For Immediate Release

Contact: Jennifer Hoyt, Director of Racing

jhoyt@oaklawn.com or 501-363-4305

Photo credit: Coady Photography


HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, May 6, 2023) – In the span of just three months and four races, Willow Creek Road went from maiden winner to stakes winner, stalking the early pace to win Saturday’s $200,000 Arkansas Breeders’ Championship before a closing day crowd of 22,500.

Breaking from post position six under jockey Eduardo Gallarado, Willow Creek Road, who made a winning debut Feb. 4 at Oaklawn, raced in second early as Mahomey led the field through fractions of :23 and :47 for the first half mile. The winner took over as the field rounded the turn for home and had enough left to hold off the fast closing King Peanut to win by a neck in 1:44 1/5 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track. Dinner at Crumpies was third.

Willow Creek Road, a 4-year-old Hightail colt bred by Dr. J.W. Clement DVM, has now won three of four career starts and has earned $238,300 for trainer Mac Robertson and owners Jac Mac Stable LLC, Stanley Thrash and Gary Thomsas. He returned $37.60, $13.60 and $10 at odds of $17-to-1.

Saturday was closing day of the 2022-2023 season. Live racing resumes Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 and will continue through Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Stakes Quotes:

Winning Jockey Eduardo Gallardo: “When my horse broke, he wanted to go, so I tried to relax him. When I passed the three-eighths pole, he was in good position. When I came to the quarter pole, I had a lot of horse. He picked it up and just did everything.”

Winning trainer Mac Robertson: “He did get bumped pretty bad leaving the gate last time (April 15), just kind of put him up against it. He had only run a couple of times. In mid-stretch, he was looking around. (Blinkers) helped him today. He was focused the whole way. He ran a professional race. Like his second race (March 11) was real professional. He ran pretty fast the second race. The third race, he just didn't.”