Champion Jackie’s Warrior wins 4-year-old debut in Count Fleet Sprint at Oaklawn
Hall of Famer and 11-time Oaklawn leading trainer Steve Asmussen earned his fourth victory in the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) as reigning champion male sprinter Jackie’s Warrior took this year’s edition Saturday at the Hot Springs, Ark. track.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Jackie’s Warrior took the lead from the start, setting fractions of :21.61 and :44.51 for the first half mile, while under slight pressure from Empire of Gold.
The champion opened up a comfortable lead entering the stretch and had plenty left to hold off the fast closing Letsgetlucky by three-quarters of length in a final time of 1:09.09 for six furlongs over a sloppy (sealed) track.
“A very fast horse like Jackie…he just came out of there and got away from everybody,” Rosario said. “He enjoyed what he was doing out there and was able to keep going. He has run on the slop before and won. He can run on anything. He’s a very nice horse.”
Chipofftheoldblock was third, another length back, while Bob’s Edge, winner of two stakes this meet, was fourth.
“We got beat by a really good horse,” said Martin Garcia, rider of Letsgetlucky. “My horse showed today that he is a good horse. He’s been showing up every time, but today was tough competition. He broke well, but he doesn’t have the speed of the others, so I just let him sit and make one run and that’s exactly what happened. He was running at the end. I just couldn’t catch the other one (Jackie’s Warrior).”
Jackie’s Warrior, the 1-2 favorite who returned $3, was making his first start since the Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) last fall at Del Mar.
A 4-year-old Maclean’s Music colt out of Unicorn Girl, by A. P. Five Hundred, Jackie’s Warrior improved his record to 9-1-1 from 13 starts and has earned $1,853,964 for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison.