01/24/2013 4:31PM

Oaklawn Park: Alsvid can make owner's King Cotton wish come true

Benoit & Associates
Alsvid will give owner Jim Rogers a chance to win the King Cotton.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Jim Rogers is finally getting a crack at the King Cotton. The owner has long wanted to win the $60,000 sprint for older horses at Oaklawn Park, and on Saturday he will be represented by a leading contender in Alsvid.

“This is a race we’ve had on our radar for quite some time,” said Chris Hartman, who trains Alsvid.

The King Cotton will be run over six furlongs, and the field of six includes Apprehender, who Alsvid edged by a nose in the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Championship in September, and Hamazing Destiny, who last fall was second in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga.

Alsvid established himself as a quality sprinter two years ago, when he won the $75,000 Kip Deville at Remington as a 2-year-old. He defeated a strong field in what was his second career start, and following the race the King Cotton conversation first came up with Rogers, Hartman said.

“One of the questions he asked me was ‘Do you think he’s good enough to win the King Cotton?’ ” Hartman said. “He said he always wanted to win the race. He couldn’t tell me the reason why. He just said it’s a race that he always liked, always wanted to win. It’s been on his bucket list, and maybe we can get that thing knocked out.”

Alsvid was Remington’s horse of the meet in 2012 for his win in the track’s Sprint Championship. He also took the $100,000 David M. Vance Sprint at Remington in August, winning the six-furlong race in a blazing 1:08.60. Alsvid comes into the King Cotton off a third-place finish in the $150,000 Zia Park Derby at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 1.

“I think the cutback to three-quarters will help him,” Hartman said.

Cliff Berry will ride Alsvid for the first time Saturday. The horse will be the first King Cotton starter for Rogers, a resident of Elks City, Okla., who races Alsvid with his wife, Jo Brenda Rogers.

“Jim Rogers used to train horses in Oklahoma a long time ago,” Hartman said. “Berry used to ride for him. They go back a long ways.”

Alsvid will break from the rail, with Apprehender to his immediate outside, in post 2. Apprehender has made one start since the Remington Sprint Championship, winning allowance at that track Dec. 8. Alex Birzer has the mount for trainer Chris Richard.

The field is completed by Ready for More, Laurie’s Rocket, and Bet the Power.