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Hot Springs, Ark. (Thursday, April 14, 2016) – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas earned his 15th career Racing Festival of the South stakes victory Thursday when Super Saks captured the $150,000 Carousel Stakes in front-running style.
Super Saks wasn’t the fastest out of the gate, but it didn’t take her long to gain control and she proceeded to lead the field through fractions of :21 4/5 and :45 3/5 for the first half mile. The winner found another gear in late stretch and drew off to win by 1 ½ lengths over 4-5 favorite Haveyougoneaway, who closed from fifth. Winning time was 1:10 3/5 for six furlongs over a fast track.
“Once we got to the lead it was drama free,” said winning rider Channing Hill. “I was a bit concerned that last time, she was fast but, seemed to stay one pace from there. Today, she shot out of the gate, was steady down the backside, took a quick breath around the turn and from the top of the lane she shot home. That filly that ran behind us, she is a classy filly too. My filly brushed her to the side today and got the win.”
Ghost Locket, whose jockey, Shane Laviolette, claimed foul against Super Saks and Hill for interference in the opening furlong, had to settle for third after the stewards disallowed the claim. She was followed by Wrath of Ruthie, Harbour Island and Be Proud.
“Well, you always worry about that,” said Lukas of the objection. “I thought it was a little bit tight for him to try to come up there. I told Channing Hill, I said: ‘If you would have let him through, I think would have gotten on you a little bit, too.’ They’re not supposed to let them come up the rail.”
Super Saks, a 4-year-old Sky Mesa filly, has now won 6 of 18 starts and has earned $322,080 for owners Robert Baker and William Mack. She returned $13.40, $5.60 and $4.00 at odds of 5-1.
Live racing resumes Friday for the second to last day of the 2016 live racing season. Highlighting the 10-race card will be the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) and the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes. The meet concludes Saturday with the $1 million Arkansas Derby.
Jockey Channing Hill, winner Super Saks – “Once we got to the lead it was drama free. I was a bit concerned that last time, she was fast but seemed to stay one pace from there. Today, she shot out of the gate, was steady down the backside, took a quick breath around the turn and from the top of the lane she shot home. That filly that ran behind us, she is a classy filly too. My filly brushed her to the side today and got the win.”
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, winner Super Saks: on surviving a claim of foul by Shane Laviolette, the rider of third-place finisher Ghost Locket, for interference on the backstretch. Stewards decided not to change the order of finish.
“Well, you always worry about that. I thought it was a little bit tight there for him to try to come up there. I told Channing Hill, I said: ‘If you would have let him through, I think I’d got on you a little bit, too.’ They’re not supposed to let them come up the rail.”
“Channing Hill has done a great job with her. She wants to be left alone. And ‘Little Baby Hands’ is leaving her alone.”
Jockey Jareth Loveberry, second on Haveyougoneaway – “She ran a good race. I got hung out a little bit wider than I wanted too. I can’t fault her for nothing, the other filly ran real big, I came to her turning for home and she had another kick in her. No excuses, she ran a good race.”
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