07/04/2016 9:22PM

Outside Nashville delivers as favorite in Oak Tree Sprint

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Outside Nashville (left), ridden by Ricardo Gonzalez, wins the Oak Tree Sprint by 1 1/2 lengths Monday.

Outside Nashville ($5.60), bet down to favoritism on heavy wagering in the final three minutes before post time, justified his backers’ confidence with an easy 1 1/2-length victory in the $56,150 Oak Tree Sprint on closing day of the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meeting Monday at the Alameda County Fair Grounds.

Outside Nashville got a perfect trip, sitting eighth early in the field of nine as Cartoonist and the 3-year-old He’s a Tiger, who had been a strong favorite until the late wagering, dueled through a 22.07-second opening quarter and a 44.59 half.

Ricardo Gonzalez let Outside Nashville move up easily on his own approaching the turn. The 6-year-old wound up four wide but was moving effortlessly as he closed on the leaders. Running in the clear, he passed a tiring He’s a Tiger, but Cartoonist was continuing on gamely.

Outside Nashville, who had never won on dirt but had run second and third in stakes in two starts here, had the momentum and rushed to the lead, winning the six-furlong race in 1:08.85 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns the Broken Vow gelding in partnership with John Carver and Green Smith.

Cartoonist finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Kochees for second, with He’s a Tiger fourth, another 2 1/4 lengths back. Cartoonist and Kochees are stablemates in Jonathan Wong’s barn and are owned by Scott Herbertson. Pedro Alvarez and Mitchell T. Woodard are partners with Herbertson in Kochees.

Outside Nashville earned $32,250 for his ninth victory and sixth stakes win in 34 starts. His career earnings are $390,805. He has won seven of 12 six-furlong races, with three seconds and a third.