt following a 7 ½-length debut victory Dec. 18 at Remington Park. Causeway Jones also has two published works at Oaklawn.

“We noticed last year that we started running better once we worked a couple of times over the track,” Ward said. “We got here like (Jan. 16) and a lot of starters didn’t even have a work over the track. We got here earlier and have gotten two or three breezes over the track – most of them – and I think that will help.”

Hollendorfer has 18 career victories at Oaklawn, including four stakes (all graded). The stakes victories include Blind Luck in the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) in 2010. Blind Luck was named the country’s champion 3-year-old filly of 2010.

Southern California-based trainers Phil D’Amato and Peter Miller also have horses on the grounds in advance of the 2021 meet. They each won five races last year at Oaklawn.

The post Hollendorfer, With Frank Stronach As New Client, Well-Stocked For Oaklawn Meet appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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