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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Last year’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2) winner By My Standards, making his first start since 2 disappointing efforts last November, made a winning return to Hot Springs for owners Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm when he got up in the final stride to win the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile by a nose over 9/5 favorite Rushie.
By My Standards was sitting fifth early as Pioneer Spirit set the early pace through an opening 1/4-mile in :23 1/5 and 1/2-mile in :47 4/5. The winner was four-wide coming around the turn while Rushie got the early jump from the inside and started to shake clear of the field entering the stretch, but By My Standards proved too good at the end, covering the mile in 1:37 4/5 over a fast track.
Wells Bayou came from last to get third.
“I was trying to get that one position I wanted on the first turn,” jockey Gabriel Saez said. “I got bounced around a little bit, but I relaxed and just tried to keep in that striking position. I was worried about (Rushie) inside of me a little bit, but when I saw him go through, I started to go after him. When we turned for home, my horse just left them and kicked in the extra gear I was expecting from him. Luckily, we got there.”
By My Standards, a 5-year-old Goldencents horse, improved his career record to 7-4-1 in 15 starts and has now earned $2,069,203. He returned $6.80, $3.40, and $3 as the 2/1 second choice for trainer Bret Calhoun.
“Watching it live, I thought he did (win), but when I started watching the replay, I thought he might have gotten beat on the bob,” Calhoun said. “He was really ready. He really was well prepared, but I was more concerned about the short stretch mile, honestly. He’s just a really good horse and he keeps overcoming. Honestly, I thought he might get shuffled back a little farther than he did. I thought Gabe did a great job getting him in a very good position early without having to use too much horse. It kind of played out like we thought. There was quite a bit of speed in there. Some of the horses on the outside had speed and they had to make some quick decisions. Gabe just rode a great race. Fortunate enough to get him in a good spot early. It took every bit of that stretch to get there. It was a great race.”
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