BENSALEM, PA – Mr Amore Stable’s homebred Firenze Fire fiercely overcame running his shortest distance in over a year and a nipping foe late to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx.
Breaking from the far outside under Irad Ortiz, Jr., as the 7/5 favorite in the eight-horse field, Firenze Fire sat just off of Forced‘s early pace through an opening 1/4-mile in :21.91. The Jason Servis trainee soon rushed up to take command just as he completed the first 1/2-mile in :45.82, but Whereshetoldmetogo was hot on his heels. Rounding the far turn, Whereshetoldmetogo briefly took the lead, but Firenze Fire battled back gamely. Inside the final 1/16, Firenze Fire began inching past Whereshetoldmetogo when the latter suddenly nipped at Firenze Fire neck, but that wasn’t enough to deter the latter from continuing on strongly through to the wire. The final time was 1:11.27 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track, with the margin of victory (ironically) a neck.
Seven Trumpets spent much of the race in third, including when he crossed the wire 1 1/2 lengths behind the top pair, while the rest of the field was strung out behind. Engage failed to fire and took fourth ahead of Smooth B, while Earned Success finished sixth. Forced faded to seventh, necking out only War Giant to complete the order of finish. Noble Commander and Still Having Fun were scratched.
Firenze Fire’s victory was his fourth in a graded stakes race, including last summer’s Grade 3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga, which was his only previous career attempt at the 6-furlong distance. The 3-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior became a millionaire after the $180,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed his lifetime bankroll to $1,074,100 to go with a record of 13-6-1-1.
Firenze Fire returned $4.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Whereshetoldmetogo brought back $12 to place and $6 to show, while Seven Trumpets paid $3.60 to show.