Whitmore is maybe two weeks away from his first work of the year, with the $150,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 9 at Oaklawn being targeted as the 6-year-old gelding's comeback spot, co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said Friday morning.
Freshened in Kentucky following a runner-up finish in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, Whitmore has been galloping since his return to Hot Springs early last month, Moquett said.
“Doing good,” Moquett said. “Very happy. He'll probably work here in a couple of weeks and we'll see where we're at.”
Moquett said the Hot Springs will serve as Whitmore's prep for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 13 at Oaklawn. Whitmore swept the Hot Springs and Count Fleet in 2017 and 2018. Whitmore, by Pleasantly Perfect, has an 11-7-2 record from 24 lifetime starts and earnings of $2,381,000.
Moquett said his stakes-winning 3-year-old, Frosted Ice, is “doing well” and will return to the work tab about the time Whitmore does. Frosted Ice has won 2 of 3 starts, including the $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes Sept. 21 at Belmont Park to close his 2-year-old season.
Moquett said Frosted Ice's first major objective is the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) March 16 at Oaklawn. The Rebel is the final major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13.
“We'll just see if he's ready enough to do something before the Rebel,” Moquett said.
Moquett said multiple stakes-placed Petrov is about 10 days away from his first breeze of the year. Moquett said Petrov will target an allowance race for his comeback spot, with the inaugural $200,000 Oaklawn Mile for older horses May 3 his major spring objective.
Petrov hasn't started since finishing sixth in the $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap Nov. 2 at Aqueduct.
“It doesn't take very much to get him fit,” Moquett said.
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