Saturday’s Grade III, $350,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park has attracted some of the nation’s best sprinters. WHITMORE leads a field of 11 into this six-furlong heat, which shares the card with the Apple Blossom Handicap. Post time for the Count Fleet, Race 8 of 11 on the day, is 5:14 p.m. ET
#9 WHITMORE (5-2, morning-line favorite) took Oaklawn’s six-furlong Hot Springs Stakes last month, boosting his record over this course to 13-8-4-1 with earnings exceeding $1.4 million. His lifetime record at the 3/4-mile distance is an equally impressive 20-11-6-2. WHITMORE does his best running from off the pace, and #4 BOBBY’S WICKED ONE and #7 HIDDEN SCROLL, among others, should ensure fast fractions. Joe Talamo just has to keep WHITMORE out of trouble and he should land the score.
#2 FLAGSTAFF (7-2) is the most likely upset candidate in the Count Fleet. He was last seen recording his first career stakes victory in the seven-furlong San Carlos at Santa Anita. The John Sadler trainee has never run out of the money at sprint distances and fired a bullet in preparation for the Count Fleet. Joel Rosario gets the leg-up on FLAGSTAFF this Saturday.
#6 MR. JAGERMEISTER (15-1) could go off at an overlaid price in the Count Fleet. He set the pace in the Hot Springs before getting caught in the lane by WHITMORE. If Terry Thompson gives MR. JAGERMEISTER a patient ride, the modest Minnesota-bred could sneak into the exotics.
The play: $5 exacta box 2/9, $4 exacta 9/2,6, $2 exacta 2/6 ($20)
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