Jonesboro, under Calvin Borel, broke running from his outside post, and laid down soft (:24 1/5, :48 3/5, 1:13 1/5) fractions in the Razorback, a 1 1/16-mile event for older horses. Velazquez and Magna Graduate allowed Jonesboro to dictate terms while racing in second, but the south Florida shipper took closer aim on the final turn.
Turning into the home stretch, Magna Graduate, who was racing with blinkers off, ranged up alongside Jonesboro from the outside, and, under a strong hand ride, gradually put away his determined rival to win decisively. Student Council closed for second under Robby Albarado, a two-time Razorback winner who rode two winners on the under card. Student Council finished a half-length in front of Jonesboro, impressive winner of the Essex Handicap (gr. III) in his last start.
The victory was the eighth in 21 starts for Magna Graduate, a 5-year-old son of Honor Grades owned by Elisabeth H. Alexander of Cleveland, Ohio. The $90,000 first prize boosted the Kentucky-bred’s bankroll to $1,933,950.
Magna Graduate was clocked in 1:44 over the fast strip, and paid $4.40, $3.40, and $2.60 as the favorite. Student Council ($5.60, $4) capped a $24.40 exacta, and Jonesboro ($2.60), who held well for third, completed a $43.40 trifecta.
Virginia DePasquale saddled the winner for Pletcher, who was credited with his first Razorback winner. Velazquez registered his first-ever Oaklawn victory.
Chippewa Trail finished fourth, followed by Red Raymond, Kid Grindstone, Steppenwolfer, and Mr. Pursuit.
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