Mitole’s Booth Delivers Emphatic Win 

February 14, 2024

Omaha Beach’s Time for Truth to Stretch Out

By Robert Yates – Oaklawn Park

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— After five race victories at Oaklawn, champion Mitole was represented by his fourth and most exciting to date as a sire when heavily favored Booth delivered, emphatically, in his 3-year-old debut Sunday.

Bottled up on the inside turning for home, Booth angled out and split rivals in the upper stretch, then coasted home by 4 ¼ wrapped-up lengths in the $140,000 allowance sprint for 3-year-olds.

Keith Asmussen rode Booth ($3.20) for his father, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, and an ownership group that includes Texans William and Corinne Heiligbrodt. It was a bounce-back performance for Booth, who sizzled in his debut – a front-running 5 ¼-length victory Oct. 7 at Keeneland – but fizzled in his only other start at 2, finishing fifth as the heavy favorite in the $225,000 Ed Brown Stakes Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs.

“Lovely horse, man,” Steve Asmussen said Sunday afternoon. “He is just very talented. So good to see him win the way that he did today – get back on track with him. Needless to say, we were not expecting him to get beat the second time we ran him, but it is horse racing.”

Booth’s victory came less than 24 hours after Asmussen saddled Valentine Candy to win Oaklawn’s inaugural $150,000 Ozark Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters. The Heiligbrodts also co-own Valentine Candy, already a three-time stakes winner at the 2023-2024 Oaklawn meeting that began Dec. 8.

Asmussen said a late spring target for Valentine Candy is the $200,000 Bachelor Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters April 27 at Oaklawn.

Asmussen said next-race plans are pending for Booth, who covered 6 furlongs over a sloppy, sealed surface in 1:10.81. Like Valentine Candy, Booth has never raced around two turns.

“He’s going the right way,” Asmussen said. “Just a very talented horse that we expect to have a very good future with. Obviously, with the same ownership group as Valentine Candy, we will keep them separated. He ran today like he might stretch out a little bit. We’ll see.”

The Heiligbrodts and Jackpot Farm (Terry Green) purchased Booth for $225,000 at the OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. Jackpot Farm also co-owns Valentine Candy, a son of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify.

Mitole was a 2019 Eclipse Award winner as the country’s champion male sprinter. Campaigned by Asmussen and the Heiligbrodts, Mitole won 10 of 14 career starts, including the $2 million G1-Breeders’ Cup Sprint and $1.2 million G1-Met Mile in 2019, and earned $3,104,910.

Mitole won three races in 2018 at Oaklawn. He broke his maiden by 10 lengths, won an entry-level allowance by seven lengths and the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes by nine lengths. Mitole opened 2019 by winning an allowance race at Oaklawn and its $500,000 G3-Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. All five of Mitole’s Oaklawn victories were at six furlongs.

Mitole, in 2023, was North America’s leading first-crop sire in progeny earnings, punctuating his year with consecutive winners Dec. 31 at Oaklawn. Carbone won an entry-level allowance for Asmussen and Ice Cold captured the $200,000 Year’s End Stakes for trainer Kenny McPeek. Both races were one mile. Mitole’s third winner of the 2023-2024 Oaklawn meeting was Mr Fillip, who broke his maiden at six furlongs Feb. 3 for two-time Oaklawn training champion Robertino Diodoro.

Time for Truth to Stretch Out

Triple Crown nominee Time for Truth will be pointed for a two-turn race after finishing second in the inaugural $150,000 Ozark Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn, trainer Ron Moquett said Sunday afternoon.

“Looking down the road, we believe that he’s got plenty of natural early speed,” Moquett said. “He’s got a pedigree that indicates distance will be in his favor, so we’ll try it and see.”

Favored in his stakes debut and second career start, Time for Truth was beaten 2 ½ lengths by the more accomplished Valentine Candy after leading most of the six-furlong race. 

Time for Truth became the first Oaklawn winner for his sire, 2019 Arkansas Derby champion Omaha Beach, in a Dec. 31 maiden special weight sprint. Time for Truth covered six furlongs in 1:10.52. Valentine Candy won the $150,000 Renaissance about a half-hour later, his second of three stakes victories at the meeting for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Valentine Candy ran 6 furlongs in 1:11.29.

“We believe he was talented enough to win yesterday,” Moquett said. “Having a more experienced horse able to sit off our outside and able to dictate the race turned out to be to his advantage. It’s a very nice horse Steve’s got and we’re happy that we feel we’re competitive with him.”

Time for Truth, co-owned by Arkansan Harry Rosenblum, is nominated to Oaklawn’s 8 ½-furlong $1.25 million G2-Rebel Stakes Feb. 24.

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