Plainsman Outduels Thomas Shelby To Capture Razorback Handicap

On the heels of his second straight Eclipse Award, trainer Brad Cox was shut out with favorite Coach earlier on Saturday’s card at Oaklawn in the Grade 3 Bayakoa Handicap. Two races later, Cox rebounded with a gutsy win from trainee Plainsman under his fellow 2021 Eclipse Award winner, jockey Joel Rosario, in the G3 Razorback Handicap.

“He broke very well out of there,” Rosario said. “I could have probably gone (to the lead) on the first turn, but he (Thomas Shelby) decided to go, too, so I kind of just sat on the outside all the way there and see what happens. He did well. He kept fighting. The last part, it looked like the other horse was coming back, but then he did. He wanted to win.”

Shortleaf Stable’s 7-year-old son of Flatter dueled nearly the entire length of the 1 1/16-mile contest with Thomas Shelby (7-1), but Plainsman out finished his rival by a head on the wire. Plainsman, favored at 9-5, stopped the clock in 1:43.79 over the fast main track.

Razorback Football Head Coach Sam Pittman was on hand to present the trophy to the family of prominent Arkansan John Ed Anthony after Plainsman’s victory before an on-track crowd of 27,000. It was the second Razorback victory for Anthony following champion Temperence Hill’s win in 1981, but tnhe first under his Shortleaf Stable banner.

Making his first start since a third in the Cigar Mile (G1) Dec. 4, Plainsman was keen to run early and tracked Thomas Shelby through fractions of :23 and :47 3/5 for the first half mile. The pair was still head and head through the stretch, but a determined Plainsman got the edge late by a neck over his main rival, while covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43 3/5 over a fast track. Popular Kid, a 42-1 longshot, was third. Promise Keeper, squeezed back at the break, checked in fourth.

“He had a good trip,” nCox said. “He broke running. He didn’t let the horse on the inside (Thomas Shelby) get away from him. Both horses ran great and luckily, we came out on the right end of it today. It was a good race.”

Bred in Kentucky by Joseph Minor, Plainsman is out of the winning Street Sense mare S S Pinafore. A $350,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale, Plainsman has now won three graded stakes and improved his earnings to over $1.2 million.

The post Plainsman Outduels Thomas Shelby To Capture Razorback Handicap appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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