DEL MAR, CA – Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm’s Battle of Midway bounced back from his first misfire to dominate with ease in Saturday’s $100,000 Seaway Stakes.
It was the 3-year-old colt’s first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park. Prior to that effort, he had never finished out of the money in six previous starts, but trainer Jerry Hollendorfer decided to add blinkers.
“There was some speed in the race, we’ve worked him behind horses so he had a target to run at,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan War. “And with the blinkers, he seemed to go on, rather than waiting on horses. It doesn’t always work out the way you want, but this time, it did.”
Battle of Midway stalked the pace from third under rider Flavien Prat while Cistron set fractions of :22.44 and :45.96 into the far turn. Prat didn’t let his steed linger for long, though, as they joined up alongside Gato Del Oro to pass Cistron entering the far turn. Battle of Midway carried his momentum around the outside of his foe and kicked clear at the top of the stretch, completing the mile-long dirt event in 1:35.94.
“Much better today,” Prat said. “The blinkers had to help. He seemed much more focused. He did just what I asked him to do. He ran third in the Derby; you know he’s a good horse.”
The win improved Battle of Midway’s career record to 8-4-1-2 with $620,000 in career earnings.
Gato Del Oro came home second, 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Klimt, with Gormley, Stone Hands, and Cistron.
“I listened to the Jim Rome (owner of Shared Belief) radio show this morning and he talked about the memories,” Ward said. “I texted him and told him I was going to wear the (blue and white) colors (of Shared Belief).”
Battle of Midway returned $8.40 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.80 to show. Gato Del Oro brought back $3 to place and $2.60 to show, while Klimt paid $3 to show.