Mr. Big News surprises at 46-1 in Oaklawn Stakes

Apr 11, 2020 by James Scully/

Mr. Big News rallied to the lead in the stretch and withstood the late charge of Farmington Road to score a massive upset in Saturday’s $200,000 Oaklawn S., prevailing by a half-length at 46-1 odds. A maiden winner two back, the Bret Calhoun-trained colt was exiting a fifth in the second division of Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds.

Originally scheduled for May 2, the Oaklawn S. switched dates on the calendar with the Arkansas Derby (G1) and was contested over a sloppy track. The 1 1/8-mile race remained a “Win & You’re In” for the Preakness (G1), which is in the process of being rescheduled by Maryland officials, and Mr. Big News assured himself a berth in the second leg of the Triple Crown with his first stakes victory.

Gabe Saez picked up the mount, and Mr. Big News is campaigned by Allied Racing Stable. Purchased for $95,000 as a weanling at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale, the improving son of Giant’s Causeway was bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation.

Mr. Big News broke his maiden the fourth time out, and the Triple Crown nominee has now earned $167,053 from a 6-2-1-0 scorecard. He left the starting gate as the 10th betting choice in the 13-horse field at Oaklawn Park, and rated far back in the early stages behind demanding opening fractions in :22.07, :45.47 and 1:10.92.

After advancing quickly into contention on the far turn, Mr. Big News stormed to a clear lead in midstretch. He stopped the teletimer in 1:49.89.

Farmington Road tried to close from last-to-first, but the 6-1 fourth choice left himself too much to do after a poor start and had to settle for second after making up a lot of ground in the final three-eighths of a mile. The Todd Plether trainee wound up 3 1/4 lengths better than Taishan, who held for third at 5-2 odds after being passed by the winner in the lane.

It was another 1 1/2 lengths to 3-1 Basin in fourth, and Shoplifted, Digital, Coach Bahe, Gold Street, Background, and Something Natural came next under the wire. Thousand Words, the 5-2 favorite, stumbled badly out of the gate and retreated to 11TH after traveling in midpack down the backstretch. Flap Jack and Sir Rick rounded out the order of finish.

The top three finishers receive an automatic berth to the Arkansas Derby in three weeks.

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