Tom’s d’Etat favored at Oaklawn Park Saturday

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There may be no games for the Saints or Pelicans in the foreseeable future, but Gayle Benson’s sports enterprises aren’t completely silent.

One of the stars of her GMB Racing stable is in action Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn Park. Tom’s d’Etat is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the $150,000 Oaklawn Mile.

Saturday marks the season debut for the 7-year-old son of Smart Strike, who closed out 2019 with the biggest victory of his career, capturing the $600,000 Grade I Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs over Thanksgiving weekend. The $349,680 winner’s check made Tom’s d’Etat an equine millionaire and capped a 2019 campaign in which he won three times and took home more than $950,000.

Tom’s d’Etat will break from post No. 3 in a full field of 14. Joel Rosario will ride for trainer Al Stall Jr.

The Oaklawn Mile is the ninth race on a 12-race card, with scheduled post time at 4:43 p.m. Central time. Saturday’s Oaklawn program was originally scheduled to be headlined by the Arkansas Derby, normally the final major prep for the Kentucky Derby, but with the Kentucky Derby postponed to September because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oaklawn officials moved the Arkansas Derby to the Kentucky Derby’s former date, May 2.

Oaklawn is one of a handful of tracks around the country continuing to race with only essential personnel in place.

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Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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