Fresh off a fourth-place finish behind Raise Cain (Violence) in the Mar. 4 GIII Gotham S. at Aqueduct, Eyeing Clover (c, 3, Lookin At Lucky–Floral Park, by Forest Wildcat) got a black-type win of his own in Oaklawn's Hot Springs S. Saturday. It was blinkers off for the chestnut, who encountered his share of trouble throughout. He broke like a shot, leaping straight to the early lead for a few brief strides until the pair of Rocking Rocket (American Pharoah) and Cactus (Twirling Candy) hounded him with the latter coming over and appearing to step straight into his path. Eyeing Clover steadied and looked to turn a bit rank but didn't throw in the towel. As the first quarter and half ticked by in :23.01 and :46.85, he regained his rail position, shifted outside when he found some room, and moved disdainfully by the original duo that caused him trouble. Eyeing Clover took control, drifted slightly in the lane, and was chased home by Gun Pilot (Gun Runner), whom he held comfortably at bay by a length. It was another 6 1/2 lengths back to Cactus.
“He broke very sharp, put me in a good spot,” said winning pilot Florent Geroux. “I let those two horses in front of me go, dictate [the pace]. The first turn was a little bit messy to be honest. Nice trip down the backside, relaxed. When those horses in front of me started getting tired, I just took over and took command. He was brave. [Gun Pilot] was making a nice run and my horse held him off…. He ran good. A mile, to be honest, is probably about as far as he wants to go.”
Prior to his unplaced Gotham, Eyeing Clover was unbeaten. After a sharp debut over six furlongs Dec. 31 at Oaklawn, he shipped to Fair Grounds for an optional allowance Jan. 28 at the same distance to romp by 9 3/4 lengths and register an 86 Beyer Speed Figure. The Gotham, at the same mile distance as the Hot Springs, was his first start beyond six furlongs.
Eyeing Clover is the fourth black-type winner for his dam, whose GSW Heavenhasmynikki (Majestic Warrior) sold for $775,000 in foal to Into Mischief at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale and was sent to Japan after Katsumi Yoshida signed the ticket. The mare has a yearling filly by American Pharoah and was bred back to Uncle Mo for this spring. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
HOT SPRINGS S., $200,000, Oaklawn, 4-1, 3yo, 1m, 1:39.45, ft.
1–EYEING CLOVER, 117, c, 3, by Lookin At Lucky
1st Dam: Floral Park, by Forest Wildcat
2nd Dam: Floral Beauty, by Gone West
3rd Dam: Chelsey Flower, by His Majesty
($55,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Ten
Strike Racing; B-Mike Abraham (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Florent
Geroux. $128,050. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, $230,650. *1/2
to Dougs Buddy (Badge of Silver), MSW & GSP, $213,959;
1/2 to Floral Sky (Sky Mesa), SW, $206,732; 1/2 to
Heavenhasmynikki (Majestic Warrior), GSW, $426,730.
2–Gun Pilot, 119, c, 3, Gun Runner–Bush Pilot, by Smart
Strike. 1ST BLACK TYPE. O/B-Three Chimneys Farm, LLC
(KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $39,400.
3–Cactus, 117, c, 3, Twirling Candy–Gypsy Judy, by Kitalpha.
($52,000 Ylg '21 EASOCT; $300,000 2yo '22 OBSMAR).
1ST BLACK TYPE. O-Ronnie Patterson; B-James A Hibbert
(MD); T-Randy L. Morse. $19,700.
Margins: 1, 6HF, 3/4. Odds: 1.80, 1.20, 5.10.
Also Ran: Powerful, Rocking Rocket. Scratched: Carmel Road, Frosted Departure.