By My Standards Earns Nose Victory Over Rushie In Oaklawn Mile

A three-time graded stakes winner last year as a 4-year-old including a victory in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm‘s By My Standards successfully began his 5-year-old campaign with a hard-fought win in the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile, one of the co-features on Arkansas Derby day at the Hot Springs, Ark., track.

Ridden by Gabriel Saez for trainer Bret Calhoun, By My Standards – a 5-year-old by Goldencents – was up just in time to beat Rushie by a nose, covering one mile on a fast main track in 1:37.02 and paying $6.80 as the second choice in the wagering behind the runner-up, who was sent off the 9-5 favorite.

Wells Bayou finished third, followed by Gun It, and Blackberry Wine.

Pioneer Spirit, a 21-1 longshot, outran Rushie to get the early lead, going fractions of :23.21, :47.82 and 1:12.68 for the opening six furlongs.  Blackberry Wine applied pressure from the outside on the final turn, with Rushie and jockey Joel Rosario getting through on the inside on the turn for home and quickly taking command. By My Standards was travelling well on the outside and came up to challenge the leader in mid-stretch. Rushie was not finished, however, fighting back gamely under Rosario and just losing the head bob at the wire.

The win was the seventh in 15 career starts for By My Standards, who was bred in Kentucky by Don Ladd. He won the G2 Louisiana Derby at 3 and added the G2 New Orleans Classic, Oaklawn Handicap and G2 Alysheba Stakes last year at 4.

Rushie, trained in Southern California by Michael McCarthy, was also making his seasonal debut after a 3-year-old campaign that included one stakes victory in the G2 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs Sept. 5.

Post-race quotes:

Winning Trainer Bret Calhoun, By My Standards: “Watching it live, I thought he did (win). But when I started watching the replay, I thought he might have gotten beat on the bob. He was really ready. He really was well prepared, but I was more concerned about the short stretch mile, honestly. He’s just a really good horse and he keeps overcoming. Honestly, I thought he might get shuffled back a little farther than he did. I thought Gabe (Saez) did a great job getting him in a very good position early without having to use too much horse. It kind of played out like we thought. There was quite a bit of speed in there. Some of the horses on the outside had speed and they had to make some quick decisions. Gabe just rode a great race. Fortunate enough to get him in a good spot early. It took every bit of that stretch to get there. It was a great race.”

Winning jockey Gabriel Saez, By My Standards: “I was trying to get that one position I wanted on the first turn. I got bounced around a little bit, but I relaxed and just tried to keep in that striking position. I was worried about the four (Rushie) inside of me a little bit, but when I saw him go through, I started to go after him. When we turned for home, my horse just left them and kicked in the extra gear I was expecting from him. Luckily we got there.”

Trainer Brad Cox, third with Wells Bayou: “Ran real well. Thought it was a big effort. Kind of pulled a little bit up the backside, but when he caught daylight down on the inside he was able to get a clean run in the lane and ran on. I thought it was a very good effort.”

The post By My Standards Earns Nose Victory Over Rushie In Oaklawn Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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