01/16/2016 7:05PM

Street Strategy beats Departing by head in Fifth Season

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Coady Photography
Street Strategy, with C.J. McMahon riding, wins his first stakes in the Fifth Season.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - There were a lot of firsts surrounding Street Strategy on Saturday, when he edged favorite Departing by a head to capture the $100,000 Fifth Season at Oaklawn Park.

It was Street Strategy’s first start since the Breeders’ Cup. It was his first win in a stakes race. It was his first race for owner Randy Patterson. And he was the first local mount for winning jockey C.J. McMahon.

The Fifth Season took place before an estimated ontrack crowd of 18,500 on what was the second day of the meet. Handle on the nine-race program from all sources was $3.7 million, with $1.2  million of that amount bet ontrack.

Street Strategy ($7), who ran seventh to Liam’s Map in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, settled into a stalking position Saturday as Ecleto Red took the field through fractions of 23.94 seconds for the opening quarter, 48.39 for the half-mile, and 1:13.17 for six furlongs. Street Strategy advanced and put in a determined run through the lane to cover 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast in 1:43.76.

“He gave me everything he had. Thank God,” said McMahon, who was in from Delta Downs to ride for trainer Randy Morse.

Patterson purchased Street Strategy from the estate of Dave Clark, who died in 2015.  Clark competed as Iron Horse Racing.

Street Strategy earned a shot at the Breeders’ Cup following a powerful optional $100,000 claiming win at Keeneland. He picked up $60,000 for his victory in the Fifth Season, which was his sixth career win from 11 starts. Street Strategy is a 5-year-old horse by Street Sense and was bred in Kentucky by Glencrest Farm and Darley.

The Fifth Season was the first race in Oaklawn’s series for older route horses that continues next month with the $100,000 Essex on Feb. 13. The series finale is the Grade 2, $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 16.