Super Saver's Hedge Fund was very impressive taking the Essex H. on St. Patrick's Day at Oaklawn Park, rallying back strongly in the stretch after giving up the lead to take the 1 1/16-mile contest for older horses by nearly three lengths.
The 4-year-old colt, owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, SF Racing and Head of Plains Partners, ran a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure and is likely to make his next start in the $750,000 Oaklawn H. (G2) on April 14.
Hedge Fund came into the Essex off a Feb. 11 allowance win at Gulfstream Park, his first start since last May. On the lead through the first half-mile in a swift :46.13, he was passed by Dalmore going into the final turn. Dalmore never got more than a neck in front though, and Hedge Fund retook the lead in upper stretch, then powered clear to win officially by 2 3/4-lengths in 1:42.06 on a fast track.
"I tried to rate him and tried to go as slow as I could," jockey Jose Ortiz said. "I saw that I went :46 [at the half-mile marker], but he was doing it pretty easy. The track is pretty fast today and he gave me a great run down the stretch."
Hedge Fund, who was also bred by WinStar, is now 3-1-1 in seven starts. Last year at three, he was beaten narrowly in the Illinois Derby (G3) and finished third in the Sunland Derby (G3). He has now won $376,560.
Hedge Fund is Super Saver's third stakes winner, and fouth stakes horse overall, this year. He is also the sire of Inside Straight, last year's Oaklawn H. winner is also aiming for a repeat in that race this year.