Ron Moquett of Hot Springs became the second trainer at the Oaklawn meeting to surpass $1 million in purse earnings Thursday. The trainer's horses have earned $1,046,525, which only trails six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen ($1,629,695), according to Equibase, racing's official data gathering organization.
Moquett, who lives just behind Oaklawn's half-mile pole, also ranks second in victories at the meeting, saddling 19 winners from 100 starters. Asmussen has a meet-high 30 victories.
Moquett seems assured to eclipse his career high for purse earnings at an Oaklawn meet ($1,084,090), set last year.
“That's a big thing for me,” Moquett said before training hours Friday morning. “To do it with the amount of good trainers and horses that are here, that's awesome.”
Moquett's best horses at the meet include multiple stakes winners Far Right and Gentlemen's Bet and Whitmore, runner-up in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3). Whitmore is scheduled to make his next start in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16.
“We point to Oaklawn, so a lot of our year is decided on what happens between Jan. 15 and April 16,” Moquett said. “In September, we're thinking Oaklawn. In July, we're thinking Oaklawn. Whenever we get here, it's like, 'Harvest.' ”
Moquett started his first horse in Hot Springs in 1998 and saddled his first winner the following the year. Overall, Moquett has 173 career winners at Oaklawn, including a season-high 23 in 2010.
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