HOT SPRINGS, AR – Heartwood held on to win in Saturday’s $100,000 King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn Park. With his win here today, the 5-year-old son of Tapit has now finished third or better in four straight stakes races and has amassed career earnings of over $450k.
Gordy Florida shot right out to the front and was quickly joined by the post-time favorite Heartwood on the outside. Heartwood sat just off of Gordy Florida, forcing speedy fractions of :22.26, :45.69, and :57.71. As they approached top of the stretch, Wilbo on the rail looked to move outside for a late bid but was boxed in and quickly faded leaving Gordy Florida and Heartwood on the front. The two continued to duel but Godry Florida couldn’t keep up with the speedy favorite. It looked to be an easy win and done deal for Heartwood until Control Stake shot up on the outside with a late stretch bid right by Gordy Florida but ran out of space before the wire and settled for second. Gordy Florida finished third and Bourbon Cowboy was fourth.
“He ran very hard,” jockey David Cohen said. “The 3 horse (Gordy Florida) really dug in and made me really have to work for it. It didn’t come easy. I really thought I would get that type of setup and my horse showed a lot of heart. He kind of lived up to his name.”
Heartwood returned $6.20 to win, $3.60 to place, and $3.00 to show. Control Stake brought back $4.60 to place and $3.60 to show, while Gordy Florida paid $3.80 to show.
Scratch: Sightforsoreeyes, Dan the Go to Man