Bourne in Nixa went from the back of the pack to first in the final quarter mile to win Oaklawn Park's $125,000 Gazebo S. by 1 3/4-lengths for his first career stakes win.
The 3-year-old More Than Ready colt had tried two turns last time out, but cutting back to one turn seemed to be the key for the Steve Margolis trainee, who had won sprint races at Indiana Grand and Churchill Downs last autumn.
With plenty of speed in the Gazebo, jockey Ramon Vazquez elected to let Bourne in Nixa settle well off the pace as Direct Dial sped through the first quarter mile in :22.06 seconds. Around the turn, Bourne in Nixa began to creep closer along the inside. Vazquez swung three-wide into the stretch, then ran by the heavy favorite Mitole inside the furlong marker, going on to win in 1:11.75 on the sloppy racetrack [WATCH RACE
“I knew there was a lot of speed in the race. I wanted to take my horse back and just make one run, and he finished,” said Vazquez.
Bourne in Nixa has now won three of five starts and earned $132,930 for owner/breeder Robert and Lawana Low.
More Than Ready, who had a pair of Breeders' Cup winners last autumn, already has seven stakes horses in 2018, topped by Roy H, last year's champion sprinter, who took the Palos Verdes S. (G2) in his 2018 debut.