04/14/2016 6:07PM

Super Saks scores for Lukas in Carousel Stakes

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Super Saks (right), ridden by Channing Hill, gives trainer D. Wayne Lukas his 15th stakes win in the Racing Festival of the South in the Carousel for female sprinters.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.- Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won more Racing Festival of the South stakes at Oaklawn than any other horseman and he added to his totals Thursday when Super Saks withstood a bid from 4-5 favorite Haveyougoneaway, then a claim of foul, to capture the $150,000 Carousel Stakes.

The Carousel, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, continued the $3.75 million Festival. The series of stakes over closing week will feature the Apple Blossom Handicap on Friday and the Arkansas Derby on the final card of the meet Saturday. 

Super Saks ($13.40) was always prominent in the Carousel, setting fractions of 21.95 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.79 for the half-mile. In the late going she had more when confronted by Haveyougoneaway, and went on to cover the distance - on a track upgraded to fast mid-card - in 1:10.69.

Channing Hill was aboard Super Saks, and following the race the rider of the third-place finisher, Ghost Locket, claimed foul for an incident down the backstretch. But the objection was disallowed and no change was made to the order of finish by the stewards.

The win gave Lukas his 15th victory in a Racing Festival stakes dating back to 1982.

“The festival has been good to us since ’82,” Lukas said. “I like the festival for the reason that it showcases everything in the barn, whereas when you get to some of these tracks they have a day, which they might have two stakes, one grass, one big one on dirt, maybe a sprint. But this gives you a whole week of quality racing.

“Having said that, Oaklawn Park, they could run a bunch of burros and they’d pack the grandstand. They love racing and they come in. It is a festival here and it means a lot to this community.”

Lukas said Super Saks has improved mentally, and is finishing stronger in her races. She showed that in the Carousel, when she kept the late-running Haveyougoneaway, who was seeking a sweep of the filly and mare sprint stakes at Oaklawn, at bay in the late stages.

“She shot out of the gate, was steady down the backside, took a quick breath around the turn and from the top of the lane she shot home,” said Hill. 

Lukas said Super Saks would be considered for upcoming stakes at Churchill Downs, among them the Humana Distaff at seven furlongs and the Churchill Downs Distaff at a mile on turf, both May 7.

Super Saks earned $90,000 for the win in the Carousel. She has now won 6 of 18 starts and $322,080. Super Saks is a daughter of Sky Mesa and she races for Robert Baker and William Mack. She was bred in Kentucky by Kennelot Stables.