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Gray Attempt will now move on to the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby after a front-running, 3 1/4-length victory over Hidden Ruler in the six-furlong Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Cutting back to a sprint after finishing a troubled 11th in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest Stakes, Gray Attempt controlled the pace from the start under Jon Court and cruised home to win for the fourth time in six lifetime starts.
Trained by Jinks Fires, Gray Attempt was timed in a solid 1:09.72 and paid $5.20 to win as the 8-5 favorite before an estimated crowd of 19,000.
Gray Attempt, in his two-turn debut, won the one-mile Smarty Jones Stakes in January, The gray son of Graydar came out of the Southwest with a hind-end problem, Fires said, after being sawed off entering the first turn.
A three-time stakes winner, Gray Attempt has earned $261,366 for owner Dwight Pruett of Texarkana, Ark.
Order of finish: Gray Attempt, Hidden Ruler (beaten 3 1/4 lengths), Six Shooter (3 1/4 lengths, nose), Nitrous (3 3/4 lengths), Oncewewerebrothers (8 3/4 lengths), Keesawah (9 1/4 lengths).
Winning trainer Jinks Fires: "He did everything we thought he could do today, and a little more. I was just hoping we didn't lose as much training after that race that he might come up a little empty on us then. But he didn't. The Arkansas Derby is next. We think he’ll go farther than this. Time will tell.”
Winning jockey Jon Court: "He relaxed, and I felt like he was ready to take two. I know he has some strong early speed, but we needed something to finish with. So I was happy with the finish."