After racing along the rail just off the leaders in the backstretch, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. angled Master Rick out in the far turn and the Master Command colt rallied from third in the stretch to win the $200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) April 27 at Lone Star Park.
Trainer Steve Asmussen watched his two horses in the race complete the exacta as Master Rick rallied past two-time grade II winner Prayer for Relief , the slight 5-2 favorite over Master Rick.
Richard Davis' Master Rick completed the mile in 1:36.01 on a fast track to secure the first graded stakes win of his career. The 4-year-old colt, who won last year's Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park, picked up his fourth win and 16 starts and improved his earnings to $351,363.
Racing four wide in the stretch, Master Rick surged past tired frontrunner Good Lord then edged past his stablemate, Zayat Stables' Prayer for Relief, to post the 1 1/4-length victory. Santana picked up his second career graded stakes win after notching his first just two weeks ago with Justin Phillip in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn.
Good Lord posted quarter mile fractions of :23.96, :47.27, and 1:11.36 while leading Prayer for Relief, who got his head in front at the furlong mark.
Master Rick returned $7.60, $3.80, and $2.80. Prayer for Relief returned $3.40 and $2.80 while third-place finisher Good Lord returned $3.20 to show.
Bred in Florida by English Ranch Farm, Master Rick is out of the winning Maria's Mon mare Whata Gem, who has produced winners with her first three starters, including stakes-placed Miss Silver Pistol.