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Fighting Force Easy Winner Of Not Surprising
Credit: Coglianese Photos / Ryan Thompson

Fighting Force Easy Winner Of Not Surprising

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Lea Farms’ Fighting Force took over near the 1/4 pole and drew off to an easy win in Saturday’s $75,000 Not Surprising Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

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Fighting Force and jockey Samy Camacho broke from the innermost post as the 6/1 fifth choice in the field of six 3-year-olds and settled into a mid-pack stalking position.

The 5/2 second choice Bright Devil dueled inside the 6/5 favorite King of Dreams through opening fractions of :23.28, :47.50, and 1:12.49, but the duo came under fire in the far turn as Fighting Force tipped out and made a three-wide bid.

Taking command by the top of the stretch, the Jeff Engler trainee widened his advantage before crossing 3 1/2 lengths clear, completing the yielding turf mile route in 1:38.18.

“Samy said he was going to be patient and wait, wait, wait,” Engler said. “It just worked out perfectly for us. We had a lot of speed in front of us and he got a good trip and the horse kicked on for him. It’s nice when you dial it up and it actually happens.”

Perfect Silent Cat rallied from last to take second by 4 lengths over Bright Devil, who weakened in the stretch but managed to save third by 3/4 of a length.

Fulmini necked out King of Dreams for fourth. Sigiloso completed the order of finish. Big Thorn was a Main Track Only entry.

Fighting Force’s win was his first at the stakes level and improved his overall record to 10-2-2-1. The Air Force Blue colt, purchased for $400,000 as an unraced juvenile by Coolmore but privately sold after finishing fourth in the Palm Beach Stakes, has now earned $127,548 after failing to hit the board in his first 3 starts with Engler.

“He’s a nice horse,” Engler said. “He does everything right. He trains good and eats good. He likes what he does. Honestly, those last 3 races, if you go back and watch them, were just awful trips. He got stuck on the rail or just got behind horses and couldn’t go anywhere. We always knew it was there. He just needed a trip and luckily we got it.”

Fighting Force returned $14.60 to win, $6.60 to place, and $3.40 to show. Perfect Silent Cat brought back $18.20 to place and $6 to show. Bright Devil paid $3.40 to show.

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