Millionaire Marathoner Lone Rock Headed To New Oaklawn Race

Lone Rock was a $40,000 claimer when he came to Oaklawn for the 2021 meeting. He returns a multiple Grade 2 stakes winner and with $1,024,921 in career earnings.

And the marathon runner may not be done this year.

Trainer Robertino Diodoro said Tuesday morning that Lone Rock is under consideration for the inaugural $200,000 Tinsel Stakes for 3-year-olds and up Dec. 18 at Oaklawn. The 1 1/8-mile Tinsel is among four new races added to Oaklawn’s 2021-2022 stakes schedule to accommodate an expanded season (66 days) and December opening, the second-earliest in track history.

A two-time allowance winner at the 2021 Oaklawn meeting, Lone Rock flourished after targeting races beyond the American classic distance (1 ¼ miles) and surpassed $1 million in career earnings with a 1 ½-length victory in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes (G2) Nov. 6 at Del Mar.

Lone Rock set a 1 5/8-mile track record (2:42.61) under Oaklawn regular Ramon Vazquez.

Lone Rock has bankrolled $722,884 in winning 6 of 8 starts (all in 2021) since Diodoro re-claimed the now-6-year-old Majestic Warrior gelding for $40,000 last November at Churchill Downs on behalf of New York owner Jason Provenzano (Flying P Stable).

“He was meant to be a good horse,” said Diodoro, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2020. “Horses are like athletes. You see some of these kids come out of college, or they’re in college, and they’re rock stars and then they go pro and they’re nowhere to be found. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. Guy’s mediocre in college, but takes the next step and goes to the pros. Same thing with these horses.”

In Lone Rock’s case, he became a pro at long, long distances.

Prior to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Lone Rock had captured an April 11 allowance race at Oaklawn, $130,000 Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight Stakes April 27 at Churchill Downs, $400,000 Brooklyn Stakes (G2) June 5 at Belmont Park and the $120,000 Birdstone Stakes Aug. 5 at Saratoga.

The April 11 race, Isaac Murphy and Brooklyn were all 1 ½ miles. The Birdstone was 1 ¾ miles. Lone Rock also finished second in another 1 ½-mile race, the $150,000 Temperence Hill Stakes for older horses, March 13 at Oaklawn.

“The farther the better,” Diodoro said.

Lone Rock began his racing career with mega-successful Oaklawn owner John Ed Anthony of Hot Springs, who covets long-winded, two-turn runners, and now-retired trainer Will VanMeter. Lone Rock, prior to being gelded, closed his 2018 campaign with a victory in Remington Park’s $75,000 Jeffrey A. Hawk Memorial Stakes at 1 mile and 70 yards.

Diodoro originally claimed Lone Rock for $40,000 from Anthony and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott in July 2020 at Saratoga. Mott, on behalf of himself and Paradise Farms Corp., took the gelding back for $40,000 approximately three months later at Keeneland.

“We were kicking ourselves for running him back for the $40,000,” Diodoro said. “But we had to win some races. We were in a little bit of whatever. We just got lucky to get him back.”

Diodoro said Lone Rock received a brief freshening at Turf Paradise in Phoenix following the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance before shipping to Oaklawn. The gelding arrived Saturday in Hot Springs, Diodoro said.

“We’re going to train him here for 10 days and see how he trains and then we’ll make a decision whether to give him a break or continue on,” Diodoro said. “Our original plan was to give him a break. A few things have unfolded in the last little bit, so we’re going to see. So far, he seems good. We want to make sure he’s 100 percent.”

Overall, Lone Rock has a 13-4-2 record from 36 lifetime starts. Lone Rock began 2021 with a 1 1/16-mile allowance victory at Oaklawn. The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance was his fifth career stakes victory.

The post Millionaire Marathoner Lone Rock Headed To New Oaklawn Race appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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