California Shippers Arrive for Oaklawn Stakes Races

California Shippers Arrive for Oaklawn Stakes Races

Stellar Wind arriving at Oaklawn Park – Coady Photography

As the 2017 Oaklawn Park meet approaches its climax, a planeload of talented California-based horses arrived at Oaklawn on April 11th with plans to compete in the track’s upcoming graded stakes races.

Leading the way in terms of national reputation is Stellar Wind, the champion three-year-old filly of 2015. Last year, the daughter of Curlin won the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) and Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) during a campaign that made her a finalist for the Eclipse Award as champion older mare. Stellar Wind is scheduled to run in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) on April 14th, where she will face five rivals in her seasonal debut.

Midnight Storm, a Grade 1 winner that most recently finished second in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), arrived with an eye on the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 15th. Midnight Storm was joined on the flight and will be joined in the Oaklawn Handicap starting gate by Accelerate, the third-place finish in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I).

Rockin Rudy, runner-up in the Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita in February, is shipping in to contest the $1,000,000 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) on April 15th, where he will attempt to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby starting gate alongside stablemate Irap. Vexatious, a three-year-old filly that finished third in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) on April 1st, is expected to contest the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. III) on April 14th, which could serve as a final prep race for the Kentucky Oaks.

Check out these photos from Coady Photography of these horses arriving at Oaklawn Park!

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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