HOT SPRINGS, AR – WinStar Farm’s homebred Quip outdueled four very game foes to win Saturday’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2) at Oaklawn Park for his first victory in 13 months.
Breaking from post 7 under Jose Ortiz at 5/1 odds, Quip soon settled into a close stalking position heading into the first turn while Pioneer Spirit posted opening fractions of :23.65, :47.96, and 1:11.99. Tipped off the rail for the stretch run home, Quip chased down the middle of the lane between four other horses to win by a close neck in a final time of 1:50.21 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the sloppy (sealed) main track.
“He broke really clean,” Ortiz said. “He put in a good position early, but I had to fight with Joel Rosario (on Giant Expectations) to keep up. I got a lucky I had the horse. Last time, they went really fast off the layoff. Quip was very game and never let them by him.”
Only necks separated first from fifth, with Lone Sailor second, Pioneer Spirit third, Remembering Rita fourth, and Giant Expectations fifth. Behind them came the Essex Handicap upset winner Rated R Superstar in sixth, while the 2/1 favorite Tenfold never took to the off going and finished a disappointing seventh. Lookin At Lee and Chris and Dave completed the order of finish.
Quip’s win was his first since taking the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and improved his overall record to 8-4-1-1. The 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor has now earned $942,500 for co-owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, and SF Racing.
“We were expecting to be close,” Brisset said. “He looked like on the backside, the horse was not really taking us anywhere, but he was keeping position. He had to make an early move and was very wide on the turn, but the horse ran his usual race. He’s been taking us on a fun ride. It’s very sweet. This horse is special.”
Quip returned $13 to win, $7.40 to place, and $6.20 to show. Lone Sailor brought back $8.20 to place and $6.20 to show, while Pioneer Spirit paid $7.80 to show.