Apprentice rider Brandon Whitacre enjoyed the best afternoon of his young career, piloting five winners from as many mounts on Friday's nine-race card at Laurel Park. The 20-year old won three races on Dec. 26, the only other multiple win day of his four-month career. "I'm speechless," said Whitacre, who rode his first winner on Nov. 19. "You win the first two and then try not to get a little too ahead of yourself.This is a blessing."
The grandson of former jock Jesse Davidson guided Popular Blues ($3.40, 1st), A Newlove ($9.20, 2nd), Daffodil Princess ($16.40, 4th), Lovable Rogue ($14.40, 5th) and Diamond Bullet ($14.80, 7th) to the winners' circle. The headline afternoon allowed Whitacre to move into the top 10 of the winter standings with 19 victories, passing Ryan Fogelsonger, Joe Hampshire and Eric Rodriguez."I have improved both mentally and physically," said Whitacre, who has 26 career wins, all at Laurel. "I am more aware of where I need to be and what I need to do."(Chart, Equibase)