In a finish that was almost too close to call, Rock Slide nipped Discreet Hero in a thrilling $75,000 Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds Sunday.
"It was real close and I thought Willie (Martinez) got the head bob (on Discreet Hero)," said Rock Slide's jockey, Robby Albarado, who won four races on the card. "Take nothing away from Discreet Hero; he ran a great race. I've ridden him before and he's a great horse. But Rock Slide prevailed as the best one today."
Albarado set the pace from the gate, going :24.83 for the first quarter and :48.86 for the half-mile. Discreet Hero gained to Rock Slide's outside in the stretch run as the pair crossed the wire in 1:42.98.
"I couldn't tell on the photo," said Neil Howard, Rock Slide's trainer. "Discreet Hero ran a great race. It was a very salty race and I'm thrilled the way the horse ran."
Owned by William Farish, Temple Webber Jr. and James Elkins, Rock Slide returned $3.60, $2.60, $2.20 as the .80-1 favorite in the 10-horse field.
The pair crossed the wire more than six lengths ahead of third place finisher Connected.
"I'm speechless. I honestly thought I won the race," Willie Martinez said. "I just lost the head bob."
Rock Slide, a 4-year-old son by A.P. Indy out of the Mr. Prospector mare Prospectors Delite, scored his first stakes win in the Tenacious. Rock Slide earned $45,000 for his seventh win from 16 career starts upping his bankroll to $273,110.