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.
The win marks the eighth career stakes win for the 6-year-old gelded son of Slewacide, and his second graded stakes win. The Oklahoma-bred previously won the 2000 renewal of the Fifth Season Breeders' Cup Stakes, also at Oaklawn Park. Mr Ross, a Don C. McNeill homebred, is trained by Donnie Von Hemel and earned $45,000 for the win, his 12th in 33 starts. He was ridden to victory by Donald Pettinger.
Mr Ross returned $9.40, $4.60, and $3. Remington Rock paid $6 and $3. Maysville Slew was worth $2.60 to show. The winning exacta combination paid $57.20. (Chart, Equibase