HOT SPRINGS, AR (Friday, Dec. 3, 2021) – The $50,000 claiming price now looks like a bargain to owners James Rogers and Michael Robinson after Kavod passed 4-5 Higher Standards late in the stretch to win Friday’s $150,000 Advent Stakes, his first start for his new connections. The six-furlong race was the feature on Oaklawn’s opening day card that drew a crowd of 15,000.

Kavod, who was claimed at Churchill Downs Nov. 20 by trainer Chris Hartman, raced close to the pace as Oro Azteca led the field through opening fractions of :21 3/5 and :44 4/5 for the first half mile. Higher Standard, who had been stalking the pace in second, took over the lead at the top of the stretch, but could not hold off the winner, who edged clear late to win by one length under jockey Francisco Arrieta in 1:09 4/5 over a fast track. Cairama was third.

Kavod, a Lea colt, was the most experienced in the field with eight prior starts and has now won three of nine total starts for $243,000 in earnings. He returned $8.40, $3.40 and $2.40 as the 3-1 second choice.

Live racing resumes Saturday at Oaklawn with a 12:30 p.m. first post. The 10-race card is highlighted by the $150,000 Mistletoe Stakes and the annual 50-cent corned beef sandwich promotion.

Stakes Quotes:

Winning trainer Chris Hartman: “It set up perfect. I asked Francisco (Arrieta) to put him into the race early and that’s exactly what he did. I mean, that’s an ideal pace for him, where he was set. He got a little bit headstrong, but he ran on well.”

Winning jockey Francisco Arrieta: “Nice horse. He broke good. A couple of horses went to the lead. I tried to relax him. When he was stopped behind horses, he was a little green. At the quarter pole, he may have been in a little bit of trouble. Finally, he came back and I went for the space. When I asked him, he ran. Great job. Great horse.”

Trainer Tom Amoss, second with Higher Standard: “My horse ran his race. We got outrun today, but experience plays a big part in that. Fortunately, we’re not about playing in the first quarter. We’ve got a full game to play.”

Jockey Florent Geroux second with Higher Standard: “The winner, he’s a horse with a lot of experience. Just coming off his race at Churchill, which was claiming, but he won decisively. And he’s just a more polished horse, he’s more experienced horse. Our horse had run only run one time, ships straight from Churchill to here. Short rest. We had couple of things that were against us.”