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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

L and N Hopes to Start on Derby Road with Retirement Fund


First Major Test in Southwest Stakes

Tulsa-based L and N Racing LLC traveled the road to the Kentucky Derby for the first time last year with Lookin At Lee, and that turned out pretty well when he finished second in the Run for the Roses at high odds. They're back this year with Retirement Fund, entered in Monday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

A son of Eskendereya, Retirement Fund has won both his two career starts in front-running fashion at Fair Grounds by a combined 9 1/4 lengths for Steve Asmussen. The trainer has led the Oaklawn standings eight times since 2007.

Retirement Fund broke his maiden by 7 ¼ lengths Dec. 22 before clearing his first allowance condition Jan. 20. Both races were 1 mile and 70 yards.

In contrast to Retirement Fund Lookin At Lee was more accomplished as a 2-year0-old, winning the Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes and finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

“I think the horses are just different,” L and N racing manager Michael Levinson said Friday afternoon. “I think it’s different just in the fact that Lookin At Lee raced early as a 2-year-old. We kind of knew what to expect last year with him. But this year, obviously, there’s still a lot of question marks with Retirement Fund.

"He won his first two races wire-to-wire,"Levinson continued, "but now he’s going to get thrown in there with a lot better horses, a lot better competition. We’re just interested in seeing how he runs. I guess we’ll have a better idea Monday at 5:15 than we do right now.”

Regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan is named on Retirement Fund, who is scheduled to break from post 7 and carry 115 pounds.

Asmussen is bidding for his third Southwest victory after capturing the race in 2002 with Private Emblem and 2014 with Tapiture. He has also entered Smarty Jones runner-up Combatant and LeComte Stakes fourth finisher Zing Zang.  Principe Guilherme, also trained by Asmussen, was scratched to stay in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds.

L and N Racing LLC is headed by Levinson’s father, Lee Levinson.

Edited Oaklawn Park release with additional content by Dick Downey

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