PUNCHY GIRL KNOCKS OUT THE WIN IN RAINBOW MISS; ORTIZ AND SHORTLEAF TEAM FOR SECOND STAKES IN RAINBOW
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jennifer Hoyt, Director of Racing
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Punchy Girl and Jockey Elvin Gonzalez
Photo credit: Coady Photography
PUNCHY GIRL KNOCKS OUT THE WIN IN RAINBOW MISS
ORTIZ AND SHORTLEAF TEAM FOR SECOND STAKES IN RAINBOW
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 9, 2022) – One week after the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations, the Arkansas-bred 3-year-olds took center stage in the $150,000 Rainbow and $150,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes before an on-track crowd of 27,000.
Sara Patterson’s Punchy Girl won the Rainbow Miss Stakes, while Shortleaf Stable Inc.’s Whelen Springs won the Rainbow Stakes, two races after his stablemate Gramercy Park stumbled badly at the start and unseated jockey Gabriel Saez, the rider of both horses.
Punchy Girl, a homebred daughter of the Patterson’s stallion Street Strategy, improved her record to 2-2-1 in five starts and has now earned $180,600. She returned $11.60, $4 and $3.20 as the 9-2 third choice in the field. Pattern Bet was second and Derby Day Lassie was third. The final time was 1:10 4/5 for six furlongs over a fast track. Even-money favorite One Way or Another was sixth.
Whelen Springs, a homebred son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, also the sire of Street Strategy, improved his record to 2-1-2 in six starts and has now earned $176,040. He returned $15, $7.20 and $4.60 at odds of 6-1. Ev’s Sherman was second and Bettys Cash was third. Final time was 1:10 1/5 for six furlongs over a fast track.
Earlier in the meet, Gar Hole gave Shortleaf Stable and trainer John Ortiz their first stakes together in the $150,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes, also for Arkansas-bred horses.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1 p.m. first post.
Rainbow Miss Quotes:
Winning trainer Jason Barkley, Punchy Girl: “It worked out well today. There was plenty of pace and they went fast. I think they went :21 and change (for the opening quarter). Really set up for her, I thought. I told Elvin (Gonzalez), ‘Just kind of let them go, sit, make one run down the middle of the track when you’re ready.’ Luckily, she held off Pattern Bet, who was charging at us late. I got a little nervous late, She ran, literally, just as far as she had to and that’s something that we’ll have to work on and that’s her maturing a little bit - thinking the job was done when she went past whoever was in front. It was just nice to see her get there.”
Winning owner Sara Patterson, Punchy Girl: “This filly, she’s really grown up since her first race and stretching her out. She’d been training really well and Jason (Barkley) had the confidence in her to shorten her back up and it seemed to work out. She’s really matured and come along just how you wanted her to.”
Rainbow Stakes Quotes:
Winning Trainer John Ortiz (via phone), Whelen Springs: “That's the talent we expected that horse to have from the very beginning and glad he showed it after the quick turnaround. He was on his toes and ready to take on these horses today. I don't think there's anything left for him (here). But you know what? (1:10) today, he kind of deserves a shot in open company up north, I guess.”
Winning owner John Ed Anthony, Whelen Springs: “Actually, the media seems to want to call this a quick turnaround. When I raced here 40 or 50 years ago, 30 or 40 years ago, racing every two weeks was normal as pie. And now the trainers seem to think it takes three weeks or a month or six weeks between races. I don't understand it, but I don't argue with them. They are the trainers. But, racing has changed a bit in that respect, since the 80s and 90s.”