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Venezuelan Hug Drives to Sunshine Turf Victory
Credit: Coglianese Photos / Lauren King

Venezuelan Hug Drives to Sunshine Turf Victory

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Spedale Family Racing LLC and R.A. Hill Stable’s Venezuelan Hug, the 5-2 favorite under jockey Luis Saez, moved four-wide entering the stretch before driving past the leaders to win the $75,000 Sunshine Turf over Shamrocket Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

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A 4-year-old colt by Florida Derby (G1) winner Constitution, Venezuelan Hug covered a firm 1 1 /16 mile in 1:40.02. It was the colt’s fifth victory in nine starts. He previously won the Sunshine Turf Preview Nov. 21 at Gulfstream West and last summer an allowance race at Saratoga. Venezuelan Hug was claimed for $40,000 at Gulfstream last March.

“He’s tough,” said trainer Danny Gargan. “We’re happy to have him. My assistant Carol Fisher picked him out when we claimed him. He’s a pretty fun horse.”

It was Proven Strategies who broke on top in the Sunshine Turf and the Toronto Cup winner posted some fast fractions of :22.65, :45.85 and 1:09.83 while Saez rated Venezuelan Hug fifth. Saez moved Venezuelan Hug four wide around the turn and drove past his eight opponents.

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