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Jehozacat holds sway in Endeavour
SV Photography

Jehozacat holds sway in Endeavour

OLDSMAR, FL – Lael Stables’ Jehozacat took full advantage of a lack of other early speed, running gate to wire while holding sway late to take Saturday’s $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

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Breaking cleanly from post 3 under Daniel Centeno at 16/1, Jehozacat immediately struck her way to the front and secured a comfortable position heading into the clubhouse turn. Running unopposed in the early going, Jehozacat posted opening fractions of :24.73, :48.97, and 1:12.63.

Rounding the far turn still in command by over 2 lengths, Jehozacat began growing leg-weary near the 1/16 pole as the field closed the gap. Digging in gamely along the inside, Jehozacat was able to just stave off a rallying Altea at the wire for the victory.

The Arnaud Delacour trainee crossed a neck over Altea in a final time of 1:42.44 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course.

“When Arnaud told me this morning the other speed in the race was scratched, I said, ‘That is going to set up everything perfect for us,'” Centeno said. “I was going to be by myself on the lead, and that’s how it worked out. I rode her all the way to the wire. She was getting a little tired at the end, but she’s a nice mare and has been improving every race, and she handles both dirt and turf.”

Though her late stride was not enough to get the job done in the end, Altea was 3/4 of a length ahead of Andina Del Sur for second. Got Stormy, the 1/5 heavy favorite making her first start since running second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), flattened in the stretch to finish fourth, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Phantom Opening.

After tracking the winner early on, A. A. Azula’s Arch was empty when the real running began and faded steadily to sixth, completing the order of finish. Dynatail and Kelsey’s Cross were both scratched.

Jehozacat (3) edges Altea (2) for victory (Credit: SV Photography)

Jehozacat’s win was her second straight, having won this race’s local prep, the Wayward Lass Stakes, over the same distance on January 18. The 5-year-old daughter of Tapit now carries a record of 17-5-4-0 with $254,090 earned.

“Today, the strategy was to go to the front and let her do her thing because there was not much pace in the race,” said Delacour, who also won this race last year with the Lael Stables-owned Hawksmoor. “Daniel does a great job. He knows that track so well and is so confident about his pace. It’s a big win for Jehozacat and for us. We’ve been coming to Tampa for about 12 years, and last year (with Hawksmoor) was our first graded stakes win at Tampa. They’re not easy to win and we don’t take it for granted.”

Jehozacat returned $35.60 to win, $15.60 to place, and $20.40 to show. Altea brought back $10.20 to place and $17 to show, while Andina Del Sur paid $7.40 to show.

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