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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Antonio Cioffi was understandably thrilled with Warrior’s Pride’s gate-to-wire victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint at Gulfstream Park, but he was especially delighted to win a race named to honor the memory of the late and beloved racing official.
“I very happy to win this race because when I came into this country, Bob Umphrey helped me so much,” said the Italian-born Cioffi, who emigrated from Venezuela in 2001. “At the time, he was the racing secretary at Calder. I’m proud to win this race.”
The Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint, a 5-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds and up, wrapped up the Fourth of July Weekend stakes action that got underway on Saturday’s Summit of Speed card, highlighted by Ce Ce’s triumph in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Invitational (G2) and Miles Ahead’s mild upset victory in the $200,000 Smile Sprint Invitational (G3).
Warrior’s Pride, a 3-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior who was sent to post at 9/1, rocketed to the early lead as Caribou Club, the 8/5 favorite, and Ete Indien, the 7/2 second choice, got away slowly.
The Cioffi trainee set fractions of 22.03 and 44.92 seconds for the first 1/4 and 1/2 miles while maintaining a clear lead into the stretch under Emisael Jaramillo.
Tiger Blood, the veteran turf sprinter with 19 career victories, made a late surge from off the pace but fell a neck short of catching the pacesetter. Yes I Am Free finished third, 1 1/4 lengths back.
Citrus Burst, Harry’s Ontheloose, Romario, Caribou Club, Ete Indien, Sovereign Warrior, Brother Satchmo, and Nitro Trime completed the order of finish. Ournationonparade scratched. R Mercedes Boy was a Main Track Only entry.
Warrior’s Pride earned a $25,000 ‘Win Only’ bonus available to Florida-bred starters as well as the winner’s share of the purse after running 5 furlongs in 57.30 over a ‘good’ turf.
The Umphrey score was Warrior’s Pride’s second turf victory in 2 starts on the grass. He captured the five-furlong Texas Glitter during the Championship Meet prior to finishing fifth in the 6 1/2-furlong Roar on the main track.
“He’s so speedy. This is the race for him,” Cioffi said.
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