In a race billed as the return of 2021 Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Concert Tour, it was Danny Caldwell’s 9-year-old veteran Rated R Superstar that stole the show in the $150,000 Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
Concert Tour, the 3-2 post time favorite, faded to ninth after pressing the pace early.
Rated R Superstar was unhurried at the start as expected pace setter Mucho took control through fractions of :23 1/5 and :46 4/5 second for the first half mile. The winner moved into contention leaving the backstretch, swung to the outside around the turn and came three wide into the stretch before getting up in the final strides to win by a neck over Mucho.
“The pace went out early and to be honest, I just let him run his race the whole way," said winning jockey David Cabrera. "I rode him a couple of times before so it was great that I knew him. Down the lane, I got a kick that was perfect. I was a little bit worried that I wouldn’t get there because I was a little bit wide. He gave me all he had, so that’s all you can ask for.”
Thomas Shelby, the 2-1 second choice, finished third. The final time was 1:37 for one mile over a fast track.
“The horse did all the work,” Caldwell said. “We gave him a break and (trainer) Frederico (Villafranco) did a great job bringing him back. David Cabrera gave him a perfect ride. He’s one of those hard-knocking horses that just knows his job.”
Rated R Superstar, a Kodiak Kowboy gelding who Caldwell claimed last January at Oaklawn for $50,000, improved his record to 10-10-8 in 57 starts and he has now earned $1,271,014. He returned $53.80.
As for Concert Tour, jockey Joel Rosario noted his eight-month layoff may have contributed to his poor effort.
“He hadn’t run for a little while," Rosario said. "He was there for a little while and looked like he a lost a little focus the last part of the race. We’ll see how he comes back the next time.”