Feb. 20, 2011
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011) – How fitting that after a record eight cancellations at Oaklawn Park due to winter weather, Salty Wave, a horse owned and trained by Jack Frost, would win Sunday’s $60,000 Spring Fever Stakes.
The victory marked the first career stakes win both for Frost, an owner who turned to training a few years ago, and 18-year-old jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.
Breaking from post position eight, Salty Wave was the first to the front, but allowed Brown Eyed Baby to assume control for the opening quarter in :21 2/5. The winner regained the lead before a half-mile in a quick :45 and from there was never seriously challenged, winning the five and half furlong race by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:03 3/5 over a fast track. The 2-1 favorite Stephanie Got Even closed strongly for second, finishing a half-length in front of third-place finisher Honey Bunch.
“She's got a lot of heart,” said Frost, who claimed Salty Wave for $35,000 in September 2010. “Like all of them, she's got some issues that needed to be addressed, but with all the weather this year, hoping for a claiming race or optional race to go was just so iffy, we just decided to point for this. We knew this was the kind of race where she could give her best and the timing worked out great for us. I claimed her because of her consistency. Her numbers were pretty much the same every time and that's what caught my eye.”
Cosmo Girl, Shotgun Gulch, Vertical Vision, Hidden Value, Denali Glitter, and Brown Eyed Baby completed the order of finish. Moontune Missy was scratched.
Salty Wave, a six-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Salty Sea, improved her record to 13 wins in 39 starts and has now earned $296,986. She returned $51.80, $18.00 and $8.60 at odds of 24-1.
Oaklawn Park will hold a special Presidents Day card Monday featuring the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds going one-mile. First post is 1 p.m.
Jack Frost, trainer of winner Salty Wave:
“We entered her in a claiming race that got snowed out. I was going to scratch her anyway. I let an agent talk me into that, and right after I knew it was a mistake. We got it snowed out, and then when they brought it back, we didn't enter. We will have to see how she comes out of this before we decide what comes next. She is more suited to the grass, so I was just hoping she would get a tight track like she got today.”
NOTE: Frost owned horses for about seven years with trainer Stanley Roberts before training on his own. He is an agricultural pilot and owns a business that services that industry. Based out of Marianna, Ark., Frost has more than 23,000 hours of “ag flying” before branching out into selling planes and parts.
Joe Martin, trainer of second-place finisher Stephanie Got Even:
“I'm tickled to death. The jock said if we had just a little more ground she was there. I was worried all throughout about the 5 1/2 furlongs, but the next one coming up is six. We will definitely point to that.”
NOTE: The next race in the series is the $60,000 Carousel at six furlongs Sunday March 27.
Israel Ocampo, jockey of second-place finisher Stephanie Got Even:
“She ran well. The distance was a bit short, and there's more distance between 5 1/2 and six than you think, especially when you're cutting back. Watch this filly when she stretches out again.”
Jon Court, jockey of third-place finisher Honey Bunch:
“Turning for home, I thought we could win it, but then the winner just kicked away. We had a good trip. No Excuses.”