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Share the Upside usurps Whitmore in King Cotton
Coady Photography

Share the Upside usurps Whitmore in King Cotton

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Windsor Boys Racing’s Share the Upside struck the lead early and had more than enough left to hold sway late over local hero Whitmore in Saturday’s $125,000 King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

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Breaking from the rail as the 2/1 second choice under Ricardo Santana, Jr., Share the Upside was hustled out of the gate and held a clear early advantage as the field settled on the backstretch. While Home Run Maker gave closest chase, Share the Upside posted opening fractions of :21.89 and :44.94.

Midway through the far turn, Home Run Maker began steadily fading while the even-money favorite Whitmore ranged up close behind the pacesetter. Jockey Joe Talamo tipped Whitmore out at the 1/4 pole and set him down for the drive to the front, but Share the Upside had caught a breather and was ready for more.

Kept to task through to the wire, Share the Upside refused to let Whitmore close within 1 1/2 lengths before crossing that far ahead. The Steve Asmussen trainee completed the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track in a final time of 1:09.39.

Credit: Coady Photography

“The horse was working unbelievably,” said Santana, Jr. “He was really happy in the post, the 1 hole. I was really happy with it. He’s a fast horse and I knew that was going to help him a lot. He broke really sharp. He really wanted the lead. He was fast; the track was fast. That helped us a lot.”

Making his first start since finishing last of seven in December’s Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct, Whitmore was 3 1/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field.

“I was able to save ground around the turn and then got to the 1/4 pole really nice,” Talamo said. “I really thought I was a winner turning for home. Hat’s off to the winner. He really dug in and fought hard. So did my horse. He’s a cool horse. He ran hard the whole way.”

Silver Ride necked out Nun the Less for third. Behind them came the 2018 King Cotton victor WilboTringale, and a spent Home Run Maker to complete the order of finish. Hidden Ruler was scratched.

Share the Upside’s win was his first at the stakes level and improved his overall record to 13-5-4-1, including a local mark of 5-4-1-0. The 5-year-old gelded son of Maclean’s Music has now earned $345,097.

“Share the Upside loves Oaklawn,” Asmussen said. “I’m glad to see him back here. This is where his best races have been. For him to start off the sprint series so good, we’re obviously hoping for a big meet with him.”

Share the Upside returned $6.80 to win, $4 to place, and $3 to show. Whitmore brought back $2.80 to place and $2.10 to show, while Silver Ride paid $3 to show.

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