04/14/2012 4:38PM

Oaklawn: Former claimer Outta Tune takes Count Fleet

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Coady Photography/ Renee Torbit
Outta Tune, ridden by Terry Thompson, wins his fourth straight race of the Oaklawn meet in the Count Fleet.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.- Outta Tune began the Oaklawn Park meet in the $5,000 starter allowance ranks, but by the time the season ended on Saturday he was a graded stakes winner.

In a remarkable rise, Outta Tune forged to a half-length win over Apriority in the Grade 3, $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap just two starts after winning a starter allowance. Hamazing Destiny was another neck back in third in the Count Fleet, which was the first of four consecutive stakes on the card Saturday.

The races were worth a combined $1.7 million, making the program the richest ever run at Oaklawn. Attendance ontrack was 63,804.

Outta Tune ($10.80) sat just off the pace set by Izzy Rules, the win-streaking mare who jumped out to the lead and ran the opening quarter in 22.11 seconds. Izzy Rules continued to lead the field through a half-mile in 45.12, with Outta Tune continuing to prompt the pace. In the stretch, Outta Tune was part of a four-way battle to the wire, taking the lead past the sixteenth pole and going on to win the six-furlong race in a meet-best time of 1:09.35 for the first stakes win of his career.

“He’s a fantastic horse,” said Terry Thompson, who was aboard the winner for Maggi Moss and trainer Chris Richard. “Today, he laid it all out on the line.”

Outta Tune started the meet in the starter allowance ranks, eligible for the $5,000 starter after being claimed for that price last July at Prairie Meadows. The horse made his first start of the meet in January, and won a $10,000 starter allowance. He then took the $5,000 starter in February, before stepping up and winning an optional$62,500 claiming race in one of the meet’s best times for six furlongs March 25.

“After his last race, this doesn’t surprise me a bit,” Thompson said of the big win Saturday. “This is his home ground.”

Outta Tune, a 7-year-old by Jump Start, has now won 17 of 44 starts and $336,663.