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Wake Forest Runs Them Down in Gutsy G2 Mac Diarmida Win

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Michael Dubb, Sheep Pond Partners and Bethlehem Stables’ Wake Forest kicked off his 7-year-old season in winning fashion Saturday with a gutsy head victory over a late-running Patterson Cross in the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

It was the first win for Wake Forest, favored at 2-1 in the field of 11 older grass runners, since capturing the Man o’War (G1) in his second North American start last May.  The winning time was 2:13.54 for 1 3/8 miles over a firm turf course.

Jockey Javier Castellano settled Wake Forest in mid-pack as 25-1 long shot Reporting Star, a Grade 3 winner at Gulfstream last spring, posted fractions of 24.18 seconds, 47.88, 1:13.70 and 1:38.23 with only mild pressure from Smooth Daddy to his outside.

Castellano swung Wake Forest five wide as the field rounded the far turn for the second and final time, launched a steady drive down the middle of the stretch, and emerged in front from a four-way photo finish.  Patterson Cross was second by a neck over Reporting Star, who was another neck ahead of Bigger Picture.  Mr. MaybeDanish DynaformerFlatlinedCharming KittenWatershedTwilight Eclipse, and Smooth Daddy rounded out the order.

Wake Forest returned $6, $3.80, and $3.20.  Patterson Cross brought back $8.20 and $5.80, while Reporting Star paid $15.60 to show.

$200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) Quotes

Trainer Chad Brown (Wake Forest): “Given the trip he got, Javier really did a good job the first couple turns saving a lot of ground.  He had no choice but to go that wide turning for home.  I thought maybe it would take a little starch out of him those last few strides.  But I will tell you, this horse showed a lot of heart.  We’re really proud of him.”

“I think I’ll run him one more time between now and [the Man o’War].  Maybe one more start here in the Pan American [G2 April 1] and then maybe on to the Man o’War after that.”

Jockey Javier Castellano (Wake Forest): “I had a beautiful trip.  I saved the ground, I didn’t want to be too far back, but I didn’t want to be too close to the pace, either.  Everything unfolded the right way.  I saved all the ground the first two turns, and then I took a shot and took him to the outside, and he gave me his run.  He’s a phenomenal horse.”

Source: Gulfstream Park

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