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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gentry Farm’s Eldon’s Prince ruled the Gulfstream turf course Saturday, scoring a thoroughly professional victory in the $75,000 Proud Man.
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The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained son of Cairo Prince, the 2/1 second choice ridden by leading jockey Edgard Zayas, kicked in through the stretch to register a 6-length victory over 6/5 favorite Winging It in the mile turf stakes for 2-year-olds.
Eldon’s Prince, a $280,000 purchase at the OBS April sale for 2-year-olds in training, scored his maiden victory in the Proud Man while making a huge step forward from a second-place finish in his August 1 debut.
“I know he was a maiden, but the race looked wide open. Most of them were maidens, and the ones who won weren’t all that impressive,” Zayas said. “I had a lot of hope for this horse first time out and I think he ran a huge race. He was a little green. I thought he would be a little sharper today. I’ve had really high hopes for him from the beginning.”
Eldon’s Prince settled in fourth entering the backstretch as Winging It, an unlucky second in his impressive June 23 debut, set a sensible pace. The Jenna Antonucci-trained favorite set fractions of 24.50 and 48.56 seconds for the first 1/2-mile, stalked closely by Up Her Sleeve on the outside and Fulton Street along the rail.
Zayas asked Eldon’s Prince for some run entering the far turn, and the Ontario-bred colt responded with a three-wide sweep into contention. Winging It, who was making his turf debut following his sharp main-track debut, took a narrow lead into the stretch but was no match for Eldon’s Prince.
Eldon’s Prince ran the mile over a firm turf in 1:36.79. Winging It, ridden by Samy Camacho, held on to finish second, 3/4 of a length ahead of Fulton Street and jockey Jesus Rios.
Eldon’s Prince finished 5 1/2 lengths behind Mark Casse-trained On Thin Ice after a stretch rally to finish second in his 7 1/2-furlong debut on turf.
“The last race, I was expecting a really big race from him. On the turn, he wasn’t figuring out what he needed to do, and then in the stretch, he figured it out,” Zayas said. “He was really running at the end, and the horse that beat him is a nice horse.”
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