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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Graded stakes winner Well Defined continued a successful comeback Saturday at Gulfstream Park, capturing the $75,000 Benny The Bull Stakes by a rapidly-diminishing winning margin of a neck.
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The 5-year-old son of With Distinction, who captured the 2019 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs for Gil Campbell’s Stonehedge LLC, won his sixth race from 9 starts since coming off a layoff following a private purchase by his trainer, Kathleen O’Connell.
“He needed some time off and Mr. Campbell has a lot of horses. I was willing to give him some time off,” O’Connell said of the sale. “It’s a gamble – sometimes they come back and sometimes they don’t. I have ones come back that have never been half of what they were. I’m just glad he made a whole recovery, and Mr. Campbell still reaps the benefits because he’s the breeder. It’s a win, win, win.”
Well Defined, who was sent to post as the 6/5 favorite in a field of seven in the 7-furlong stakes for Florida-breds, was beaten to the lead by Travy Boy, who set fractions of 22.75 and 45.03 seconds for the first 1/2-mile while pressed by the favorite.
Well Defined took the lead entering the stretch under Emisael Jaramillo but started to falter in the final yards and was just able to hold off the late outside surge by Shivaree, a multiple stakes winner who finished second behind Tiz The Law in the 2020 Florida Derby (G1).
“I think he’s better loose on the lead, but I think Jaramillo made a great decision sitting off a horse that was sharp coming off a layoff,” O’Connell said.
Well Defined, who earned a $25,000 Florida Sire Stakes Win-Only bonus in addition to the winner’s share of the purse, ran 7 furlongs in 1:23.47. Shivaree finished 3/4 of a length ahead of third-place finisher Pro Quality.
Travy Boy, Silverly Enough, With Verve, and Untitled completed the order of finish. Garter and Tie scratched.
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