September 22, 2017

Oxbow’s first winner swamps them at Arlington

Delaphene prospered on the switch to turf and stretch-out to two turns (Photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos)

Calumet Farm’s 2013 Preakness (G1) hero, Oxbow, recorded his first winner as a sire Sunday, the honor fittingly coming courtesy of homebred Delaphene at Arlington Park.

Trained by Eoin Harty and ridden by Pedro Cotto Jr., the 5-1 chance uncorked a sustained move on the far turn and cleared away by 3 1/2 lengths over the yielding turf. Delaphene, who covered the soggy mile in 1:45.76, was making her second start but first on turf and around two turns. In her debut sprinting on Presque Isle’s Tapeta, she was sixth.

Delaphene is the first registered foal from the Empire Maker mare Boustierre, who won her only career start. As a daughter of Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Alabama (G1) winner Flute, Boustierre is a half-sister to Grade 2 scorer and multiple Grade 1-placed Filimbi. Yet she sold for only $10,000 to Bluegrass Hall, Brad Kelley’s nom de course before acquiring Calumet, as a juvenile at Keeneland January.

Oxbow was likewise a Keeneland purchase, but the son of Awesome Again brought $250,000 as a September yearling. Full brother Awesome Patriot was already a Grade 3-placed stakes victor, and their dam, Tizamazing, was an unraced full sister to Hall of Famer Tiznow and $2.8 million-earner Budroyale. Tizamazing is also a full sibling to Tizso, the dam of Grade 1-winning millionaire Paynter (like Oxbow, by Awesome Again).

A pupil of Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Oxbow posted his breakout performance in the 2013 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds, in a front-running tour de force by 11 1/2 lengths. Beaten a half-length when fourth in the Risen Star (G2), Oxbow was just denied by stablemate, and eventual divisional champion Will Take Charge, in the Rebel (G2).

Comeback Hall of Famer Gary Stevens picked up the mount for the Arkansas Derby (G1), with Oxbow rallying for fifth in a change in tactics. Reverting to more prominent tactics in the Kentucky Derby (G1), he moved into contention through the frenetic pace before tiring to sixth.

Stevens turned in a pace masterclass next time in the Preakness, rationing out Oxbow’s speed on the front end, and the colt did the rest to hold sway. Thus Stevens, just four months after returning from a seven-year hiatus, was back in the classic winner’s circle – a turn of events that would have smacked more of a Hollywood script than racetrack reality. At the same time, Oxbow symbolized the resurgence of another historic institution, Calumet, under new proprietor Kelley.

Second in the Belmont (G1) and fourth in the Haskell Invitational (G1), which he exited with an ankle injury, Oxbow retired with a record of 13-3-2-1, $1,243,500.

The seven-year-old Oxbow stands at Calumet in the Bluegrass for $20,000, live foal.

 

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