Oaklawn News

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018) – Robert and Lawana Low’s Bourne In Nixa overtook the pacesetters late and drew off to win Saturday’s $125,000 Gazebo Stakes impressively under jockey Ramon Vazquez.

Coming off a disappointing race at Delta Downs last time out, Bourne In Nixa was fifth early as heavy 1-5 favorite Mitole, who stumbled at the start, and his stablemate Direct Dial dueled through early factions for :22.06 and :46.22 for the first half mile. The winner came four wide into the stretch, began his rally and edged clear late to win by 1 ¾ lengths over Mitole. He completed the six furlongs in 1:11.75 over a sloppy track.

“We ran him in the Delta race, I don’t know, he really didn’t like the two turns and it’s a funny track,” trainer Steve Margolis. “But, I’ve really been kind of looking to run him. At Fair Grounds, there’s nothing for him. We really liked how the horse was doing. I talked to Robert (Low) we said, ‘Let’s nominate him and see how this race comes up.’ We realized (Steve) Asmussen certainly had the horse to beat. I really like this colt. His numbers were a little lower than some of these other ones, but he trains good. I knew definitely he would handle the mud, so it worked out good. He got a speed duel and Ramon kind of swung him outside. He ran a big race.”

Direct Dial held on for third. He was followed by Ing. Drc Inclusive and Wild Caramelo.

Bourne In Nixa, a More Than Ready colt bred by his owners, improved his record to three wins from five starts and has now earned $132,930. He returned $14.60, $4.60 and $2.40 as the 6-1 third choice among the six horse field.

One race earlier, Starfish Stable LLC.’s Ministry did not disappoint as the even-money favorite in the $100,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes for Arkansas-bred fillies and mares.

Ridden by Tommy Pompell, Ministry pressed the pace in the four path, began to make her move at the top of the stretch and drew off late to win by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:13.32 for six furlongs over a sloppy track. Avisionofchocolate finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of third-place finisher and early pace setter Ms Fifty St.

Ministry, the winner of last year’s $100,000 Rainbow Miss for Arkansas-bred 3-year-old fillies, improved her record to 7-4-1-2 and has now earned $236,920. The Ordained filly, trained by Jaime Gonzalez, returned $4, $3.20 and $2.40.

Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.

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Gazebo Quotes:

Winning jockey Ramon Vazquez, Bourne In Nixa: “I knew there was a lot of speed in the race. I wanted to take my horse back and just make one run, and he finished.”

Winning trainer Steve Margolis, Bourne In Nixa: “We ran him in the Delta race, I don’t know, he really didn’t like the two turns and it’s a funny track. But, I’ve really been kind of looking to run him. At Fair Grounds, there’s nothing for him. We really liked how the horse was doing. I talked to Robert (Low) we said, ‘Let’s nominate him and see how this race comes up.’ We realized (Steve) Asmussen certainly had the horse to beat. I really like this colt. His numbers were a little lower than some of these other ones, but he trains good. I knew definitely he would handle the mud, so it worked out good. He got a speed duel and Ramon kind of swung him outside and he ran a big race.”

Downthedustyroad Quotes:

Winning Jockey Thomas Pompell (Ministry) – “Our plan was that if there was plenty enough speed in here then we were just going to sit right off of it. I tried to lay right off it you know. Then when it was time to go I just asked her and she usually takes me there.”

Winning trainer Jaimie Gonzalez, Ministry: “We took her to south Louisiana and focused for this race all year long. She was just fantastic. She ran good at Churchill on a track like this. I wasn't worried at all. She does it all. She makes me look good.”

Jockey Jon Court, second on Avisionofchocolate – “She got a good break then traffic kind of knocked her feet out from underneath there and I had to come from behind but she rallied up for second.  I would have loved to have seen her have a cleaner trip but that’s the way it goes. Had horses that were actually behind me knocking my rear end out from underneath me. They slowed me down so they ended up getting by me once they knocked her off stride about three lengths.”