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Oaklawn connections for some on HISA panel

by Bob Wisener | October 19, 2022 at 4:03 a.m.
Whitmore wins the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap on April 18, 2020, at Oaklawn. - Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

An Arkansas Derby-winning horseman and the man who trained Whitmore have been tabbed for leadership roles by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

Cited along with Mark Casse and Ron Moquett were Oaklawn-connected trainers Kelsey Danner and Donnie Von Hemel. Another is Iowa-based owner Maggi Moss, whose horses have raced locally.

Casse, a member of the American and Canadian racing halls of fame, saddled 2017 Arkansas Derby winner Classic Empire, the 2016 champion 2-year-old male and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner.

Moquett, a Greenwood native, is best known for his work with Whitmore, the champion male sprinter of 2020 with Oaklawn records of four straight Hot Springs Stakes victories and three in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. Moquett, whose wife and assistant trainer, Laura, was prominent in Whitmore's success, lives adjacent to the Oaklawn backstretch.

Danner has racing bloodlines, her father, Mark, a trainer and her mother, Kelly, a former worker at Oaklawn and other tracks. Kelsey is based at Palm Meadows in Florida and at Delaware Park, often in action at New York Racing Association tracks.

As the son of veteran Don Von Hemel with brother Kelly also a trainer, Donnie Von Hemel operates an Oklahoma-based racing operation and also campaigns at Oaklawn and in Kentucky. His top horses include 2011 Breeders' Cup winner and Eclipse Award finalist Caleb's Posse.

Another HISA appointee is English-born Graham Motion, trainer of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Named male 3-year-old champion, Animal Kingdom raced for a 20-person syndicate formed by Kentuckian Barry Irwin and including then-Hot Springs residents Steve and Keeley DeSalvo.

Print Headline: Oaklawn connections for some on HISA panel

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