The Edmond Sun

December 9, 2013

Edmond trainer pointing Walt to stakes races

The Edmond Sun

OKLA. CITY — The $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park is set for Dec. 15 as the top 2-year-old race of the season. The big race may be lacking one specific 2-year-old who obviously has talent and may be heard from in stakes events down the road. Walt made his second career start and flashed brilliance Dec. 4, winning by 9 3/4 lengths while never encouraged by the whip, hand-ridden throughout the entire race.

Owned by Black Hawk Stable of Elk City and trained by Edmond’s Chris Hartman, jockey Ken Tohill guided Walt to the front of the eight-horse field immediately from the start and easily handled the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.67 over the fast track. The 2-year-old colt broke his maiden status at first-asking in early November and displayed an even better performance in his second attempt.

“If there is any way possible, the owners want to run in the Springboard,” Hartman said. “We just hope we can get on the racetrack (due to inclement weather) before too long and make sure he can go around.”

There are also other races Hartman and Black Hawk Stable are looking at in Hot Springs, Ark. coming up early next year.

Heavily favored at 2-5 in the wagering, Walt paid $2.80 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.20 to show. Big Sugar High was involved until the end of the turn, then held on for second to pay $12.20 to place and $6.40 to show. Mr. Starofthenight was another head behind the runner-up, paying $3 to show.

“He’s a nice horse,” Hartman added. “He can run and is my best prospect for sure for a 3-year-old (after Jan. 1). Excitement is definitely a word you can put to it — he is my best 2-year-old.”

In both races, Walt ran near the front and extinguished is foes on the final turn, gaining separation in deep stretch.

“He looks like he’s going to get around two turns pretty easy,” Hartman said. “That’s a big plus; he’s got a good foundation.

Hartman’s daughter, Jackie Rojas, graduated from Edmond Memorial High School last May and his son, Lucas Rojas, also attended Memorial before graduating in New Mexico due to Chris and Hillary Hartman traveling the country to different race tracks.

A colt by Run Away and Hide from the Silver Deputy mare Miracle Mile, Walt picked up another $17,847 for the effort to move his two-race earnings to $34,378.