News

Stanford Prepares for Pegasus With Dominating Win in G3 Harlan’s Holiday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stanford turned in an impressive audition for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) in Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park, registering a dominating three-length triumph in preparation for the world’s richest race Jan. 28.

The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old led throughout the 1 1/16-mile race while defeating six rivals, including stablemates Keen Ice and Madefromlucky, who finished second and fourth, respectively, to also become Pegasus Day candidates.

“[The Pegasus is in play for] all three, with maybe the undercard race [$400,000 Poseidon) for Madefromlucky. I’ll talk to the connections for him,” Pletcher said. “But Stanford and Keen Ice certainly ran well enough to consider the Pegasus.”

The Harlan’s Holiday, renewed as a graded stakes for the first time, highlighted an 11-program with five stakes, including the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) and the $100,000 Rampart (G3).

Stanford, sent to post as the 9-5 second choice behind 8-5 favorite Keen Ice, was sent right to the lead from his No. 1 post position by John Velazquez, and the son of Malibu Moon went on to set comfortable fractions along the backstretch and around the far turn, chased by Awesome Slew and jockey Joel Rosario. Keen Ice, a one-run closer with Grade 1 credentials, trailed the field into the first turn before being asked from some run and sent four-wide by Javier Castellano on the backstretch. After posting fractions of 24.33 (seconds), 48.94 and 1:12.46 for the first six furlongs, Stanford sprinted clear in the stretch as Keen Ice made a belated run to edge Awesome Slew for second by a neck.

“It looked pretty clear on paper that [Stanford] was the main speed of the race. When he drew the rail, it was a pretty straightforward strategy. We wanted to come out running and hopefully, secure the lead going into the first turn. He was able to do that, and on top of that, the fractions were well within his comfort zone. So I thought it was terrific for him,” Pletcher said. “It probably worked against Keen Ice a little bit, but despite that I thought he ran pretty well to be second. Javier tried to keep him closer because of the slow fractions and the way the track’s playing. I thought he ran pretty well considering that. I’m happy, and Madefromlucky I thought ran really well off the layoff.”

Stanford, a multiple graded-stakes winner who is owned by Stonestreet Stables and Michael Tabor, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.10 in his first race since finishing off the board in the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont June 11.

“He broke really well and got to the first turn easy. I just waited to see how he did on the lead. He did it really easy. He runs hard all the time. I see it the mornings, too,” Velazquez said. “He was fresh and even when I asked him down the lane he wanted to run. He did start pricking his ears and I had to get into him a little bit to keep his mind focused. But when [Keen Ice] came to him galloping out, my horse galloped out really well.”

Harlan’s Holiday (G3) Quotes

Trainer Todd Pletcher (Stanford, 1st; Keen Ice, 2nd; Madefromlucky, 4th): “It looked pretty clear on paper that [Stanford] was the main speed of the race. When he drew the rail, it was a pretty straightforward strategy. We wanted to come out running and hopefully, secure the lead going into the first turn. He was able to do that, and on top of that, the fractions were well within his comfort zone. So I thought it was terrific for him. It probably worked against Keen Ice a little bit, but despite that I thought he ran pretty well to be second. Javier (Castellano) tried to keep him closer because of the slow fractions and the way the track’s playing. I thought he ran pretty well considering that. I’m happy, and Madefromlucky I thought ran really well off the layoff.”

(Which horses might be considered for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Jan. 28): “All three with maybe the undercard race [$400,000 Poseidon) for Madefromlucky. I’ll talk to the connections for him. But Stanford and Keen Ice certainly ran well enough to consider the Pegasus.”

Jockey John Velazquez (Stanford): “He broke really well and got to the first turn easy. I just waited to see how he did on the lead. He did it really easy. He runs hard all the time. I see it the mornings, too. He was fresh and even when I asked him down the lane he wanted to run. He did start pricking his ears and I had to get into him a little bit to keep his mind focused. But when [Keen Ice] came to him galloping out, my horse galloped out really well.”

Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover $104,000

Gulfstream’s 10-race Sunday program will have a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $104,891.62.

The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the seventh consecutive racing day when multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $573.90.

The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is paid out only when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will be races five through 10. First race post is 12:35 p.m. Get the picks.

Source: Gulfstream Park

To Top