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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – William Pape’s homebred Boxwood made it two in a row on Saturday, shooting to the front early and taking the field all the way home in the seventh running of the $100,000 Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking well from post 2 at 5/2 odds under Brian Hernandez, Jr., Boxwood soon cleared the rail-drawn 8/5 favorite Pivottina and crossed over to the inside while securing command. The Eddie Kenneally trainee quickly settled before posting initial fractions of :22.45 and :47.19, all while Noncents kept close watch just to her outside. Still in hand as the field began to draw near through the far turn, Boxwood straightened for home before being given her cue. Digging in gamely to fend off Fortunate Girl‘s midstretch bid, Boxwood had enough left to complete her gate-to-wire trip and win by a hard-fought neck over Pivottina in a final time of 1:30.53 for the 7 1/2-furlong sprint over the firm turf course.
“We thought we’d get her in behind a couple horses, but she left there good, and I looked over and it looked like (jockey Luis Saez) was scrubbing on (Noncents) to get in front of us, so I let her find her rhythm,” said Hernandez, Jr. “She went around there and just cruised along. The whole way down the lane, she was reaching, but she was still throwing her ears back and forth at me, waiting on horses.”
Red Rounder was able to steal third late in the shadow of the wire after Fortunate Girl momentarily steadied. What A Beaut‘s late charge wasn’t enough to hit the board and she settled for fifth, having also steadied late to avoid running into Fortunate Girl. Beechwood Ella, Shoobiedoobydoo, and a spent Noncents completed the order of finish. Bella Ciao was scratched as the field’s lone Main Track Only entrant.
Boxwood’s win came in her stakes debut and was her second straight overall, following a blowout 10-length win at Churchill Downs in an 8 1/2-furlong allowance event that was taken off of the turf. The 3-year-old daughter of English Channel improved her record to 5-3-1-1 with a bankroll of $202,140.
“She’s a quality filly, coming off a nice win on the dirt,” Kenneally said. “She came in here, worked good a few times at Palm Meadows, and has thrived since she’s been here in Florida. She ran a big race. She was game today. They challenged her at the 1/16 pole and she kept running. She really dug in. They were really running at the end.”
Boxwood returned $7 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3 to show. Pivottina brought back $3 to place and $2.40 to show, while Red Rounder paid $5.20 to show.
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