Don C. McNeill homebred Mr Ross passed Big Numbers in the stretch, then held off fast-closing Remington Rock by a neck Saturday to win the $100,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) for the second year in a row.
Don C. McNeill's homebred Mr Ross earned his second graded stakes win on the year Saturday when the Donnie Von Hemel trainee upset favored Graeme Hall in the $125,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. Under a well-timed ride from jockey Donald Pettinger, Mr Ross rallied down the center of the track to catch Graeme Hall -- winner of last year's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) -- with a furlong to run in the 1 1/16 mile race.
Mr Ross settled in sixth-place after the opening half mile before launching a wide rally to win the $75,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) by 1 3/4 lengths on a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. Remington Rock finished second, followed by Maysville Slew, Gatewood, Mister Deville, and Lights On Broadway. Dust On the Bottle dumped rider Tim Doocy after breaking awkwardly from the gate.
Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up Surfside will face males, including Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes runner-up Aptitude, in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) Friday at Churchill Downs.
Captain Steve, one of four 3-year-olds to comprise the all-sophomore superfecta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned highweight of 120 pounds Sunday by Churchill Downs racing secretary Jerry Botts for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), to be run Friday at the Louisville oval. While the 3-year-olds received a 4-pound weight concession from their older rivals in the Classic, the five highest weighted nominees in the Clark are all sophomores.
Dust On the Bottle, last after the opening quarter mile and sixth after a mile, rallied through the stretch to win the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III) by a length Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. Sent off at nearly 39-1, the Glenn Hild-trained 5-year-old paid $79.40 for the win.
Stronach Stable's Golden Missile heads the list of horses likely to enter Saturday's $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III). Others pointing for the Gold Cup include Mula Gula, Blazing Sword, and Puerto Madero.
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