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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart, who won last year’s Grade 3 Canadian Turf gate to wire, did it all over again Saturday when he broke on top and was never headed to win the $150,000 event by three quarters of a length at Gulfstream Park.
A 6-year-old by English Channel, Heart to Heart has won four of five starts across Gulfstream’s turf course, and 12 of 27 starts overall. He covered the mile course Saturday under jockey Julien Leparoux in 1:32.63. Heart to Heart’s victories include last year’s Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale and Grade 3 Knickerbocker, both at Belmont Park.
Heart to Heart took the lead under Leparoux and set fractions of :22.94, :46.25 and 1:09.57 before holding off Bondurant. Conquest Panthera was third, while Projected and Giant Run finished in a dead heat for fourth. Interpol, Dragon Bay, Vision Perfect, and Macagone rounded out the order.
Heart to Heart returned $4.40, $3, and $2.40. Bondurant brought back $7 and $4, while Conquest Panthera paid $4.20 to show.
Trainer Brian Lynch (Heart to Heart): “This is the pride and joy of our barn. I’ve been preaching all week that he’s never trained better.”
“I always say he runs the turns like a rat in a barrel. I think they underestimate how much he gets away from them when he runs the turn, and I think that was the case today. There’s no one who fits him better. Julien has a lot of confidence in him, and he has a lot of confidence in Julien.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Heart to Heart): “Today, it didn’t look like there was too much speed in the race, so I thought I would be on the lead a little bit easier, actually. They put a little bit of pressure on me, which they had to do. The thing today was, when I got to the quarter pole and asked him, he really kicked at the end. Last time, he didn’t really do it, and today, he was back to himself. He ran a big race.”
“He’s a horse that you kind of leave him alone. He likes to run free, so when he breaks good and he’s on the lead, I just kind of leave him alone. He relaxed by himself on the backside. Usually, when you get on him at the quarter pole, he just levels off and kicks very nice at the end.”
Source: Gulfstream Park
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