02/21/2015 6:35PM

Spring Included prevails in Spring Fever

Coady Photography
Spring Included, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., earns her first stakes victory in the Spring Fever for female sprinters.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Spring Included became a stakes winner on Saturday, when she dueled and went on to a 1 3/4-length win over Heykittykittykitty in the $100,000 Spring Fever at Oaklawn Park. It was another nose back in third to Haveyougoneaway.

The American Beauty was for fillies and mares and served as the middle leg of an Oaklawn sprint series for the division that concludes with the $100,000 Carousel on April 8.

Spring Included ($7.20) battled from between rivals, the trio debating an opening quarter in 22.49 seconds and the half-mile in 46.71. Spring Included began to separate herself from her pace foes into the stretch, and then kept a late-running Heykittykittykitty at bay, surging again as that rival approached her around the eighth pole. The winner covered 5 ½ furlongs in the slop in 1:04.96.

Joe Rocco Jr. was aboard Spring Included for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong and trainer Steve Hobby.

Spring Included earned $60,000 for the win, which was her fourth from 11 starts. Spring Included is also a winner at two turns and sprinting on turf.

“We’re going to keep her sprinting,” said Hobby. “She’ll do about anything, run over anything, and we’re going to sprint her.”

Spring Included is a 4-year-old daughter of Include and the mare Spring. She was bred in Kentucky by Robert B. Trussell.