Updated on 09/17/2011 9:12PM

Jonesboro captures Northern Spur

Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Jonesboro wins the $75,000 Northern Spur Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Jonesboro completed a unique double on Saturday at Oaklawn Park when he rolled to a three-length win in the $75,000 Northern Spur Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds. He won one of the first maiden races of the season, and the meet's final stakes. Prince T. closed for second, three-quarters of a length in front of third-place finisher Jazzy Gallop.

The Northern Spur was part of the Racing Festival of the South at Oaklawn, when nine stakes worth a cumulative $2,275,000 were decided over the final six days of the meet. The finale was the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby on Saturday, which was won by Afleet Alex.

Jonesboro ($8.40) stalked pacesetter Munificence through fractions of 23.24 seconds for the opening quarter, and 46.88 seconds for the half-mile mark. He overtook him approaching the quarter pole, and went on to cover the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.91.

"He ran a real professional race," said Pat Valenzuela, who rode the winner for trainer Randy Morse. "He tracked the leader easily around the turn and went about his business."

Morse sent out Jonesboro to win his maiden opening day of the Oaklawn meet Jan. 21, and the horse drew out to an eight and a three-quarter length win in a one-mile race. His next start came in the Northern Spur, and next-race plans are pending for the horse who will ship to Morse's base in Kentucky.

"We'll see how he comes out of the race and go from there," said Morse.

Jonesboro earned $45,000 for the win, his second in seven career starts. He has now earned $86,925. He races for Michael Langford.

Handle on the 12-race program Saturday was $13,012,123, with an additional $726,194 bet on a national pick four that included races from Oaklawn and Keeneland. The hub was Oaklawn.

Attendance on Saturday was 71,010, and it ranks as the second-highest all-time behind the 71,203 that attended the 1986 Arkansas Derby won by Rampage. Last year, attendance for the Arkansas Derby was 62,264. The race was won by Smarty Jones.