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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Lea Farms LLC’s Willy Boi stepped off the Triple Crown trail and into the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle Saturday, capturing the $75,000 Hutcheson Stakes with a gritty performance.
The Hutcheson, a 6-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, highlighted a 12-race program, along with the $75,000 Any Limit and the $75,000 Sanibel Island.
After tiring to finish far back in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull (G3) last time out, Willy Boi ran his undefeated record in sprints to 3-for-3 while cutting back in distance in the Hutcheson. The gelded son of Uncaptured pressed a rapid pace while racing between Warrior’s Pride on the inside and favored Roderick to his outside during a first quarter of a mile in 21.97 and a half-mile in 44.99 seconds. The Jeff Engler-trained Florida-bred asserted himself turning into the stretch and kicked away to victory over a sealed sloppy track.
“I was pretty confident. Jeff had him ready. He tried him long the last time – he had to. The horse didn’t want to go that long. He showed today he’s a sprinter,” jockey Corey Lanerie said. “I was really confident, especially coming out of the route race and him having a little bit more air. The horse put me in a great position and I just had to be a great passenger.”
Willy Boi, who won both of his races at six furlongs before running in the Holy Bull, ran six furlongs in 1:10.93 to score by 1 ¾ lengths over a late closing Ultimate Badger.
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Farsighted made a most promising 2021 debut Saturday at Gulfstream Park while registering a 4 ¼ -length victory in the $75,000 Any Limit.
The Any Limit, a 6-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, highlighted Saturday’s program, along with the $75,000 Hutcheson and the $75,000 Captiva Island.
Unraced since the Nov. 28 Golden Rod, in which she set the pace before tiring at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs, Farsighted was a force from start to finish in the Any Limit. The Rusty Arnold-trained daughter of Bernardini stalked pacesetter and 6-5 favorite Boston Post Road, who set fractions of 22.68 and 46.08 seconds for the first half-mile. Farsighted made a strong move to the lead entering the stretch under Jose Ortiz and was never threatened thereafter to win her first stakes.
“Everything went great. I left it up to [jockey Jose Ortiz]. I didn’t know if she’d be that close, but she just outbroke the gate and he said he was there and went on,” Arnold said. “Her first three sprints were great. I tried her long, and it didn’t work. We gave her a little time and she came back very good.”
Before unsuccessfully stretching out in the Golden Rod, Farsighted finished a troubled fourth in her career debut at Churchill Sept. 4 before breaking her maiden at six furlongs and finishing second in the 6 ½-furlong Songbird at Keeneland.
Farsighted ($12.20) ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.95.
“She broke really sharp. [Boston Post Road] wanted the lead, so I sat off it. I felt like I had a lot of horse the whole way,” Ortiz said after his third victory on Saturday’s card. “When she got to the quarter-pole, I asked her to go, and she responded.”
Shop Girl rallied to finish second, three quarters of a length ahead of Feeling Mischief. Boston Post Road faded to fourth a half-length farther back.
Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Darsan Inc., Bethlehem Stables and David Simon’s A Bit of Both came with a steady run down the center of the stretch to reel in 4-5 favorite Miss Auramet and post a half-length victory in and off-the-turf edition of the $75,000 Captiva Island for fillies and mares 4 and older.
Ridden by Jose Ortiz for trainer Mike Maker, who earlier in the day teamed up to win a 1 1/16-mile turf claimer with 6-year-old Dream Friend, A Bit of Both ($8.80) ran five furlongs in 58.93 seconds over a sloppy and sealed main track to earn her fourth career stakes win.
Queen of Shades was sent to the lead from her rail post and ran the opening quarter of a mile in 22.48 seconds, pressed on her right by Miss Auramet, with Tracy Ann’s Legacy on the far outside, until Miss Auramet forged a short lead on the turn after a half in 45.90. A Bit of Both raced in fifth before being tipped wide by Ortiz approaching the stretch and maintaining a steady drive through the lane for her 10th lifetime win from 18 starts.
Miss Auramet was second, followed by Tracy Ann’s Legacy, Choose Joy, Nightlife, Compensate and Queen of Shades.
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