HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Starlight Racing’s Sombeyay returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in over a year and a half on Saturday, taking command in mid-stretch and holding sway late to score in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking well from post 5 under Flavien Prat as 7/2 favorite, Sombeyay cleared over to the rail but had to check heading into the clubhouse turn after Gemonteer crowded him. To their outside, Gidu shot ahead the farthest and set a very lengthy early lead while posting opening fractions of :21.93, :44.26, and 1:08.27.
Gidu’s lead began to vanish heading into the clubhouse turn, putting Sombeyay in prime striking position as he straightened for home. Tipped out two-wide, Sombeyay inched past a slowing Gidu at the 1/8 pole before clearing that foe.
Though several runners came flying late, none were able to catch Sombeyay. The Todd Pletcher trainee crossed a 1/2-length clear in a final time of 1:32.44 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
“I had a good trip,” Prat said. “He broke well and put me in the race. From there, he got the job done. Once I got to the lead, he kind of looked around a little bit, but I had more horse if I needed it.”
English Bee fought gamely between foes late to take second by a neck over Hay Dakota and Louder Than Bombs, who dead-heated for third. Gidu weakened to fifth, a 1/2-length behind third and a neck past Caribou Club.
Completing the order of finish came Mr Dumas, Hembree, Krampus, Musical Heart, Gemonteer, and Flying Scotsman to complete the order of finish.
Sombeyay’s win was his first since he took the Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga in 2018 and improved his overall mark to 11-3-4-0. The 4-year-old son of Into Mischief, purchased for $230,000 as a yearling, has now earned $342,990.
“The last one was a good comeback race that we felt like it was good enough to come back in a stake, and we’ve been targeting this race since then,” Pletcher said. “He ran pretty well on the dirt (earlier in his career), but he’s always been a horse that trained just okay on the dirt. He actually ran a little better than he was training, but the Into Mischiefs seem so versatile. We worked him one day on the turf, and we were like, ‘Wow, he moved forward.’ It seems like he’s improved a bit as a 4-year-old.”
Sombeyay returned $9.40 to win, $5.40 to place, and $3.80 to show. English Bee brought back $9.20 to place and $5.60 to show, while Hay Dakota paid $3 to show and Louder Than Bombs paid $7.80 to show.