Mitole (Eskendereya) made the grade with an ultra-impressive win over two-time Count Fleet Sprint defending champ Whitmore here.
He blasted out from his rail draw and was hounded by Whitmore through fractions of :22.49 and :45.54 over the sloppy going. Whitmore challenged for command while drifting out some as they turned for home, but Mitole had plenty left in the tank and splashed clear in the stretch to post a stylish victory.
Mitole entered riding a four-race winning streak, including runaway tallies in last term’s Bachelor S. in Arkansas in April and Pimlico’s Chick Lang S. in May. Off since the latter, he aired in his comebacker in Arkansas in an optional claimer Mar. 2.
“To win his first graded stakes is special,” winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He’s an elite caliber horse. He handles the wet track extremely well. He won the Chick Lang under similar conditions. He broke well and was fast to the wire. Very grateful to have him in our barn.”
One of 18 stakes winners for 2010’s GI Wood Memorial winner Eskendereya, Mitole is out of a mare by burgeoning broodmare sire Indian Charlie, whose daughters have produced 50 blacktype winners to date. Mitole’s dam is out of 2007 Astoria S. winner Glacken’s Gal, making her a half-sister to 2013 GII Davona Dale winner Live Lively (Medaglia d’Oro). Three members of Mitole’s immediate family have gone through the sales ring in the last year, including the now 3-year-old Tipperary Jack (Violence), a half-brother who sold at Goffs for the equivalent of $252,320, and a yearling half-brother by Oxbow who brought $17,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale in February. In addition, his dam sold in foal to Into Mischief at Keeneland November, bringing $240,000 from WinStar Farm.
COUNT FLEET SPRINT H.-GIII, $490,000, Oaklawn, 4-13, 4yo/up, 6f, 1:09.36, sy.
1–MITOLE, 121, c, 4, by Eskendereya
1st Dam: Indian Miss, by Indian Charlie
2nd Dam: Glacken’s Gal, by Smoke Glacken
3rd Dam: Lady Diplomat, by Silver Deputy
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($20,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $140,000 2yo ’17 OBSAPR). O-L. William and Corinee Heiligbrodt; B-Edward A. Cox (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana, Jr. $300,000. Lifetime Record: 9-6-2-1, $701,510. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Whitmore, 123, g, 6, Pleasantly Perfect–Melody’s Spirit, by Scat Daddy. O-Robert V LaPenta, Southern Springs Stables and Head of Plains Partners LLC; B-John Liviakis (KY); T-Ron Moquett. $100,000.
3–Bourbon Cowboy, 117, g, 7, Cowboy Cal–First Installment, by Broken Vow. ($45,000 Ylg ’13 OBSAUG; $50,000 2yo ’14 OBSAPR). O-Randy Howg, Selman Shaby and Lana Smith; B-Richard Forbush & Pin Oak Stud, LLC (KY); T-Robertino Diodoro. $50,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 7, NK. Odds: 0.40, 1.60, 16.50.
Also Ran: Operation Stevie, Storm Advisory.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.