We enjoyed a great Saturday of racing at Oaklawn Park. The premier race was the $1 million Arkansas Derby, won by trainer Steve Asmussen with SUPER STOCK, reasserting his hand in the Kentucky Derby deal. We also had our top dirt sprinters and milers in action, competing in the Count Fleet Sprint, the Oaklawn Mile, and the Carousel Stakes. Let's get to recapping.
The $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) was won by SUPER STOCK, ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., trained by Steve Asmussen, owned by Erv, Woolsey and Keith Asmussen — upsetting the field at 12-1!
SUPER STOCK took a tracking trip behind the leading flight for Ricardo Santana Jr., permitting the top two favorites CONCERT TOUR and CADDO RIVER to duel through quick opening fractions of 22.62 and 46.51. SUPER STOCK sat off the pace, patiently stalking the top pair through the backside and into the turn, then swinging into the clear in mid stretch with plenty in the tank for a big run. He charged up to CADDO RIVER and CONCERT TOUR, then rolled right on by. CADDO RIVER fought on gamely to beat CONCERT TOUR for second place. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth race was 1:50.92.
SUPER STOCK paid $26.40 to win, $6.80 to place, and $2.80 to show. He is by DIALED IN out of SUPER GIRLIE by CLOSING ARGUMENT. He improves to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds, in 8 total starts, pushing his earnings to $804,762, while earning his highest speed figure to shoe. He'll receive 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, which moves him up to rank #3 on the Derby Leaderboard with 109 total points.
The $500K Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) was won by C Z ROCKET, ridden by Florent Geroux, trained by Peter Miller, owned by Madaket Stables LLC, Gary Barber, and Tom Kagele — in a clear cut victory!
Sent off at odds of 2-1, C Z ROCKET broke evenly but characteristically took his position toward the rear of the field for Florent Geroux, allowing the pace setters NO PAROLE and STRIKE POWER to dictate the tempo of 21.92 and 45.35 for opening splits. C Z ROCKET raced reserve throughout the backside, biding his time until the three furlong marker, where he began to roll. Florent Geroux swings him six-wide turning for home, and C Z ROCKET uses the length of the stretch to power past his rivals and kick clear to a two length victory. WHITMORE, who found himself in a bit of traffic, managed to get up for second, while EMPIRE OF GOLD ran superb off his layoff to secure third. The final time for the six furlong dash was 1:09.62.
C Z ROCKET paid $6.00 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.20 to show. He is by CITY ZIP out of SUCCESSFUL SARAH by SUCCESSFUL APPEAL. He's now won 7 of his last 8 races, pushing his earnings to $1,311,641.
The $400K Oaklawn Mile Stakes was won by BY MY STANDARDS, ridden by Gabriel Saez, trained by W. Calhoun — in a photo finish!
Sent off at odds of 2-1, BY MY STANDARDS positioned himself in midpack for Gabriel Saez, racing four-wide along the backstretch amid a compact group, only five lengths separating them front to back. BY MY STANDARDS ranges up four wide turning for home, while RUSHIE gets a dream trip up the rail to take the lead. As they come down the lane, BY MY STANDARDS and RUSHIE go on with it. They hook up in deep stretch and hit the wire together, but the photo revealed BY MY STANDARDS nosed him out for the win. RUSHIE settles for second, then a gap of three lengths back to WELLS BAYOU in third. The final time for the one mile on dirt was 1:37.82.
BY MY STANDARDS paid $6.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $3.00 to show. He is by GOLDENCENTS out of A JEALOUS WOMAN by MUQTARIB. He earns his 7th win in 15 starts, pushing his earnings to $2,069,420, and makes his return to the races a successful one.
The $250K Carousel Stakes was won by EDGEWAY, ridden by Joel Rosario, trained by John Sadler, owned by Hronis Racing LLC — in a game victory, holding off even-money favored FRANK'S ROCKETTE in deep stretch.
EDGEWAY broke out on top for Joel Rosario, and was positioned in third, three-wide among the leading flight. They zipped through opening quarters of 22.54 and 46.12. With three furlongs to go, EDGEWAY makes her move for the lead and gets it at the turn. She now has to hold off FRANK'S ROCKETTE, who commences her own rally from mid pack. They straighten for home and its EDGWAY finishing the strongest; she's fully extended and able to hold off FRANK'S ROCKETTE's late rally and secure the win. FRANK'S ROCKETTE settled for second, CASUAL, ran third. The final time for the six furlongs on dirt was 1:10.13.
EDGEWAY paid $4.60 to win, $2.60 place, and $2.10 to show. She is by COMPETITIVE EDGE out of MAGICAL SOLUTION by STORMING FEVER. The lightly-raced filly improves her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 1 third, in 6 career starts. She pushes her earnings to $307,200, while earning her best speed figure in the effort.