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HOT SPRINGS, AR – The super-speedy Minnesota-bred Mr. Jagermeister is seeking revenge for his runner-up effort a year ago in Saturday’s $150,000 King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
The King Cotton is a 6-furlong dirt sprint open to all horses ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 4:40 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the King Cotton:
1. Strike Power 3/1 – The first of 2 from trainer Steve Asmussen makes his second start for the barn after finishing second in a 6-furlong optional claiming dirt sprint at Churchill Downs last November. Asmussen’s top rider Ricardo Santana Jr. chose to retain the mount on a speedy horse who, with a clean break, should fly straight to the lead from this inside post draw.
2. Seven Nation Army 9/2 – He showed steady improvement in 3 starts here last spring, putting together a 3-1-1-1 record over this course and distance with returning rider Ramon Vazquez in the saddle each time. His 3 career local victories are 2 more than anyone he’s facing and local trainer Ron Moquett has a healthy 25% win rate in stakes with a strong $3.44 ROI.
“I think he’s an improving horse and he’s got some ability,” Moquett said. “I think that he’s going to run well wherever we run him. I’m just trying to place him to where he can get the most out of whatever that is.”
3. Flagstaff 8/5 – He returns to Oaklawn Park for the second time after rallying from last to cross second by less than a length over this course and distance in last April’s Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) behind the local legend Whitmore. He was slow out of the gate that day, but his normal running style is to sit much closer to (or even on) the pace.
4. Mucho 8/1 – He gives the stakes ranks another try after failing to hit the board in his past 5 efforts at this level, with his lone impressive finish coming in the 2018 Hopeful Stakes (G1), where he finished second. Trainer John Ortiz moves him up after claiming him for $80k just 2 starts back and saddling him to victory over this course and distance on January 22.
5. Boldor 5/1 – Asmussen’s second entry returned from 7 months off to win the 5-furlong Sam’s Town Stakes at Delta Downs on January 4, then “celebrated” by undergoing the ultimate equipment change 1 day later. Now a gelding, he defeated optional claimers over a muddy (sealed) version of this course and distance a year ago and makes his second start back here.
6. Mr. Jagermeister 4/1 – He set a quick tempo in last year’s edition but was no match for Whitmore, who won this for the fourth time that day and took home the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) several months later. Of his 11 career wins, 7 came at this distance, and he fired a 5-furlong bullet best-of-48 work in :59.40 over this course in his final warm-up for this race.
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