August 11, 2020

Tom’s d’Etat flies late to capture Oaklawn Mile

Tom's d'Etat mowed down Improbable in the Oaklawn Mile (Coady Photography)

Tom’s d’Etat kicked off a potentially stellar campaign on a winning note Saturday with a come-from-behind win in the $150,000 Oaklawn Mile.

Favored at 4-5 in the field of 11, Tom’s d’Etat broke sharply from post 3 but was quickly taken back into a ground-saving position by Joel Rosario six-to-seven lengths off the pace. While well behind the early leaders over a track that had absorbed rain for more than half an hour, Tom’s d’Etat was aided by a strong pace of :22.90, :46.09, and 1:10.34 set by Pioneer Spirit. The latter was under steady pressure throughout, with second choice Improbable racing four deep from the start.

Improbable surged to the lead around the far turn while Tom’s d’Etat commenced his move around the same time, getting off the inside and making a very wide rally. Despite a short stretch run, Tom’s d’Etat made great strides while under minimal urging and caught Improbable late to win by three parts of a length. The final time was 1:35.83.

Owned by Gayle Benson and trained by Al Stall, Tom’s d’Etat paid $3.60. Following Improbable under the wire were Bankit, Pioneer Spirit, Slick Silver, Mr. Money, Long Range Toddy, Snapper Sinclair, Fight On, Lord Guiness, and Boldor.

“I couldn’t be any more happy with exactly how it turned out,” said Stall. “The type of race he had, and the way Joel rode him to save a little bit to keep us on the upward part of the curve. That’s the hottest word in America right now. We don’t want to flatten the curve with this horse.”

This was the third consecutive stakes win for the 7-year-old Tom’s d’Etat, who finished his 2019 campaign with victories in the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland and Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. The Smart Strike horse previously captured the 2018 Tenacious S. at Fair Grounds and 2019 Alydar S. at Saratoga, and also owns placings in the 2019 editions of the Alysheba (G2) and Stephen Foster (G2).

The lightly-raced veteran has now won 10 of 17 starts with two seconds and one third. His earnings now stand at $1,326,572, with the potential for more in the $600,000 Oaklawn H. (G2) on May 2.

Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, Tom’s d’Etat was produced by the stakes-winning Julia Tuttle, by Giant’s Causeway, and hails from the same family as Argentinean champion and Pacific Classic (G1) hero Candy Ride.