With the retirement of champion sprinter WHITMORE, fans of the ornery chestnut gelding have called for some sort of recognition in Arkansas for his contribution to horse racing. WHITMORE has a huge following at his home track and Oaklawn Park is delivering on those calls.
The Arkansas track will celebrate the 2020 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner with Whitmore Day on March 19, 2022, highlighted by the $200,000 Whitmore Stakes. The track is renaming the formerly known Hot Springs Stakes in his honor. WHITMORE won the race four times in his career for trainer Ron Moquett's Souther Spring Stables, Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners. He also won Oaklawn's Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) three times. He holds a total of seven Oaklawn stakes wins, a record shared with SWIFT RULER.
The barn that housed WHITMORE throughout six winters at the park will also be renamed in his honor. Whitmore Day will feature an appearance by the champion as well as t-shirts and the first 5,000 fans will receive a commemorative WHITMORE baseball card.
"Oaklawn has always been my home track and it was WHITMORE'S home track, so it's a huge honor to have a stakes race named for him here. He was a hard-knocking horse that a lot of people could easily root for whether they put a bet on him or not. The amount of support we have received since his retirement has been overwhelming," says Moquett.
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