Strong 2015 debuts for Russellin and The Trunk Monkey
Monday, February 9, 2015
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A pair of top 4-year-olds by Old Fashioned made their first starts of 2015 over the past weekend, turning in efforts that have their connections looking forward to a very good year.

Russellin returned to the track at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 7, rolling to a six-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile second-level allowance contest. His 95 Beyer Speed Figure is a career-best in his seven lifetime starts (VIDEO).

Russellin, trained by Chris Hartman for Chris Wilkins, has been particularly successful at Oaklawn, winning three of his four starts there. The stakes-placed Kentucky-bred is out of the stakes winner Vikki’s Honor and has a slate of 3-2-0, with earnings of $159,100. He could make his next start in the $250,000 Razorback H. (G3) on March 14.

Friday at Fair Grounds, highly-regarded The Trunk Monkey put his speed and determination on display in a six-furlong second-level allowance. In a field that included Grade 3 winner Embellishing Bob, The Trunk Monkey got into a hotly-contested duel with Candip, blazing a half-mile in :44.53. 

Candip weakend while the closers began to make their move, but The Trunk Monkey held on gamely, losing by just a half-length to M Dictation while out-battling Embellishing Bob for the place (VIDEO).

A winner of his two starts during last winter’s Fair Grounds meet, The Trunk Monkey has been away from the races since Feb. 28. He is trained by Larry Jones for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, who also campaigned Old Fashioned.

Old Fashioned, who stands this year at Taylor Made for $12,500 stands and nurses, has gotten off to an excellent start in 2015, ranking fourth on the Third Crop Sire list with seven winners to date.