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Eyeing Clover won the 2023 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn Park. After finishing 4th last out while making his stakes debut in the Gotham Stakes (G3), should the Brad Cox trainee target the 2023 Preakness Stakes (G1) next? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Ten Strike Racing’s Eyeing Clover, who won at first asking at Oaklawn Dec. 31, returned to the track to win Saturday’s inaugural running of the $200,000 Hot Springs Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile.
Eyeing Clover was fourth early as longshot Rocking Rocket set the pace of :23 and :46 4/5 for the first half mile. The winner came up the rail entering the turn to inch closer to the leaders, was moved out by jockey Florent Geroux and closed determinedly to win by one length over 6-5 favorite Gun Pilot. Cactus finished third. The winning time was 1:39 2/5 for the first half mile.
Eyeing Clover, who was exiting a fourth-place finish in the Gotham Stakes (G3), improved his record to three wins from four starts and has now earned $230,650. He returned $5.60, $2.80 and $2.20 as the 9-5 second choice.
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Florent Geroux, winning jockey, Eyeing Clover, Hot Springs Stakes: “He broke very sharp, put me in a good spot. I let those two horses in front of me go, dictate (the pace). The first turn was a little bit messy to be honest. Nice trip down the backside, relaxed. When those horses in front of me started getting tired, I just took over and took command. He was brave. Steve’s horse (Asmussen-trained Gun Pilot) was making a nice run and my horse held him off…. He ran good. A mile, to be honest, is probably about as far as he wants to go.”
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