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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Twin Creeks Racing Stables and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Largent led a tote-bombing parade across the wire in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
The top six finishers were all double-digit odds; the four runners with single-digit odds completed the order of finish.
Largent broke from post 6 under Paco Lopez at 16/1 odds and settled near the rear as the field passed under the wire for the first time.
Halladay outkicked the 2/1 favorite Factor This for the early lead and posted opening fractions of :23.22, :46.34, and 1:09.62.
Given the green light heading into the far turn, Largent made a four-wide sweeping move to the front and straightened for home with an advantage that he refused to yield in the stretch.
The Todd Pletcher trainee crossed 2 lengths clear, completing the 1 1/8-mile good turf route in 1:46.16.
“(Pletcher) said, ‘Paco, there’s a lot of speed, four or five horses. Just go behind them and relax. Figure out where you are and ride your race,’” Lopez said. “He broke well, he came back, and he was very comfortable. We came around horses at the top of the stretch and went on.”
Doswell nosed out Breaking the Rules for second, with the same gap separating Spooky Channel and Channel Cat in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Tide of the Sea, Halladay, Factor This, Somelikeithotbrown, and Delaware completed the order of finish.
Largent’s win, his sixth of the year, came in his graded stakes debut and improved his ultra-consistent record to 9-6-3-0. The 4-year-old Into Mischief gelding, purchased for $460,000 as a yearling, has now bankrolled $314,470 and will likely point toward the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).
“He’s always run well here (5-4-1-0 record) and he’s a horse that has shown some talent,” said Pletcher, who also saddled Halladay and won 4 races on the track’s Saturday card. “This was definitely his toughest task to date, but he showed that he likes it here and delivered a big performance. I think he certainly ran well enough today to earn a spot into the Pegasus, which we’d love to do.”
Largent returned $35.80 to win, $14.80 to place, and $8 to show. Doswell brought back $15.40 to place and $9.80 to show, while Breaking the Rules paid $7.20 to show.
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