Trainer Ron Moquett is returning to Southern California with another shot at winning the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint with the talented gelding Whitmore. In 2013, he was third with Gentlemen’s Bet.
Like Whitmore, Gentlemen’s Bet prepped for the race in the Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland’s October meet, but the two speedsters are quite different. Gentlemen’s Bet was fourth in the Phoenix, while Whitmore wore down the leaders to win by a nose and earned a fees-paid guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup starting gate in the “Win and You’re In” event.
“(They are) different in the fact that Gentlemen’s Bet was a naturally fast horse; both obviously are very good horses,” Moquett said. “I think Whitmore finds ways to win, and ‘Gentlemen’ was just a really talented fast horse. Whitmore is a battler.”
Whitmore first flashed his brilliance in his career debut by sailing to victory at Churchill Downs late in his two-year-old season. He was a star of his crop at three and tried his luck in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, but was a disappointment that afternoon when failing to finish among the top three for just the second and final time of his ultra-consistent career.
Given a break following the Derby, the gelding returned to the races last December and has been nearly perfect ever since racing at distances under one mile. He has won six of his last eight races, including five stakes, and was third in the other two races.
Whitmore is named for Moquett’s for classmate Wilbur Whitmore, who was a star on the football team at Pocola High School in Oklahoma.
“I decided that he was kind of a freak athlete,” Moquett told the Daily Racing Form. “He looked like everything he did was easy, and it looked like he was good at it. And, I thought to myself, ‘Well, that reminds me of Wilbur Whitmore.’ He’s a natural athlete and a good guy. I was a friend of his and his brothers in high school.”
|No Replay Available||December 03, 2016||AQUEDUCT|
|No Replay Available||May 07, 2016||Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands||CHURCHILL DOWNS||1|
|No Replay Available||April 16, 2016||Arkansas Derby||OAKLAWN PARK||1|
|No Replay Available||March 19, 2016||Rebel S.||OAKLAWN PARK||2|
|No Replay Available||February 15, 2016||Southwest S.||OAKLAWN PARK||3|
|No Replay Available||January 16, 2016||OAKLAWN PARK|
|No Replay Available||November 21, 2015||$1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot S.||DELTA DOWNS||3|
|No Replay Available||November 06, 2015||CHURCHILL DOWNS|