HOT SPRINGS — The two Grade 1 winners and top-two betting favorites finished as expected with 4-5 choice Tom’s d’Etat prevailing by three-quarters of a length over Improbable in Saturday’s $150,000 Oaklawn Mile.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Tom’s d’Etat settled well off the pace early as Pioneer Spirit took the field through early fractions :22 4/5 and 46 for the first half mile with several rivals in hot pursuit. The winner came five wide into the stretch and once he had his target in site, was able to run down Improbable for the victory, while covering the mile distance in 1:35 4/5 over a wet fast track. Bankit closed from last to get third.
“Now that we're talking post-race, I couldn’t be any more happy with exactly how it turned out,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said via phone. “The type of race he had, and the way Joel (Rosario) rode him to save a little bit to keep us on the upward part of the curve. That’s the hottest word in America right now. We don’t want to flatten the curve with this horse.”
Unraced since his victory in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs last November, Tom’s d’Etat improved his record to 10 wins from 17 career starts and now has earned $1,326,572 for owner G M B Racing. The 7-year-old Smart Strike horse returned $3.60, $2.80 and $2.40.
There is no live racing today in observance of the Easter holiday. Live racing resumes Thursday with a 1p.m. first post. While no fans are permitted to experience racing onsite during this time, they can to watch and wager through OaklawnAnywhere.com or any ADW of their choice.