by Paulick Report Staff
Hot Springs, AR (March 16, 2019)-Crystal Racing Enterprises and Cipriano Contreras’ Rated R Superstar, claimed for $62,500 at Churchill Downs in November, jumped up to win this Saturday’s $350,000 Essex Handicap at 14-1, defeating 5-1 chance Snapper Sinclair by a head in a photo finish.
The 6-year-old son of Kodiak Kowboy, ridden by Walter De La Cruz for conditioner Contreras, covered 1 1/16 miles over Oaklawn’s fast main track in 1:42.66. The 8-5 post-time favorite Giant Expectations finished another length back in third.
Bred in Kentucky by Thorndale Stable, Rated R Superstar was raised at Columbiana Farm. had not seen the winner’s circle since April of 2018. Over his career, the gelding has amassed a record of 6-5-6 from 33 starts for earnings of $780,767. He won the 2018 Ben Ali Stakes (Gr. 3) and placed in this seasons Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3) before taking the Essex H.