Major stakes winner Colonelsdarktemper is under consideration for the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) for older horses April 14 at Oaklawn, trainer Jinks Fires of Hot Springs said Friday morning.
Owned by auto racing legend A.J. Foyt, Colonelsdarktemper finished second in his 4-year-old debut, a March 11 allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles under Jon Court, the trainer's son-in-law and regular rider.
Ideally, Fires said he would like to get another race in Colonelsdarktemper before a possible start in the Oaklawn Handicap, but that won't be possible because of the tight time window.
“It's a wait and see situation right now,” Fires said.
Colonelsdarktemper had not started since finishing fourth in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sept. 24 at Remington Park after emerging from the race with a stress fracture in a front leg, Fires said, necessitating a minor surgical procedure to promote bone growth.
Fires said Colonelsdarktemper did not come around as quickly as hoped following the injury, adding the colt also lost training time because of weather.
Colonelsdarktemper returned to the work tab Thursday morning, covering 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 under Court. Breezing over a fast track, clockers caught Colonelsdarktemper galloping out a mile in 1:42.80.
It was an “eventful” move, Fires said, since Colonelsdarktemper was about to begin his work at the 5-furlong pole when the warning siren was activated because of a loose horse on the track.
“It turned out good,” Fires said. “We had to pull him up and start over again.”
The well-traveled Colonelsdarktemper made 10 starts last year, winning his career debut at Oaklawn, an allowance race at Churchill Downs and the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) Aug. 5 at Mountaineer.
Colonelsdarktemper, a son of Colonel John, has a 3-3-2 record from 11 lifetime starts and earnings of $726,235.
Inside Straight, a recent arrival from Turf Paradise, is pointing for the Oaklawn Handicap, trainer Robertino Diodoro said. Inside Straight won the race last year.
Goats Town, who beat Colonelsdarktemper earlier this month, is under consideration for the Oaklawn Handicap, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
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