04/14/2012 5:15PM

Oaklawn: Master Rick beats Drill in Northern Spur


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Master Rick gave his trainer, Steve Asmussen, and his jockey, Corey Nakatani, their fifth wins on the closing-day program at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, when he outfinished 3-5 favorite Drill for a half-length win in the $100,000 Northern Spur.

The one-mile race for 3-year-olds went as the ninth race on the 12-race program led by the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby.

Master Rick ($12.40) settled in second in the Northern Spur, as Double Rah Rah showed the way through fractions of 24.10 seconds for the opening quarter and 48.40 for the half-mile. Master Rick and Drill moved together into the stretch, and battled to the late stages, with Master Rick prevailing in 1:36.73 on a track rated fast. Drill was a clear second, finishing eight lengths in front of third-place finisher Explain.

"It's a great day for Steve, and I am really happy to be part of his team, and [happy] for the owners," said Nakatani. "As for the race, it shaped up a little better than I thought it would. I was biding my time and about the half-mile pole I let him out a little bit and when Drill came to me I opened up a little bit on him, hoping it would work and it did."

Master Rick, who races for Richard L. Davis, was winning for the second time in six starts. He came into the Northern Spur off a five and a quarter length maiden special weight win at Oaklawn on March 17. Master Rick is a son of Master Command.

Asmussen and Nakatani began their Saturday streak in the first race, when Por Que romped and paid $3.20. Their other winners came in the second with Vigilante Law ($6.8), the sixth with Beer Garden ($4.80), and the seventh with Astrology ($4.80).