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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The heavily-favored runners Leinster and Mischevious Alex each took their respective Grade 3 sprint stakes held Saturday at Gulfstream Park, though in very different fashions.
In the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, Leinster and jockey Luis Saez made things tense for the heavy-handed bettors who made him the 2/5 favorite in the seven-horse field.
After racing between the front-running High Crime and Inter Miami down the backstretch, jockey Luis Saez backed Leinster off heading into the far turn and switched him out to run three-wide in the stretch.
The Rusty Arnold trainee made it close, catching High Crime in the final jumps before putting his neck across first while completing the 5-furlong good turf sprint in :55.29.
Harry’s Ontheloose took third, 1 1/2 lengths behind them. Inter Miami, Shared Legacy, Borracho, and Smart Remark completed the order of finish.
Leinster’s win was his fourth at the graded stakes level and improved his overall record to 24-6-6-5. A 6-year-old son of Majestic Warrior, he’s now earned $764,971 for co-owners Amy Dunne, Brenda Miley, Westrock Stables, and Jean Wilkinson.
Leinster returned $2.80 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. High Crime brought back $3 to place and $2.20 to show. Harry’s Ontheloose paid $2.20 to show.
In the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint, chalk bettors didn’t have nearly as many panic-stricken moments as the 1/5 top choice Mischevious Alex was a 3 1/4-length victor.
Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard the Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee, who broke cleanly and dueled on the front end while sandwiched between Cajun Brother and Frosted Grace.
Advancing to the lead under his own power while cornering, Mischevious Alex straightened for home clearly in command and drew off to win the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint in 1:09.55.
Frosted Grace took second by a 1/2-length over Cajun Brother, while Wind of Change – the 5/2 second choice – broke poorly and never factored before completing the order of finish.
Edgemont Road, Shivaree, and Admiral Lynch all scratched in favor of the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs; none were victorious.
Mischevious Alex’s win was his second straight since transferring to his current barn; he won a local optional claimer last month in a similarly dominating fashion. The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt, winner of 3 straight stakes last winter/spring including the local Swale (G3), now sports a record of 11-6-1-1 with $449,730 earned for Cash is King and LC Racing.
“It worked out well,” said Joseph, who indicated that the April 3 Carter (G1) was his likely next target. “He got the job done. He broke well and I was happy how he broke. For a brief moment, where he was in a little tight, Irad did a great job of maintaining his spot. After that, he stayed 6 furlongs strongly. At 6 furlongs, you don’t have to worry about him stopping. He keeps getting stronger towards the end.”
Mischevious Alex returned $2.80 to win and $2.10 to place. Frosted Grace paid $3.20 to place. There was no show betting.
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