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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s Mr Freeze put his foes on ice in the stretch, drawing off sharply to win Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 9 under Manny Franco as the 5/2 favorite, Mr Freeze stayed three-wide in the clear, just off of the front-runners as the field connected from the chute onto the main track. Just ahead and to his inside, Bodexpress held a slim lead over Rare Form through opening fractions of :23.27 and :45.32.
Midway through the far turn, Mr Freeze ranged up effortlessly to take command and straightened for home with a sizeable advantage. Phat Man made a mild bid in the stretch to get up for second, but nobody was catching Mr Freeze.
Trained by Dale Romans, Mr Freeze crossed 3 lengths much the best in a final time of 1:34.80 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“I just followed the instructions,” Franco said. “(Dale) told me to keep the horse close to the pace, and when I saw those two horses going, I just decided to settle and sit third. He was taking me the whole way, so I was waiting for the right moment to make my move, and he responded.”
Phat Man proved to be far better than the rest of the runners, taking second by 5 lengths over Hog Creek Hustle, who necked out True Timber for third. Haikal took fifth over Rare Form, who nosed out Expert for sixth.
Do Share, Zenden, Forever Mo, and an empty Bodexpress completed the order of finish.
Mr Freeze’s win was his third at the stakes level, having taken the West Virginia Derby (G3) in 2018 and the Ack Ack Stakes (G3) last fall. The 5-year-old son of To Honor and Serve, purchased as a yearling for $75,000, improved his record to 12-5-4-1 with $1,367,950 earned.
“This horse is a really talented horse,” Romans said. “He had a little hiccup last year and he got over it. He’s been invited to the Godolphin Mile (on the Dubai World Cup undercard), so if he comes out of this well, that’s where we’ll head. Milers are great to have.”
Mr Freeze returned $7.40 to win, $4 to place, and $3.20 to show. Phat Man brought back $6 to place and $4 to show, while Hog Creek Hustle paid $5.80 to show.
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