Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort may not be able to host a Breeders’ Cup because it doesn’t have a turf field, but it practically owned the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
Oaklawn-raced horses captured five races, including three of the nine Breeders’ Cup events. Additionally, Oaklawn-raced horses recorded a runner-up finish and two third-place finishes in three other Breeders’ Cup races.
Whitmore, a seven-time Oaklawn stakes winner for co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). Whitmore powered to a 3 ¼-length victory under Irad Ortiz Jr.
C Z Rocket, a $40,000 claim April 30 at Oaklawn, finished second. Whitmore paid $38.80.
Gamine, paying $4.20, rolled home by 6 ¼ lengths in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
Favored Knicks Go, a powerful front-running Feb. 22 allowance winner at Oaklawn in his 2020 debut, also surpassed $1 million in career earnings with a record-setting 3 ½-length victory in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
In other Breeders’ Cup races, Improbable finished second in the $6 million Classic (G1). Improbable, now retired to begin stud duty, ran three times at Oaklawn, finishing second in the first division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) last year and second in the $150,000 Oaklawn Mile on April 11. Improbable was a three-time Grade 1 winner this year.
Oaklawn-raced Harvey’s Lil Goil and Leinster finished third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), respectively.
Oaklawn-raced horses also accounted for two of the three Breeders’ Cup undercard stakes races Saturday.
Sleepy Eyes Todd ($10) was a 1 ½-length winner of the $150,000 Lafayette Stakes for 3-year-olds, racing 7 furlongs. Sleepy Eyes Todd ran twice at the 2019 Oaklawn meeting, finishing fifth in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds.
The Baffert-trained Merneith ($11.20) was a neck winner of the $125,000 Fort Springs Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters. Merneith broke her maiden by 10 ¼ lengths April 19, becoming the first Oaklawn winner sired by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who also claimed the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby that year.
Oaklawn-raced horses have won more than 130 stakes races since the meet ended May 2.