Rattlesnake Holler Scores Rainbow for Jockey Turned Trainer

Feb. 26, 2011

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HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011) – As a jockey, David Whited had won many important races at Oaklawn Park, including a sweep of its 3-year-old series – the Southwest, Rebel and Arkansas Derby – in 1975 with Promised City. Saturday, he became an Oaklawn stakes winning trainer when Sanders Brothers’ Rattlesnake Holler caught Ile St. Roy in the final jump to score by a head in the $50,000 Rainbow Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred colts and geldings.

Rattlesnake Holler, who was wearing blinkers for the first time, was always in contention, racing in fourth early as Ile St. Roy set fractions of :21 4/5 and :45 2/5. The winner showed his inexperience rounding the turn for home and lost some ground, but was able to regain his composure late to achieve his first career victory in the six-furlong stakes race. Winning time was 1:10 over the fast Oaklawn track.

Codes Diamond, part of the 9-5 favored three-horse entry, held on for third after racing in second through much of the race. The fan favorite, Woo Pig Sooie, who was making his first career start, finished 10th of 11 horses. Hesajet and The Bay Phantom were both scratched.

“(Trainer) David (Whited) told me that he was putting blinkers on him today because he should have won his last race, but ran green,” said winning rider Eddie Razo, Jr. “Today, in the post parade I could feel that he was very relaxed. He stood great in the gate and was very professional. He put himself in the race, and although he was still a little green around the turn, I was impressed. I had never ridden him before, but I can tell he has a lot of talent.”

The winner improved his record to 5-1-0-2 with his win in the Rainbow and has now earned $37,951. He returned $46.80, $18.60 and $6.00 at odds of 22 -1.

Live racing resumes Sunday at Oaklawn Park with a 1:30 p.m. first post and the 10-race card will feature the $50,000 Rainbow Miss for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies.

Additional Quotes:

David Whited, trainer of winner Rattlesnake Holler:
(On the blinkers he added.)
“You get a lot of advice when your training, and every person who saw me said if I put blinkers on him he would win. He couldn't really focus. He was ducking and diving. He's not the brightest horse and he's been kind of slow to come around.”

“I was really pleased with the outside post because he's kind of a timid horse and he doesn't like to get down inside there. So I was happy when he was able to draw outside and stay out there and he didn't have a straw in his path. After he ran third at Prairie Meadows we put him in a van and hauled him to Louisiana, but he had some minor soundness issues. We gave him some time off, and now he's sound and that's the main reason he ran the way he did.”

Owner Jimmy Sanders raises cattle. Roy Sanders is an attorney from Little Rock. Their farm is in Marshall, Ark., in Searcy County. Rattlesnake Holler is on their farm "right next to Goldmine Holler and Big Rocky Holler."

Glen Murphy, jockey of second-place finisher Ile St. Roy:

“A couple of times there I thought we might win it. When we straightened up out of the turn, he really gave me what he had. He wanted to win.”

Jon Court, jockey of third-place finisher Codes Diamond:

“My colt has natural speed, and I had some horse left there in the stretch and I thought it would be between Glen and myself, but then here came Eddie.”