04/16/2011 5:56PM

Oaklawn: Uncle Brent returns dividends for new connections in Northern Spur

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Uncle Brent, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., wins the Northern Spur Stakes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.-  Uncle Brent, who was one of the most impressive maiden winners of the Oaklawn Park meet, became a stakes winner on the final card of the program Saturday, when he darted to a 1 3/4-length win over Albergatti in the $100,000 Northern Spur. 

The Northern Spur was one of two stakes supporting the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby. May Day Rose wired the field in the $100,000 Instant Racing.

Uncle Brent won his debut Feb. 21, in a maiden special weight at six furlongs. He led throughout to win in 1:09.40, which was the fastest time for the distance to that point in the meet. A few days later, Uncle Brent was purchased privately by Oaklawn president Charles Cella, who also raced champion Northern Spur. The horse was transferred from his original trainer, Eric Reed, to Lynn Whiting.

Uncle Brent made his two-turn debut in an entry-level allowance, and found himself trailing the field after a slow start before closing with a furious bid to finish second at 4-5. The Northern Spur was a different story, as the horse prompted the pace set by Derivative, moved to the lead through six furlongs in 1:10.88, and finished with some authority while covering the mile on a fast track in 1:37.20.

Whiting said he was pleased to see the horse display his talent in the Northern Spur.

“It vindicated the purchase,” he said. “He won nicely.”

Whiting said Uncle Brent($9.20) would ship to Churchill Downs on Monday, with his next race to be determined. Joe Rocco Jr. rode the winner, who is a gelding by Pioneering.

May Day Rose wires Instant Racing

\May Day Rose won the third stakes of her career in the Instant Racing, after leading throughout to win by three-quarters of a length over Hearts On Fire. It was another three-quarters of a length back in third to Dixie City.

May Day Rose ($4.60) covered the mile in 1:38.25.

“She gave me a great run,” said jockey Martin Garcia, who was aboard for owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Bob Baffert.

May Day Rose won the $100,000 Sharp Cat at Hollywood Park on Nov. 7, and the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita on Jan. 9. She is a daughter of Rockport Harbor.

Attendance on track was 62,364.