Jan. 11, 2014
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Jan 11, 2014) – Oaklawn President and owner Charles J. Cella earned the victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes, but it wasn’t with the horse most people expected. Homebred Drogue pulled away in the stretch to win by nine-lengths over his stablemate, 2013 Oaklawn Handicap winner Cyber Secret, for his first career stakes win. It was also the first stakes win for trainer Mike Johnson, a former assistant to Peter Vestal.
Jockey Calvin Borel had Drogue forwardly placed in the early stages of the race while Joy Boy led through the first half mile in 48 1/5 and then began to launch his bid entering the far turn. Cyber Secret made a run at the leader from the outside at the top of the stretch, but the winner, taking advantage of his position along the rail, drew well clear to win the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:47 4/5 over a track rated good.
Stealcase finished third and Joy Boy finished fourth.
“He worked great the other day,” said Johnson. “You couldn’t have asked a horse to work better and I knew if he ran back to that race, he’d be tough today. When he took the lead at the ½-mile pole, I knew we had it won. That was awesome.”
Trainer Lynn Whiting, who trains Cyber Secret, said he could tell early it wasn’t his horse’s day.
“Kudos to the winner,” said Whiting. “We were coming to him, but (jockey) Calvin (Borel) was laughing at us the whole time. When I saw (jockey) Robby (Albarado) scrubbing on him at the 5/16th pole, I could tell he just wasn’t comfortable.”
Drogue, a 6-year-old Victory Gallop horse, improved his record to 19-5-3-3 and has now earned $201,182. He returned $3, $3.60 and $2.10 as part of heavily favored entry.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Oaklawn with a 1:30 p.m. first post.