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Oaklawn Park (Mar 7): Hot Springs Stakes (Listed) $150,000 6f, dirt, 4yo+
Trainer: Ron Moquett
Jockey: Joe Talamo
Owner: Robert LaPenta etc
Pedigree: 7yo ch g Pleasantly Perfect – Melody’s Spirit (Scat Daddy)
Hometown advantage and a small field meant a big figure for veteran sprinter Whitmore as he claimed a fourth consecutive edition of the Hot Springs Stakes – with a stakes record time of 1m08.54s.
A G1 winner at Saratoga in 2018 and placed in the last two Breeders’ Cup Sprint, the seven-year-old is a standing dish at his Oaklawn base in Hot Springs, Arkansas for co-owner-trainer Ron Moquett.
Indeed, he won his first five local starts in sprints before finishing runner-up to subsequent Breeders’ Cup victor Mitole in last year’s renewal of the $500,000 Count Fleet.
Surprisingly beaten on his seasonal debut, Whitmore made no mistake as 3-5 favourite in Saturday’s race, where he was kicked clear in the stretch to win going away by 2½ lengths.
He has won 13 of his 33 career starts for more than $2.9 million in prize-money. Next comes the Count Fleet, a race he won in 2017 and 2018.
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