HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Woodslane Farm’s Sadler’s Joy prevailed in a three-horse fight to the finish to win the 56th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Pan American Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Tom Albertrani-trained 4-year-old chestnut colt edged Three Diamonds Farm’s Designed for War by a head and posted a winning time of 2:26.89 for 1 1/2 miles on a firm turf course.
The race for older horses was the eighth of nine stakes, six graded, worth $2.45 million as part of a card highlighted by the Grade 1, $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby.
Merriebelle Stable’s Reporting Star, ridden by Javier Castellano, raced to the lead and set fractions of 24.15 seconds, 49.77, 1:15.54, and 1:40.42. Jockey Joel Rosario and Designed for War overtook Reporting Star heading into the far turn, followed by Starlight Racing’s Snag, with John Velazquez aboard, leading a tightening field right behind.
Sadler’s Joy made his move early in the stretch, then surged after rider Julien Leparoux went to the whip in mid-stretch and got his head down at the wire.
James Karp and James Patterson’s Patterson Cross was third, a neck behind Designed for War. A length farther back was the 3-1 favorite Taghleeb, with Reporting Star, Snag, Montclair, and Mr Maybe completing the order of finish.
Sadler’s Joy returned $9.40, $5.60, and $3.60. Designed for War brought back $12.40 and $7.40, while Patterson Cross paid $3 to show.
Trainer Tom Albertrani, Sadler’s Joy: “I got really excited the first time I ever saw this horse run, the way he finished, and it took him a couple of races to kind of put things together. All of sudden, once we got to Saratoga, he broke his maiden and came back with two more nice wins. We gave him a little time. We just felt this horse had a lot of potential. We stepped him up in the McKnight knowing we could run a decent race and hoping for good results. He ran every bit as good as we thought and came short of one jump of winning the race, and today, we got lucky and got in front this time. I think he’s got so much potential, this horse.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux, Sadler’s Joy: “I had a very good trip. I think Taghleeb got the jump on us last time when he came running and finished very strong. Today, I was clear all the way so I could make my move whenever I wanted it. He finished up good on that track, a speed-favoring track, to come from where we came from, I think that was a good race. I thought I had it, but everybody was not sure, so I was like, ‘Maybe I didn’t get it.’ But I thought I had it.”
Source: Gulfstream Park