Horse Profile: Laughing Fox

May 12, 2019 John Mucciolo/

Alex and Joann Lieblong’s Laughing Fox punched his ticket to Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) with a victory in the inaugural Oaklawn Invitational at Oaklawn Park. The May 4 event handed out an automatic bid to the winner for the Pimlico feature on Saturday.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the son of classic winner Union Rags was unplaced in a pair of one-turn maidens as a juvenile. He finished seventh on debut at Saratoga followed by an improved effort while fifth at Churchill Downs, both coming at seven furlongs.

The chestnut colt reappeared at Oaklawn for his sophomore bow and rallied in the stretch to break through going 1 1/16 miles beneath Ricardo Santana Jr. A sharp allowance win at the same locale followed when Laughing Fox again closed from well back to win in going-away fashion.

The Kentucky-bred made his stakes debut in the second division of the Rebel Stakes (G2) and was a non-threatening seventh in a race won by Omaha Beach. A step up in distance to nine furlongs aided Laughing Fox as he closed to be fourth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1). Finishing third in the lucrative event was none other than Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House.

Laughing Fox earned his trip to Baltimore when staging a powerful late run to post a narrow victory in the Oaklawn Invitational last out, garnering his initial stakes tally in the process.

Bred by Chester and Anne Price, he is out of the five-time stakes winning Stormy Atlantic mare Saskawea. Laughing Fox passed through the sales ring on a pair of occasions. The colt went for $120,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale prior to bringing the gavel down at $375,000 at the OBS March Two-Year-Olds in Training event.

Laughing Fox is on an upward curve while registering BRIS Speed numbers of 83-90-96 from his latest trio of outings. His BRIS Late Pace figures of 102 and 100 in his most recent pair of races suggest that he will not have trouble negotiating 1 3/16 miles at Pimlico on Saturday.

If the potential early-pace duel occurs in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, Laughing Fox could be the horse who will benefit most from the expected swift fractions. He would not be a major surprise in a mostly evenly matched Preakness field.

Learn more about Laughing Fox with these indepth stories:

Get to know the 2019 Preakness contenders
HANSON: An early look at the 2019 Preakness ‘new shooters’
SCULLY: Omaha Beach turns back Improbable, posts front-running win in Arkansas Derby
HANSON: Game Winner, Improbable top $750,000 Rebel divisions on blockbuster Oaklawn card
SCULLY: Kentucky Derby Report: War of Will keeps rolling at Fair Grounds
MUCCIOLO: Juveniles to watch Saturday at Saratoga

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