Mystic Guide Romps Over Sloppy Track In Razorback Handicap

Godolphin homebred Mystic Guide had never run on anything other than a fast track during his six-race career, but the Ghostzapper 4-year-old colt took to a very sloppy surface at Oaklawn on Saturday, winning the 62nd running of the Grade 3, $600,000 Razorback Handicap by six lengths under Luis Saez.

Silver Prospector finished second, with 7-5 favorite Owendale another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and Hunka Burning Love fourth in the field of seven older runners.

Mystic Guide covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.33 and paid $6.40 to win as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering. He carried 121 pounds as the high weight under the handicap conditions.

Heavy rain hit the Hot Springs, Ark., track on Saturday and the Razorback was delayed for a few minutes as the track crew worked on the sloppy surface. The race had been postponed twice because of the winter storm that hit the South earlier this month.

Hunka Burning Love went to the front, out-hustling Long Range Toddy and Mystic Guide to take the early lead and setting fractions of :23.69, :47.61, and 1:12.99 for the first six furlongs. Long Range Toddy sat second, with Silver Prospector along the rail in third, alongside Mailman Money in the run down the backstretch.

Mystic Guide commenced his rally approaching the far turn, and was out in the middle of the track when he took the lead at the top of the stretch. He passed the mile marker in 1:38.08 and continued to widen his advantage in the final furlong.

“Everything was perfect, that was the trip that we wanted,” said Saez. “We had the perfect spot from the outside. I just tried to keep the horse clean and he was comfortable all the way. He got to the top of the stretch and took off. It was a great race.”

Silver Prospector saved ground but may have been on the deepest part of the track along the rail. Owendale was never a factor, racing far back in the early stages of the race and rallying late to get third.

“He had a beautiful trip,” said Silver Prospector’s rider, Ricardo Santana Jr. “I can’t make any excuses for that horse today. The pace was perfect. I sat behind the speed. I was off the fence. When I started riding him, he gave me everything he had.”

Joel Rosario, aboard Owendale, said: Good trip, but it was on a sloppy track. It looked like the winner was doing it easy, in hand. He still ran well. Probably if it wasn’t raining, he would have run better.”

The win was the third from seven starts for Mystic Guide, who was produced from the A.P. Indy mare Music Note. He was making his first start since finishing second last Oct. 10 in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup to Happy Saver. Prior to that, Mystic Guide won the G2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

“Look, it’s so rewarding with a horse like this that we were really patient with as a 3-year-old,” said Stidham. “Spaced his races, gave him time to develop. It’s really paying off now. That’s the best part of it all. Jimmy Bell and Dan Pride are just always allowing us to do the right thing for the horse. Now, we’re paying dividends. As far as they go, he’ll run. Certainly in the back of our mind, the Dubai World Cup is there. Now, after a performance like that, it’s on the table, for sure.”

The post Mystic Guide Romps Over Sloppy Track In Razorback Handicap appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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