A gray horse won, just not the one everyone was expecting as Winchell Thoroughbred LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC's Nitrous used a powerful late kick to rally past the early leaders for the victory in Saturday's $150,000 Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Gray Attempt, the 6-5 favorite, finished third.
Ridden by leading rider Ricardo Santana Jr., Nitrous settled near the back of the field in sixth as Landeskog took control early and set fractions of :21 1/5 and :44 1/5 for the first half mile. The winner swung five wide entering the stretch, reeled in the pacesetter, who dug in to hold second, and drew off in the final strides to win by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:09 3/5 for six furlongs over a fast track.
“He ran a very good race today,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “I think the race last time didn't go his way (when fourth in the Gazebo Stakes). Ricardo (Santana) wanted another chance at him. He let him settle today and he came home beautifully.”
Gray Attempt was seeking his third stakes victory in five tries this meet. He had won the one-mile Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 25 and the six-furlong Gazebo March 23, but was unplaced in both the Southwest Stakes and Arkansas Derby at longer distances.
“He ran hard,” trainer Jink Fires said. “It was a tough race. He ran well.”
Nitrous, a son of top sprinter Tapit, improved his record to 3-1-1 from eight starts and has now earned $263,296. He returned $12.60, $4.80 and $2.80 as the 5-1 third choice in the field of eight.
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