HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Speed Franco proved to be the speediest of the nine entrants when it counted, getting up just in time to take Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Hustled from the gate along the rail under Emisael Jaramillo, Speed Franco soon conceded the lead to Gidu, who set splits of :22.66, :46.99, and 1:10.94. Slowly moving closer towards Gidu as he raced into the far turn, Speed Franco engaged leader at the 1/4-pole and battled alongside him for the length of the stretch before edging ahead in the shadow of the wire. The Gustavo Delgado-trained 3-year-old crossed first by a head in a final time of 1:34.95 for the mile-long turf course event.
“The trainer has run this horse how they thought they needed to, close to the lead,” Jaramillo said. “In the previous race, he ran from behind and that didn’t work, so they decided to run him on the lead. The plan was to chase the lead, and it worked today.”
The favored Untamed Domain never factored into the decision, finishing 2 3/4 lengths behind the top duo, but he did prove best of the rest, taking third while finishing 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Channel Cat. It was another length back to Renaisance Frolic in fifth, with Machtree, Cometin, Cuestion de Tiempo, and Golden Dragon completing the order of finish.
Speed Franco’s win was the second of his career following his maiden-breaker in the $75,000 Pulpit Stakes here on December 9, 2017. The 3-year-old son of Declaration of War now has career earnings of $112,830.
“I prefer the horse to be in the front or second (early),” Delgado said. “His last race I didn’t like, he was back. I told the jockey, ‘No more, no more, you put the horse in front or second.’”
Speed Franco returned $10.80 to win, $4.80 to place, and $2.80 to show. Gidu brought back $4 to place and $2.60 to show, while Untamed Domain paid $2.20 to show.