They lack the history and national scope of three Kentucky Derby prep races today, but around Oaklawn, and especially with Arkansas breeders, the Rainbow and Rainbow Miss Stakes are mighty important.
So, on an April Saturday that the Blue Grass, Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial sort out pretenders and contenders for America’s favorite horse race, 3-year-olds foaled in Arkansas in 2019 square off in a pair of $150,000 events.
Both stakes drew eight starters, the Rainbow Miss (race 7, for fillies) at 4:04 pm and the Rainbow (race 9, for males) at 5:10 pm Both have benefited in recent years from purse increases after once being the only Offerings for Arkansas-bred horses in an Oaklawn season, Once dotted with maidens and horses of dubious breeding, the horses’ pedigrees have improved to a great deal.
Each race has five meet winners with seven homebreds in the Rainbow and six in the Rainbow, though five Rainbow horses are geldings.
The Rainbow Miss includes three fillies sired by Oaklawn winner Street Strategy, whose trainer, Randy Morse, has horses entered in both stakes. Where’s Randy, bred and co-owned by Morse and Kansas horseman Randy Patterson, battles One Ten Stadium for the third time in the Rainbow. Patterson’s daughter, Sara, owns last-out filly winner Punchy Girl, bred on Cedar Run Farm, where Street Strategy stands for $1,000.
Hot Springs lumberman John Ed Anthony, bidding to become the track’s leading owner in races won this year after recently setting a career mark, sent the Pure Prize mare Holy Nova to Kentucky Derby Street winner Sense and came back with last-out meet winner Whelen Springs , trained by John Ortiz.
Greenwood native and Hot Springs resident Ron Moquett has the probable Rainbow favorite, two-time meet winner One Ten Stadium, by Oaklawn Handicap winner Race Day. Bred and owned by former Walmart executive William Sparks and named for the University of Arkansas campus address of Sparks’ daughter, One Ten Stadium registered a fast-track victory Dec. 11, placed fourth in the mud after a two-month freshening Feb. 25 and then prevailed by three quarters over a good-rated surface March 18.
(Track leader David Cabrera is named aboard One Ten Stadium but his availability is uncertain after a first-race spill Friday that sent the rider to a local hospital. He later was reported “conscious and alert” in a tweet by agent Jose Santos. involved in the spill was jockey Chel-C Bailey, who escaped injury and rode later on the card. Both horses in the spill, Daigle (Bailey) and Mostly Awesome (Cabrera), walked off the track.)
Moquett also entered his own (Southern Springs Stables) Kinfolk, a Feb. 13 meet winner over stablemate Kilgore, in the Rainbow.
One Way Or Another, owned and bred by Donna Clark and trained by Morse, earned a race-high Beyer Speed Figure of 74 in her Feb. 11 victory and finished third against males in One Ten Stadium’s last start.
Rainbow starter Truly a Rocket, trained by Ernie Witt II, won his Jan. 7 Oaklawn debut and dead-heated Cost a Fortune for first March 11.