Lucrative Oaklawn meet opens with Fifth Season
Oaklawn's three-year-old stakes program is one of the most successful in the nation when it comes to producing Triple Crown hopefuls. That program should get even more competitive and exciting in 2013 with 289 points available based on the new qualifying method for the Kentucky Derby and purse increases for the Smarty Jones, Grade 3 Southwest and Grade 2 Rebel. The $150,000 Smarty Jones and $300,000 Southwest anchor the two holiday Mondays in January and February, respectively, while the $600,000 Rebel will be the marquee event of March. The racing action culminates April 13 with the 77th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby.
The opening day feature is the $75,000 Fifth Season, a 1 1/16-mile stepping stone toward the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.
The potential favorite in the Fifth Season is multiple Grade 3 winner Endorsement, winner of last year's Grade 3 Texas Mile and a close third in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special. The Eoin Harty-trained six-year-old was last seen running sixth in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has entered two in the Fifth Season including Skyring, who made his mark on grass last season winning the James W. Murphy at Pimlico and narrowly losing three times at the Grade 3 level.
Others of note in the Fifth Season lineup are Oaklawn mainstays It Happened Again and Win Willy, and last year's Northern Spur victor Master Rick.
Post times will be 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and Sundays and 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Some exceptions include opening day and the two holiday Mondays when first post is 1 p.m.
For more information, visit www.oaklawn.com
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