Hymn Book makes his first start since a game win in the Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park Feb.11 in today’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2).
Stuart Janney III, who won the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland on Friday with Data Link, looks to make it back-to-back stakes scores with Hymn Book in the $400,000 event this afternoon. Hymn Book, a homebred gelded son of Arch, notched a gutsy victory in the Donn under John Velazquez for his initial Grade 1 win.
“He went through a lot to get that win,” said Anna Martinovsky, who traveled with the horse for trainer Shug McGaughey. “He had every excuse to say, ‘I’m done,’ and he didn’t. He just doesn’t take it from anybody.”
Hymn Book will face the likes of Alternation and Ron the Greek looking to extend his lifetime record of 7-4-1 from 14 starts and earnings of $601,187. Prior to the Donn, he ran second in the Nov. 26 Cigar Mile Handicap (G1).
“I think the reason he gets a lot of time between races is because he does give you his all,” Martinovsky said. “He’ll take a little time to recover and he’ll let us know when he’s ready again.
“I’ll tell you, there’s never been a dull moment with this horse,” she added. “He’s always full of surprises and he never disappoints.”
Oaklawn Park Publicity contributed to this report.
Hymn Book/Coglianese photo