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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Already a graded stakes winner on the local dirt, Richard Otto Stables homebred Sir Anthony set a new track record while posting a 28/1 upset in Saturday’s $75,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes over the Gulfstream Park lawn.
Named for his trainer Anthony Mitchell, Sir Anthony and jockey Julien Leparoux broke from the far outside post 11 and settled into an early mid-pack position just ahead of the 5/2 favorite Focus Group.
Conviction Trade went to the front and set a moderate tempo for the 2-mile firm turf marathon, posting fractions of :26.06, :51.57, 1:17.05, and 1:41.81 through the first half of the race.
Sir Anthony ranged up close as the field entered the far turn for the second time, getting first run at the pacesetter and presenting his challenge near the top of the stretch.
Taking over with a furlong remaining, Sir Anthony held a 3/4-length advantage through to the wire, completing the course in 3:19.48 to best Red Knight’s mark of 3:19.87 that he set while winning this race in 2018.
“I said it after he won the Harlan’s Holiday, they don’t give him the respect he deserves,” Anthony said. “The owner is a pure champion of a man. He’s been good to me and our relationship has been 26 years now. He bred this horse, along with a lot of other graded stakes winners that I’ve had. Full credit to Mr. Otto.”
Despite finding the winner too tough to hold off, Conviction Trade’s hard-fought effort put him 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Cowtown for second. Back the same gap came Muralist in fourth.
Clear Vision, Tintoretto, Focus Group, Dante’s Fire, Treasure Trove, Hieroglyphics, and High Noon Rider completed the order of finish.
Sir Anthony’s win was his first since the 2019 Cornhusker Handicap (G3) at Prairie Meadows and improved his overall record to 28-7-3-4. The 5-year-old Illinois-bred Mineshaft ridgling has now earned $493,550.
“We’ve been trying for a race for him on the dirt and it’s been a while since he won,” Mitchell said. “I was really looking for a confidence race for him and to get a race past a mile, which is tough to do. The opportunities out there were really for longer races on the turf, so we gave him a couple of runs on the turf in Arlington and it looked like he was OK on it, so we had that in the back of our mind. Moving forward, we were looking for a race past a mile and 1/8. The opportunity to go 2 miles was out there and we presented it to the owner. He agreed, so we took a crack at it.”
Sir Anthony returned $58 to win, $20.40 to place, and $14.20 to show. Conviction Trade brought back $6.20 to place and $4.20 to show, while Cowtown paid $17.40 to show.
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