Hot Springs, Ark. (Sunday, April 10, 2016) – Mercedes Stables’ Subtle Indian ended his 2016 Oaklawn season with a perfect four-for-four record after his impressive gate to wire victory in Sunday’s $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap.
Breaking from post position one, Subtle Indian shot to the front and was never seriously challenged as he proceeded through fractions of :21 2/5 and :44 1/5 for the first half-mile. Defending Count Fleet Sprint Handicap winner Alsvid came from sixth to get second, but was no match for the winner, who drew off to win by 3 ¾ lengths. He completed the six-furlong race in a meet best 1:08 4/5. Cinco Charlie held on for third after tracking in second early in the race.
“He’s lighting fast,” said winning jockey Ramon Vazquez. “The plan was to go to the front and never look back. It worked in a big way today. I know that there were a lot of talented runners in the field today with Asmussen’s runners and Hartman, but my horse never looked back once we left the gate. It’s a great feeling to win on this nice horse.”
California shipper Cautious Giant, who had traveled by van to Hot Springs earlier in week, finished fourth. He was followed by Bayerd, Recount, W.B. Smudge, Gentlemen’s Bet and Speightsong.
Subtle Indian, an Indian Charlie gelding, improved his record to seven wins from nine starts and has now earned $510,300. He returned $6, $3.60, and $2.40 as the 2-1 favorite.
Live racing resumes Wednesday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. There are just four more days remaining the 2016 Oaklawn season that culminates Saturday with the 80th running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby.
Subtle Indian wins the G3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn! https://t.co/sbF80g2WKj
— TVG #KYDerby2016 (@TVG) April 10, 2016
Count Fleet Sprint Quotes:
Winning trainer Robertino Diodoro, Subtle Indian – “My assistant, Rob Atras, he’s done a great job with this horse. We just keep saying he’s getting better and better, and he proved it again today.”
On next start: “Just one step at a time. We’ll talk about it over the next few days. I want to thank Ernie (Moody) and Mercedes for giving me a chance to train a horse like this. I sure appreciate it.”
Winning jockey Ramon Vazquez, Subtle Indian – “He’s lighting fast. The plan was to go to the front and never look back. It worked in a big way today. I know that there were a lot of talented runners in the field today with Asmussen’s runners and Hartman, but my horse never looked back once we left the gate. It’s a great feeling to win on this nice horse.”
Trainer Chris Hartman, Alsvid, 2nd – “He is what he is. He just got beat by a better horse. We got trip we needed. We got everything we wanted except the win, but it’s hard to be disappointed with that effort. He’s a very competitive horse and he loves Oaklawn.”
Jockey Channing Hill, 2nd on Alsvid – “What a classy horse my horse is. I’ve been watching him run and have been outrun by him a few times, but he’s all class. I have to give the winner a lot of credit because he flew around there. We gained a little bit of ground down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough. My horse deserves a lot of credit. He sat perfect, acted like a complete gentleman through the whole thing, and when I asked him to punch hard, he punched hard. We just got out sprinted.”
Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., 3rd on Cinco Charlie – “My horse tried hard and ran well, the other horse was faster today.”
Source: Oaklawn Park