Trainer Tony Dutrow has started to formulate plans for several of his top horses at Oaklawn Park, including Grade 1 winner The Big Beast. Dutrow, based this winter in Arkansas, said the major spring objective for The Big Beast is the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 9 at Oaklawn.
Owned by Dutrow's major client, Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Conway, Ark., The Big Beast hasn't started since winning the $500,000 King's Bishop Stakes (G1) Aug. 23 at Saratoga. The Big Beast subsequently underwent surgery to remove a tiny bone chip from an ankle and resumed training last fall.
The 4-year-old son of Yes It's True returned to the work tab Jan. 7 at Oaklawn, posting a 3-furlong bullet (:36.40). Dutrow said he plans to work The Big Beast a half-mile later this week and have one yet-to-be determined prep for the 6-furlong Count Fleet.
“He's filled out,” Dutrow said. “He's a big horse, but all athlete. Nothing bulky about him.”
Dutrow said Arkansas Derby candidate I Spent It is “doing fantastic,” but isn't close to a comeback race.
A Grade 2 winner last summer, I Spent It had a small bone chip removed from a knee, Dutrow said, following a sixth-place finish in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (G1) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
I Spent It was the first winner sired by 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.
Two 3-year-old daughters of Super Saver, Embellish The Lace and High Dollar Woman, are candidates for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 4.
Dutrow said he hopes to run Embellish The Lace in an entry-level allowance race Saturday. The filly, who broke her maiden Dec. 13 at Parx, worked a half-mile in :49.60 Tuesday.
High Dollar Woman, an entry-level allowance winner Dec. 13 at Parx, is pointing for the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 at Oaklawn, Dutrow said.
Dutrow also has a promising 3-year-old Bernardini colt, Tekton, for Arkansas lumberman John Ed Anthony. Tekton, who broke his maiden Dec. 19 at Laurel, worked 5 furlongs in 1:02.20 Tuesday.
Dutrow, who last had a division at Oaklawn in 2011, has 15 horses now in Hot Springs and most are 3-year-olds.
“We love it here,” Dutrow said. “We've got a great barn. Our horses are doing super. We love the town. The people treat us fantastic. Where do I stop?”
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