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Pioneer Spirit Holds Sway in Fifth Season
Coady Photography

Pioneer Spirit Holds Sway in Fifth Season

HOT SPRINGS, AR – On a day with lots of tight finishes, including two dead heats, the final stakes of the day also came down to the wire with Pioneer Spirit holding off a late charge by Bankit to prevail by a head in a final time of 1:38 4/5 over a track upgraded to good.

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The winner, a slight 5/2 second choice behind Bravazo, took the lead soon after the break and proceeded to set fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 3/5 for the first 1/2-mile. By the time Pioneer Spirit entered the stretch he had opened a 3-length lead, but a determined Bankit was closing fast from seventh place. Mocito Rojo, who raced evenly near the top tier held on for third. The favorite Bravazo finished fifth.

Pioneer Spirit, who paid $7.40, $4  and $2.80, will “most likely” make his next start in the $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) Feb. 17, trainer Robertino Diodoro said.

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