HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After a stretch run that could have gone either way, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Shining Copper emerged victorious over One Go All Go by the slimmest of margins to win Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Off alertly under Jose Ortiz, Shining Copper took the lead straight away and set splits of :24.42, :48.52, and 1:12.33 while Shakhimat stayed strongly along his outside. Hitting the top of the stretch, Shining Copper repelled his initial shadow but soon gained a new one in One Go All Go, and the pair hooked up for a tight duel to the wire. Shining Copper refused to be denied and prevailed by a head in a final time of 1:43.44 for the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
“The first thing I did when I broke, my horse broke really sharp and clean, so I decided to go on,” Ortiz said. “My horse always fights hard. When I won on him in Saratoga, he fought really hard, too, so I knew he would when (One Go All Go) came to me. But I think that horse hung a little bit when he made the lead, too. I was going easy enough early on that it didn’t surprise me at all that somebody was going to push me a little bit. I managed to go a decent 1/2 for him and I’m glad he came back and had the victory for the Ramseys.”
All Included was 2 lengths back in third, with Team Colors another 1 1/2 lengths behind in fourth. Shakhimat faded to finish fifth over Diamond Bachelor and the favored Heart to Heart, who reared at the start and never found his footing. Summer Causeway was never a factor and finished last in the eight-horse field. Beneficiary was a Main Track Only entry.
With the win, Shining Copper improved his record to 32-9-4-7. The Mike Maker-trained 8-year-old gelded son of Aragorn increased his career earnings to $817,449.
“You don’t get that old without having a heart and trying hard,” Maker said. “He’s just a tough old dude. He loves to run. He’s an unbelievably smart horse.”
Shining Copper returned $12.40 to win, $6.40 to place, and $3.80 to show. One Go All Go brought back $17 to place and $6.80 to show, while All Included paid $3.20 to show.