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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Roger Attfield took two shots at winning Saturday’s $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Appleton Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park and found success when Gray’s Fable led the field of eight on a gate-to-wire romp for his first career stakes victory.
Gray’s Fable broke alertly from the rail under Junior Alvarado at 7/1 odds and outkicked Ever Dangerous for the lead heading into the clubhouse turn.
With Ever Dangerous keeping close watch, Gray’s Fable ticked off opening fractions of :23.61, :46.55, and 1:09.38 before straightening for home with an increasing advantage.
Set down for the stretch drive, Gray’s Fable strode home powerfully, completing the firm turf mile route in 1:32.64 while crossing 2 lengths clear of a late-rallying Renaisance Frolic.
“He’s a horse that in the post parade he was kind of full of himself,” Alvarado said. “He was showing he’s kind of like an attitude horse, he wants to do things his way. He doesn’t want you to get in his way. When we left the gate, he broke very good, so I kind of smooched him a little bit and let him do his own thing. I was pretty sure that he knew what he was going to do.”
Renaisance Frolic was 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Ever Dangerous, while another 1/2-length back, the winner’s stablemate Perfect Speighty completed the superfecta.
The 2/1 favorite Seismic Wave was a step slow breaking from the far outside gate and trailed throughout much of the running before pasing tired foes for fifth. Forever Mo, Little Menace, and Frostmourne completed the order of finish.
Gray’s Fable’s first stakes win came in his second try at the level; he was sixth in last July’s Connaught Cup Stakes (G2) at Woodbine. The 6-year-old Gio Ponti gelding didn’t debut until November of his 4-year-old season but has made his mark since, compiling a record of 11-4-1-3 with $173,743 earned for co-owners Steve Goldfine, Kari Provost, and breeder Jeff Zionis.
Gray’s Fable returned $16.20 to win, $9 to place, and $4.80 to show. Renaisance Frolic brought back $7.60 to place and $4.40 to show. Ever Dangerous paid $3.20 to show.
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