Veteran sprinter Riley Tucker won a spirited duel to take the $50,000 King Cotton S. at Oaklawn Park by 1 1/4-lengths on Jan. 28. The 7-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday was a $375,000 purchase by Zayat Stables at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton summer yearling sale for $375,000.
Riley Tucker broke sharply from post 1, but locked up in a duel with even money favorite Hamazing Destiny almost immediately. The pair raced as a team for five furlongs, when Riley Tucker dug in to edge away in the final furlong. The margin at the wire was 1 1/4-lengths as the winner stopped the timer in 1:11.15 for the six furlongs.
“Steve called and said ‘the old man ran excellent.’ I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean the jockey,” said Mitch Dennison, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen.
Riley Tucker's King Cotton victory was his second career stakes win; he also scored in the 2010 Aristides S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. His record now stands at 7-8-6 in 38 starts, with earnings of $625,566.
Harlan's Holiday has started off 2012 very well, with two $100,000 stakes horses in addition Riley Tucker this month. He also was covering sire on a $250,000 mare, and his Keeneland January sale short yearlings averaged 35% higher than his 2011 yearlings.