03/21/2013 3:54PM

Oaklawn Park: Flashpoint seeks second straight win in Hot Springs

Barbara D. Livingston
Flashpoint won the $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint in March and seeks a second straight stakes score in Saturday's $75,000 Hot Springs.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Flashpoint had a flashback to his best form in his last start, and a repeat of that effort will make him one to reckon with Saturday at Oaklawn in the $75,000 Hot Springs. The six-furlong race for older horses is a springboard to the Grade 3, $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap here April 13.

Flashpoint won the $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint with a Beyer Speed Figure of 101 in his last start March 2. He is part of a five-horse Hot Springs field that includes Laurie’s Rocket, a winner of two allowances at the meet, and Apprehender, who captured the $60,000 King Cotton in his last start Jan. 26.

Flashpoint returned from a one-year layoff in November and was fourth in an $80,000 optional claimer at Churchill Downs. The race was his first start for Steve Asmussen, who trains the Grade 2 winner for Peachtree Stable. Flashpoint then won his second start back, a $62,500 optional claimer at Fair Grounds, and ran fourth in the track’s $72,000 Gaudin Memorial.

Flashpoint proceeded to the Sam Houston Sprint, which served as the stakes debut for Bind, and always was prominent for a three-quarter-length win, covering six furlongs in 1:10.20. The triple-digit Beyer that Flashpoint earned was the third such number of his career, following a 2011 season in which he put up a 102 for winning the Grade 2 Hutcheson and a 104 for taking the Grade 3 Jersey Shore.

“He’s an unbelievably classy horse to be around,” Asmussen said. “He’s got so much personality, and I was very impressed with his win at Houston. I know it was a $50,000 listed [stakes], but there were some pretty good horses in there, and he ran really well.

“It was the first time since he’s come back that he was very competitive. I think he’d just kind of been going through the motions in his previous races. But when they kind of put a little pressure on him around the turn, he accelerated willingly, and it was by far his best race for us.”

Luis Quinonez has the mount on Flashpoint, who will break from post 5 and could get an ideal tracking trip behind the front-running Apprehender.

Laurie’s Rocket stalked and rolled in a six-furlong allowance in his last start Feb. 16, earning a Beyer of 95.

“He’s getting good,” said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Laurie’s Rocket for Willis Horton. “I think he’ll run a mile too. I might run him a mile. But this weekend, it’s the Hot Springs, then the Count Fleet.”

Victor Lebron has the mount.