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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – My Purple Haze Stable’s Cool Arrow’s back class came out in the stretch run of Saturday’s $100,000 Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream Park, allowing the multiple-stakes winner to notch his first graded stakes score.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Into Mischief, who won the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in 2016, captured his third straight victory for trainer Terri Pompay while living up to the expectations of the bettors who sent him to post as the even-money favorite.
The Smile, a 6-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up, headlined a 12-race program that also offered the $75,000 Bear’s Den, a 7 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds on turf, and $75,000 Miss Gracie, a 7 1/2-furlong for 3-year-old fillies on turf.
While his victories in a June 21 optional claiming allowance and the August 2 Opening Lead stakes were dominating and achieved by open lengths, Cool Arrow had to work a lot harder to prevail over Krsto Skye by 3/4 of a length Saturday.
“Usually he gets a little breather in his races and kind of regroups. He didn’t get the chance to get a breather this time. He had to keep on rolling the whole way,” said Pompay after saddling her first graded-stakes winner since scoring with 2011 Hopeful (G1) winner Currency Swap for a triumph in the 2012 Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga. “When I saw him switch his leads, I thought I’d see a burst. He was coming forward, but they weren’t coming back. I didn’t think he was going to get there for a minute, but then I knew he was going to get there. He’s so powerful. He has such a long stride, so once he gets rolling, he’s makes up a lot of ground.”
Cool Arrow was rated a few lengths off the pace set by long shot Weisser along the backstretch and followed Krsto Skye as he pulled alongside the tiring pacesetter on the turn into the homestretch. After fractions of 22.47 and 44.70 seconds for the first 1/2-mile, Krsto Skye moved to the lead with Cool Arrow in hot pursuit. Krsto Skye, who was ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, showed no signs of weakening in the stretch, but Cool Arrow gained momentum late to get the job done.
“He broke good and got perfect position. I waited to ask him at the 1/4-pole. He responded in the stretch and got there,” jockey Leonel Reyes said.
Cool Arrow ran 6 furlongs in 1:08.82 to win the 10th race of his career. Krsto Skye finished second, 3 lengths ahead of Double Crown.
Pompay is uncertain where Cool Arrow will race next.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do next – I’m sure something back here. I don’t know if he’s getting better, but his talent is starting to come out more and more, and more confidence he’s getting,” Pompay said. “We’ve had him long enough to know what he likes and how he likes to train.”
Cool Arrow, who has earned just shy of $600,000 in purses, was purchased by My Purple Haze Stables for $50,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Summer Select Horses of Racing Age Sale. He was claimed away out of an optional claiming allowance victory for $62,500 in December but My Purple Haze Stable and Pompay claimed him right back for the same price out of his next start.
In the Bear’s Den, Monforte ran like a 1/2 favorite while dominating eight rivals by 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by Hall of Famer Edgar Prado, the gelded son of Carpe Diem set uncontested fractions of 22.99 and 46.11 seconds for the first 1/2-mile and drew off to his fifth victory in his last 6 starts.
Trained by Ruben Gracida for Rancho Alegre, Monforte ran 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:27.66 over a firm turf. Lure Him In saved ground and closed mildly to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Citrus Burst.
Monforte was claimed for $35,000 out of a victory September 29 before scoring 3 straight wins for his new connections. He returned off a six-month layoff to finish second in the Not Surprising August 8 before returning to winning form Saturday.
In the Miss Gracie, 305 Solutions Inc.’s Maries Melody pulled off a 30/1 upset victory while making her first start outside of the claiming ranks to reward apprentice Alberto Burgos with the first stakes victory of his career. The Ramon Minguet-trained daughter of Point of Entry set a controlled pace through fractions of 24.11 and 48.33 seconds for the first 1/2-mile before providing a strong stretch kick to prevail by a length.
Maries Melody ran 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:29.94. Drop a Hint, who stalked the pace under Victor Lebron, finished second, a neck ahead of a ground-saving Fujairah.
Maries Melody, who broke her maiden for a $16,000 claiming price July 8 in her 10th career start and won her very next race for a $12,500 tag, finished second in her most recent start for a $35,000 claiming price.
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