04/08/2015 5:24PM

Spring Included prevails in Carousel Stakes

Coady Photography
Spring Included and jockey Joe Rocco Jr. win the Carousel Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Wednesday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Spring Included employed different tactics Wednesday in the $100,000 Carousel at Oaklawn Park, but the results were the same as she won her second straight stakes race in the six-furlong feature for fillies and mares. Spring Included, who won last month’s $100,000 Spring Fever on the front end, was content to track the pace in the Carousel.

“With the outside post, you can lay off of them a little if you want to,” winning trainer Steve Hobby said of breaking from gate No. 7 in the field of seven Wednesday.

Spring Included ($5.40) broke on top and was content to track Chortle and Yucca as those two raced through fractions of 21.57 seconds for the opening quarter and 44.79 for the half-mile. Spring Included took over in midstretch and went on to a 2 1/2-length win, covering the distance on a fast track in 1:09.71.

Joe Rocco Jr. was aboard the winner for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong.

Street Story finished second in the Carousel. Chortle, who was third, was disqualified for interfering with Electric Temptress and placed fourth in a move that elevated Electric Temptress to third. 

Hobby said plans are to keep Spring Included sprinting, among her options turf sprints.

The Carousel was part of the annual Racing Festival of the South, a grouping of stakes run over the final week of the meet at Oaklawn. The series continues Thursday with the Grade 3, $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. Oaklawn closes out its meet Saturday with four stakes, including the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby.