Multiple stakes winner Cinco Charlie shortens up and will exit post 2 among seven horses entered in the six-furlong Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Cinco Charlie is the most accomplished member of the field. The versatile son of Indian Charlie has won six of 10 career starts, including the Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Riley Allison Derby at Sunland Park. The Bashford Manor was six furlongs, and the Riley Allison was a mile. However, the Gazebo 9-5 program favorite ran second as the heavy favorite in the Mine That Bird Derby at 1 1/16 mile last time out.
Unbeaten in two races, Subtle Indian makes his stakes debut for trainer Robertino Diodoro after the gelding cleared his first allowance condition by 4 1/2 lengths on Jan. 23. Subtle Indian has led at every point of call in both career starts. He drew the rail for Saturday’s race, and his trainer was bashful about his reaction.
“Hate the 1 hole, but that’s what we’ve been dealt, so we’ve got to deal with it,” Diodoro said. “The horse is doing real good. He’s doing great, actually.”
Subtle Indian will be ridden by Chris Landeros and is the 5-2 second choice in the program.
Like Cinco Charlie, Bayerd (9-2) and Hebbronville (5-1) are cutting back in distance. Bayerd, also trained by Asmussen, is coming off an eighth-place finish in the Southwest Stakes after finishing second in the one-mile Smarty Jones Stakes.
“Just timing and where we’re at,” said Asmussen, who won the Gazebo in 2013 with King Henny, of Bayerd’s return to sprinting.
Hebbronville, who finished a neck ahead of Cinco Charlie in last fall’s Futurity at Belmont Park, hasn’t started since finishing sixth, beaten 5 1/2 lengths, in the Smarty Jones. He was much farther back early than trainer Lynn Whiting expected in the latter race. But Whiting said he believes Hebbronville will be much more involved early from post 7 under new rider Jesus Castanon.
“I like the draw,” Whiting said. “I like the way race is coming up. There’s plenty of gas in there.”
American Sailor, A M Milky Way and Bourbon Cowboy are also entered. Bourbon Cowboy was beaten a half-length by Cinco Charlie in the Sugar Bowl Stakes Dec. 20 at Fair Grounds.
The complete field for the $100,000 Gazebo Stakes, in post position order, with riders and morning line odds: Subtle Indian, Chris Landeros, 5-2; Cinco Charlie, Ricardo Santana Jr., 9-5; American Sailor, Joe Rocco Jr., 20-1; A M Milky Way, Cliff Berry, 12-1; Bayerd, Ramon Vazquez, 9-2; Bourbon Cowboy, Shaun Bridgmohan, 6-1 and Hebbronville, Jesus Castanon, 5-1.
Edited Oaklawn Park release