HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trinity Farm’s homebred Red Knight broke through for his first career stakes score after outrunning his 13 foes late to win Saturday’s $100,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking cleanly from post 7 under Luis Saez at 5/1 odds, Red Knight settled into midpack while Ekhtibaar posted fractions of :24.22, :48.40, 1:13.02, and 1:39.05 through the opening 8 furlongs. Making a second lap around the turf course, Red Knight continued to set the pace, but as he approached the far turn for the final time, his relatively fast opening fractions caught up to him as he ceded the lead to Nessy and soon fell off completely. Nessy’s lead was short-lived, however, because Red Knight was hot on his heels and closing fast while running wide through the turn. Saez waited until Red Knight straightened for home before unleashing him, and though the 6/5 favorite Soglio made a strong move alongside him in midstretch, Red Knight dug in and fought back gamely through to the wire. The Bill Mott trainee crossed with a head advantage in a final time of 3:19.87 for the 16-furlong marathon over the firm turf course.
“It was a long race and they went pretty fast at first,” Saez said. “I just tried to hold my horse because he wanted to run off also in the first turn. I just tried to stay patient all the way, and in the last turn at the 5/8 pole, I came out and let him pick it up a little. When we came to the 3/8 pole, he was ready to take off.”
Nessy faded in the stretch run to finish in third over Winter Union, while behind them, Porter Street was most prominent in a wall of horses fighting for fifth. Ultimately, Lascaux was a neck back in sixth, with Seeking Albert another neck and Galope Americano a 1/2-length further behind. Archer Road, Cullum Road, Unbridled Holiday, Camp Creek, and a spent Ekhtibaar completed the order of finish. Without Remorse was scratched.
Red Knight’s win, the longest of his career by 6 furlongs, improved his career record to 11-6-2-1. The 4-year-old gelded son of Pure Prize has now earned $340,440 in his career.
“Luis made a tactical move leaving the backstretch,” said Ken McCarthy, Mott’s longtime assistant. “He got the jump on the favorite, who looked like he had a little trouble. It worked out well for our horse.”
Red Knight returned $13 to win, $5.40 to place, and $3.80 to show. Soglio brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Nessy paid $3.60 to show.