Walter Rodriguez guides Ocean Atlantique to victory in the Dust Commander
Three Diamonds Farm’s 6-year-old gelding Ocean Atlantique cruised to a front-running 5 ¼-length victory in Saturday night’s $125,000 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Walter Rodriguez, Ocean Atlantique completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.75 over the Tapeta surface.
Ocean Atlantique and Rodriguez left little doubt on their plan from the break and took command of the Dust Commander field into the first turn through a solid opening quarter-mile fraction of :23.85. Up the backstretch, Ocean Atlantique began to open up on second-place Accredit and, around the far turn, following a half-mile split of :47.65 and six-furlong clocking of 1:11.70, Ocean Atlantique skittered away to an insurmountable four-length advantage while under a hand ride from Rodriguez.
Camp Hope and 8-5 favorite Beatbox had a spirited battle for second where Camp Hope got the better of last year’s Dust Commander winner by a scant nose. It was another 3 ½ lengths back to Grade 1 winner In Love followed by Fancy Liquor, Harlan Estate, Price Talk, Accredit, and Lincoln City. Mejthaam was an early scratch.
Ocean Atlantique rewarded his backers $19.84 for the win.
Ocean Atlantique improved his record to 4-4-2 from 20 career starts and boosted his career purse earnings to $276,120. The 6-year-old gelding is by American Pharoah out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Tare Green. He was bred in Kentucky by Indian Creek.
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