Mystic Guide Impressive in Razorback Handicap Victory
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021) – Godolphin, LLC’s Mystic Guide, making his 4-year-old debut, made a sweeping move around the turn and drew away to a sixth-length victory in Saturday’s $600,000 Razorback Handicap (G3), the first of three stakes on the card.
Ridden by Luis Saez, Mystic Guide was unhurried early as longshot Hunka Burning Love led the field of seven through early fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 3/5 for the first half-mile. The eventual winner, racing on the outside, gradually moved closer to the front down the backstretch, poked his head in front around the bend, and once he reached the top of the stretch, drew well clear to win in 1:44 2/5 for the 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track. 2020 Southwest Stakes winner Silver Prospector, who stalked the pace throughout, made a mild bid in the stretch but had to settle for second with 7-5 favorite Owendale third.
“Look, it’s so rewarding with a horse like this that we were really patient with as a 3-year-old,” trainer Mike Stidham said. “We spaced his races, gave him time to develop. It’s really paying off now. That’s the best part of it all. Jimmy Bell and Dan Pride are just always allowing us to do the right thing for the horse. Now, it’s paying dividends. As far as they go, he’ll run. Certainly in the back of our mind, the Dubai World Cup is there. Now, after a performance like that, it’s on the table, for sure.”
The regally bred Mystic Guide, by Ghostzapper out of the Grade 1 winning mare Music Note, improved his record to 3-2-2 in seven starts and he has now earned $553,200. As the 2-1 second choice in the field, the winner paid $6.40, $3.80, and $2.60.
One race later, Ten Broeck Farm, Inc.’s Kimari, winner of last year’s Purple Martin Stakes, made a triumphant return to Oaklawn with a 4 ¼ length victory over Casual in the $200,000 Spring Fever Stakes. Shesomajestic closed from last to get third, while pacesetting Amy’s Challenge faded to fourth. The winning time was 1:04 for 5 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy track.
Kimari returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40.
Live racing resumes at 1 p.m. Sunday with a 10-race card highlighted by three stakes, including the $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) where two-time champion Monomoy Girl will make her seasonal debut.
Winning trainer Michael Stidham: “Look, it’s so rewarding with a horse like this that we were really patient with as a 3-year-old. We spaced his races, gave him time to develop. It’s really paying off now. That’s the best part of it all. Jimmy Bell and Dan Pride are just always allowing us to do the right thing for the horse. Now, we’re paying dividends. As far as they go, he’ll run. Certainly in the back of our mind, the Dubai World Cup is there. Now, after a performance like that, it’s on the table, for sure.”
Winning jockey Luis Saez: “Everything was perfect, that was the trip that we wanted. We had the perfect spot from the outside. I just tried to keep the horse clean and he was comfortable all the way. He got to the top of the stretch and took off. It was a great race.”
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., second on Silver Prospector: "He had a beautiful trip. I can’t make any excuses for that horse today. The pace was perfect. I sat behind the speed. I was off the fence. When I started riding him, he gave me everything he had."
Jockey Joel Rosario, third on Owendale: “Good trip, but it was on a sloppy track. It looked like the winner was doing it easy, in hand. He still ran well. Probably if it wasn’t raining, he would have run better.”
Spring Fever Quotes:
Winning trainer Wesley Ward: “She’s sound as new money. And, she probably ran one of the best races of her life. Only thing different this year over last year (when she won the Purple Martin) was the outside post. It was to her advantage this year. We were fortunate. It made Joel’s job easier.”
Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Kimari): “She ran very big. She was responding to everything I was asking for, Turning for home, she took the lead in hand. Looked like any time I wanted to go, she was there for me. I was very confident. That was a very big performance.”