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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A pair of juveniles were crowned stakes winners Saturday at Gulfstream Park when Octane (in the Affirmed for colts and geldings) and Outfoxed (in the Susan’s Girl for fillies) took the co-featured twin FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, each held at 7 furlongs on the main track for $200,000 purses.
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Octane set a quick early pace, but the Arindel homebred had plenty left in the tank for the stretch on his way to a commanding 3 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Affirmed.
Octane, one of four Arindel homebred sons of Brethren in an 11-horse field, broke alertly from his rail position and rushed up to lead along the backstretch, pressed by Lightning Larry and Stalked by Big and Classy, $100,000 FSS Dr. Fager winner Cajun’s Magic, and King Cab.
Octane set fractions of 22.50 and 45.24 seconds for the first 1.2-mile with Cajun’s Magic looming prominently in pursuit turning into the stretch. The Dr. Fager winner gave it his best shot, but Octane kicked clear through the stretch under Emisael Jaramillo to complete the 7 furlongs in 1:25.16.
Cajun’s Magic, the 7/5 favorite, finished second under Jesus Rios, 3 lengths ahead of Big and Classy and jockey Edwin Gonzalez.
Octane, who finished second in his June 18 debut, was coming off a July 17 maiden victory in which he overcame traffic and fractious behavior at the starting gate.
“I love this little horse. He’s small but he has a ton of heart,” trainer Carlos David said. “He was a little bit nervous prior to his second start. He was a little wild behind the gate. I had to put a lot of gate work into him and teach him to stand right. He’s got some growing up to do, but I think he’s going to be all right.”
Octane, who was sent to post at 10/1, was stretching out 2 furlongs from his 5-furlong maiden score.
“I think the workout he had about a week ago was key. It was 5 furlongs, galloping out 3/4 in 1:13. That told me that he can definitely get the distance. I was very confident coming into this race,” David said.
The 2021 Florida Sire Stakes series will conclude September 25 at Gulfstream with the open-division $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies. Both races will be run around two turns at 1 1/16 miles.
“I know the next leg is a mile and 1/16, so it is challenging. I’ll have to talk to the connections. Arindel has been great. They’ve given me the opportunity to train for them,” David said. “We have a great communication. We’ll talk about it and make a plan.”
LNJ Foxwoods’ Outfoxed was a standout Saturday at Gulfstream Park, graduating in her second lifetime start by 13 1/2 lengths in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the daughter of Valiant Minister who had finished third in a July 31 maiden special weight race at Saratoga in her debut, scored by the largest margin in the history of the Susan’s Girl, eclipsing Ivanavinalot’s 2002 record of 10 lengths.
“The racing manager Alex Solis let me know she was eligible for the race and he kept me updated on potential runners,” said Mott from Saratoga. “He kind of left it in my hands. We could run her in a maiden race up here in Saratoga or down there. We thought it was a good spot and it turned out to be.”
Sent to post as the 7/5 favorite in a field of 11 fillies, Outfoxed turned in a thoroughly professional performance under Gulfstream’s leading rider Edgard Zayas, once she reluctantly loaded into the starting gate.
The filly covered the 7 furlongs effortlessly in 1:23.81.
“She was super good before the race. It was just getting into the gate,” said Zayas following his fifth FSS winning ride. “Once she got to the gate, she got a little nervous. After that, she was perfect, all class.”
Outfoxed, a $360,000 purchase at the 2020 OBS October sale, settled off the pace set by Devilette and contested by Noble Drama and Rachel’s Rock along the backstretch with $100,000 FSS Desert Vixen winner My Sassenach and Sequin Lady not far behind.
Devilette posted fractions of 23.06 and 45.28 for the first 1/2-mile as Outfoxed launched a three-wide sweep to the lead. The Mott trainee kicked in through the stretch to graduate impressively.
“She broke good out of the gate. She dropped back a little bit. There was plenty of pace. A 7-furlong race can be very hard on 2-year-old fillies, so I let her sit a little,” Zayas said. “At the 1/2-mile (pole), I didn’t want to go too wide, so I tucked her in a little bit. After that, she was taking me very nice. She was very impressive.”
Devilette, who was ridden by Cristian Torres, held gamely to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of My Sassenach and jockey Miguel Vasquez.
Outfoxed was only the second horse to represent Mott in the tradition-rich series. His only other FSS starter was Inner Light, who finished seventh in the 2017 In Reality.
When asked if Outfoxed will run in the $400,000 My Dear Girl division of the Sire Stakes September 25 around two turns at 1 1/16 miles, Mott replied, “We will have to make a decision on that pretty soon.”
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