HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Oscar Nominated showed off his tremendous class advantage, rating well before taking the lead in the far turn and kicking off to victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 W. L. McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
Off well from post 7 under Jose Ortiz, Oscar Nominated sat off while Infinite Wisdom set tepid fractions of :24.66, :50.35, 1:16.35, and 1:42.15. Making his move through the far turn, Oscar Nominated corralled the leader before the duo hit the top of the stretch. With nothing but green grass in front of him, Oscar Nominated kicked away and then held off a late wall of horses to win by a 1/2-length in a final time of 2:30.08
“I wasn’t expecting to break so good but wanted my horse to relax,” Ortiz said. “The pace was a little slow, so he was a little keen the first 1/2-mile, but when I got him to relax and asked him to go, he did.”
Nessy put in a wide bid late and was able to rally from the rear for second by a nose over the favored Bullards Alley, who was a neck past Gold Shield for third. Markitoff, Mr Cub, Durocher, Infinite Wisdom, and Final Copy completed the order of finish.
Oscar Nominated’s victory was third graded stakes score and improved his overall record to 24-6-7-2. A 5-year-old son of the Ramsey’s prized stallion Kitten’s Joy, the Mike Maker trainee’s career earnings increased to $1,416,331.
“I was a little worried that it was slow, but it always appeared that Jose had a lot of horse during the course of the race and was within striking distance,” Maker said. “He had a hard campaign last year and he needed a little freshening. It paid off today.”
Oscar Nominated returned $9.40 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.40 to show. Nessy brought back $6.80 to place and $4.20 to show, while Bullards Alley paid $2.80 to show.