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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – William Schettine’s homebred Krampus found clear sailing this time and showed off his talent impressively on Saturday to conquer the Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 5 at 9/2 odds under John Velazquez, Krampus settled just behind early leader Siem Riep heading into the first turn before following that foe through opening fractions of :24.55, :48.65, and 1:12.43. Ranging up midway through the far turn, Krampus turned for home with the lead but was soon met with a challenge to his outside from the 3/5 favorite Breaking the Rules. The two engaged in a furious stretch battle, but Krampus dug in gamely along the inside and fought hard to keep the lead. The Bill Mott trainee crossed the wire with a head advantage in a final time of 1:34.98 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course. His clean trip today was the opposite of what he dealt with in his last start, the El Prado Stakes.
“This is the kind of trip I was hoping he was going to get,” Mott said. “Sometimes, he gets a little far back. He makes a nice run, but it seems like when he’s up close like this and able to stay up close and get in a nice stalking position, he runs real hard. He doesn’t wanna let anybody by.”
Holiday Stone held off Hembree by a neck at the wire for third, with Cowboy Culture another neck behind in fifth. Siem Riep fell back steadily in the stretch before eventually completing the order of finish. Sand Dancer was scratched.
Krampus’ win was his first since taking a 1 1/8-mile allowance event at Churchill Downs on June 29 and improved his overall record to 13-5-3-1. The 5-year-old gelded son of Shakespeare increased his career bankroll to $305,110.
“He’s one of those horses, he’s really kind of a barn favorite,” Mott said. “He’s probably not the best horse in the barn, but nobody tries harder than he does. You know what I mean? He’s a real neat, real neat kind of horse.”
Krapus returned $11.60 to win, $4 to place, and $2.80 to show. Breaking the Rules brought back $2.40 to place and $2.20 to show, while Holiday Stone paid $5.40 to show.
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