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LOUISVILLE, KY – Brad Grady’s Fast Boat blasted home in the late stages to win Friday’s $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Sysco (G2) at Churchill Downs.
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Fast Boat broke from post 8 under Irad Ortiz Jr. as the 4/1 third choice and settled off the pace toward the rear in the field of 11 older males.
The 2/1 favorite Fiya dueled inside Just Might through an opening 1/4-mile in :22.15, then Just Might took off briefly as the field inhaled Fiya at the top of the stretch.
Rallying outside Sombeyay, Fast Boat charged up to take command in deep stretch, then held Sombeyay at bay on his inside before the Joe Sharp trainee crossed a 1/2-length in front, completing the 5 1/2-furlong dash over the firm turf in 1:03.29.
“I had the perfect trip,” said Ortiz Jr. “I sat there and bided my time. When I asked him, he responded all the way to the wire.”
Classy John took third by 1 1/2 lengths over defending race champion Diamond Oops, who headed Carotari in a photo for fourth.
Johnny Unleashed, Smart Remark, Just Might, Guildsman, Ambassador Luna, and Fiya completed the order of finish.
Fast Boat’s win was his second straight following the Pulse Power Turf Sprint Stakes at Sam Houston January 31 and improved his overall record to 24-9-1-3. The 6-year-old City Zip gelding, claimed for $40k out of his fifth career start in October 2018, increased his lifetime bankroll to $541,849.
“We sent him back to the farm (after the Pulse Power) and (wife) Rosie (Napravnik) let him be a horse for 30 days and legged him back on the farm,” Sharp said. “We brought him back in, worked him 3 times, and luckily we got some sun and wind today. He likes this turf course, too – he’s 3-for-4 on it – and everything fell into place. Brad Grady has been very patient with the horse over the years and giving him plenty of spacing between races.”
Fast Boat returned $10.40 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.60 to show. Sombeyay brought back $6.20 to place and $5.20 to show. Classy John paid $7.80 to show.
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