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Whitmore Champions Fourth Straight Hot Springs
Coady Photography

Whitmore Champions Fourth Straight Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, AR – For the record fourth straight time on Saturday, trainer Ron Moquett’s Whitmore found himself the champion of the $150,000 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

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Breaking from post 3 under Joe Talamo as the 4/5 favorite, Whitmore found himself the last away in the field of five, but he ranged up quickly to be in the mix while saving ground. Up front, Mr. Jagermeister set the pace, posting opening fractions of :22.25 and :45.22 while Share the Upside gave closest chase.

Continuing to wait patiently for the right time to move, Talamo eased Whitmore out off of the rail at the top of the stretch and sent him after the pacesetter. Brushing with Share the Upside as that foe began to slow, Whitmore surged ahead and kicked clear of Mr. Jagermeister with relative ease in the stretch.

Running away late, Whitmore crossed 2 1/2 lengths clear in a final time of 1:08.54 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.

“For him to win this race four years in a row is incredible,” said Talamo, whose first time riding Whitmore came last out when he finished second in the local King Cotton Stakes. “I was fortunate to ride him today. What a cool horse. He really laid it down the last part.”

Mr. Jagermeister stayed on for second, crossing 2 lengths ahead of Wendell Fong in third. Boldor and a spent Share the Upside – winner of the King Cotton – completed the order of finish. Firecrow was scratched.

Whitmore’s win was his first since taking the 2019 edition and improved his overall record to 33-13-10-3. The 7-year-old gelded son of Pleasantly Perfect has now earned $2,936,350 for co-owners Robert LaPenta, Southern Springs Stables, and Head of Plains Partners.

“It’s so good to see him do what he does, knowing how much he loves it,” Moquett said. “We’re so proud of him. If you watch horses train every morning here like I do, you know there are a lot of good horses, and we’re just fortunate to have one of them.”

Whitmore returned $3.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Mr. Jagermeister brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show, while Wendell Fong paid $3.20 to show.

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