WILL MUNNINGS POWERS HOME TO GAZEBO VICTORY

 

Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, March 26, 2016) – Xpress Thoroughbreds LLCs’ Will Munnings lived up to his role as the 2-1 favorite with an impressive 1 ¾ length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Gazebo Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters. He returned $6.80, $3.40 and $3.

Ridden by jockey Jon Court, the winner was the fastest out of the gate, but then settled into second as Cataroux led the field through early fractions of :21 4/5 and :45 1/5 for the first half mile. Will Munnings took command entering the stretch and was never seriously challenged as he completed the six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 for six furlongs over a fast track.

“We couldn’t find a non-winners of three for him, so we figured we would step him up in this spot and see what kind of horse he is,” said trainer William H. “Jinks” Fires. “It worked out good for us. We were happy with the way he was coming into this race and thought he had a big chance. He’s really stepped it up in his last two races. I’m not sure where we will go next with him. We will look at our options and take it from there.”

Entertainer, who had raced near the back of the eight-horse field early, closed willingly for second and Force It showed some late interest to get third. Mudd Light, Cataroux, Cash Bonus, Taylors Angiel and Silver Doddge.

Will Munnings, the second stakes winner of the meet for Xpress Thoroughbreds, Fires and Court, has now won three of nine starts and has earned $169,880. Earlier this season, the connections won the $100,000 Smarty Jones with another talented 3-year-old Discreetness.

Live racing resumes Thursday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. Oaklawn is closed for both racing and gaming in observance of the Easter holiday.  

Gazebo Stakes Quotes

Winning trainer William H. “Jinks” Fires – “We couldn’t find a non-winners of three for him, so we figured we would step him up in this spot and see what kind of horse he is. It worked out good for us. We were happy with the way he was coming into this race and thought he had a big chance. He’s really stepped it up in his last two races. I’m not sure where we will go next with him. We will look at our options and take it from there.”

Jockey Corey Nakatani, second with Entertainer – “My horse ran a dynamite race. The other horse was faster than us today. I’m proud of his effort today.”

 

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