By My Standards Rolls To Third Straight Victory In Oaklawn Handicap

Getting a perfect trip from Gabriel Saez after breaking from the 12 post, Allied Racing Stable LLC’s By My Standards scored his second consecutive Grade 2 victory and third win in a row for trainer Bret Calhoun in Saturday’s $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark.

Tracking pacesetter Warrior’s Charge throughout, the 4-year-old colt by Goldencents took command in the stretch and won convincingly by 1 3/4 lengths for his fifth victory in nine career starts. He was the third betting choice at 9-2 odds.

Warrior’s Charge held second, with Mr. Freeze, the 3-1 favorite, a half length back third and Tacitus fourth in the field of 13 older runners. They were followed by Tax, Captivating Moon, Sky Promise, Chess Chief, Night Ops, Combatant, Bravazo, Identifier and Trophy Chaser.

Improbable, who drew the 14 post, was scratched.

By My Standards covered 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in a quick 1:47.80, the fastest Oaklawn Handicap since Medaglia d’Oro in 2003. By My Standards carried 118 pounds, three pounds fewer than highweight Tacitus.

By My Standards took five starts to break his maiden, but followed up his first career win last Feb. 16 with a 22-1 upset win in the G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. After placing 11th in the Kentucky Derby, By My Standards went to the sidelines because of a quarter crack and did not resurface until this year’s Fair Grounds meeting. He dominated an allowance field by six lengths on Feb. 9, then won the G2 New Orleans Classic Stakes by three lengths.

By My Standards has won all three of his 2020 races in similar fashion, sitting just off the pace in second. In the Oaklawn Handicap, Saez was content to let Warrior’s Charge and Florent Geroux carve out the fractions – :23.03, :46.91, and 1:10.67 for the opening six furlongs – and then engage their opponent from the outside at the quarter pole.

Warrior’s Charge, who also went to the sidelines for a lengthy stretch after finishing fourth in the G1 Preakness in 2019, was coming off back-to-back front-running wins in an allowance race and the G3 Razorback Handicap — both at Oaklawn in his two starts of 2020.

The two horses engaged until the eighth pole, the mile timer stopped in 1:35.36, with Warrior’s Charge giving way grudgingly in the final furlong.


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