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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Favored Fulsome, a homebred for famed Juddmonte Farms and trainer Brad Cox, remained unbeaten in 2 career starts on dirt with a 1 1/4-length victory over stablemate Warrant in the $300,000 Oaklawn Stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn.
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The outcome came roughly 20 minutes after Juddmonte and Cox finished second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) with Mandaloun.
Fulsome, who was making his stakes debut, earned automatic entry into the Preakness (G1), the second leg of the Triple Crown, May 15 at Pimlico, with his victory.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Fulsome swung four-wide turning for home, collared Warrant and Game Day Play in midstretch, and was edging clear approaching the wire.
Game Day Play, a 21/1 outsider, finished a nose farther back in third.
Fulsome completed 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:50.01 and paid $4.60 as the 6/5 favorite in the seven-horse field. Fulsome was exiting an off-the-turf entry-level allowance victory (his first race on dirt) at 1 1/16 miles April 10 at Keeneland.
Fulsome won for the third time in 6 lifetime starts to raise his earnings to $282,174.
Winning trainer Brad Cox, Fulsome (From Churchill Downs): “That was huge. Nice horse. Obviously, he’s been able to transfer his form over to the dirt. He’s been on the turf, but, hey, he’s an Into Mischief. He looked like he’s dual surface. Very proud of him. We’re happy for Juddmonte. Running back on short rest, had to ship him and everything, but he showed up and ran huge. Very proud of him. We’ll regroup and talk to Juddmonte, (USA General Manager) Garrett O’Rourke, about possibly running (in the Preakness) and also Mandaloun could be a question mark as well. Don’t know yet (about Caddo River). Probably know more the middle of next week if we’re going to consider that with him.”
Winning jockey Martin Garcia, Fulsome: “I had a really good trip. Two horses went in front of me (turning for home) and I was really comfortable. I followed this other horse (Warrant) and I know I’m outside. Whenever I want, I can go by. But, this other horse fought with me a little bit. But mine, whenever he decided to run, he just took off. He’s a really good horse. I look for him to be a better horse in the future. (Brad Cox) just told me that I was sitting on the best horse. Take a picture.”
Winning assistant trainer Jorgito Abrego, Fulsome: “You see how life changes in 20 minutes. I get upset with Mandaloun running second and (stablemate) Essential Quality running fourth in the Kentucky Derby. My confidence in 15 minutes is back. I’m happy. Life is good, buddy. Keep it going that way.”
Jockey Fernando De La Cruz, second on Warrant: “He hung a little bit in the stretch, but I was in perfect position. He just a little bit tired, going from a shorter race, seven-eighths, to a mile and an eighth. That probably cost him, but he was running all the way until the end.”
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