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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Daniel McConnell’s homebred Prince Lucky made easy work of his competition, storming home to his third straight stakes score in Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2).
Breaking from post 4 as the prohibitive 1/5 favorite under John Velazquez, Prince Lucky soon cleared the inner horses and was held along the rail inside of All Golden through opening fractions of :24.14. and :47.04. Still nursing Prince Lucky’s speed, Velazquez waited until the straightened for home before asking his steed for more. Inside the final 1/16, it was “easy money” for the bettors’ choice, who crossed with a 4 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:35.21 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“The first quarter seemed like it was sensible,” Velazquez said. “He got into the bridle. It was a nice pace. It wasn’t a crazy pace. After that, it was pretty easy. He was kind of playing around, looking around. He’s never been in the lead that soon.”
Tale of Silence gave chase the length of the stretch but was unable to keep pace with the winner and settled for second, 5 lengths clear of Guy Caballero in third. Be Gone Daddy necked out Millionaire Runner for fourth, with All Golden fading to complete the order of finish.
Prince Lucky’s win came on the heels of his impressive 6-length score in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) here on February 23, his first start in over eight months. The 4-year-old gelded son of Corinthian improved his record to 10-6-0-2 with $475,970 earned and will likely target the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) – known colloquially as the Met Mile – at Belmont Park on June 8.
“In these kinds of races you always worry because you feel like you have the best horse and you just want everything to go smoothly,” said Pletcher, who earlier in the day earned his first Dubai victory with Coal Front in the Godolphin Mile (G2). “He broke alertly and Johnny was a little concerned because there was some pace in here and he didn’t want to get in a duel, so he kind of just bided his time and then secured his spot on the rail. It looked like he had plenty of horse from there.”
Prince Lucky returned $2.40 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Tale of Silence brought back $2.80 to place and $2.20 to show, while Guy Caballero paid $2.20 to show.
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