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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Eric Wirth homebred With Verve made it two straight while making a successful debut in the stakes ranks, pulling off the upset to win Saturday’s $100,000 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 4 under Edgar Prado at 18/1, With Verve took back early and watched from the rear of the six-horse field. Up front, Smash Factor dueled with Ournationonparade through opening fractions of :23.14 and :46.66 through the far turn.
Sent out five-wide near the top of the stretch, With Verve straightened for home and began rolling home strongly. Surging along the outside of the 4/5 favorite Shivaree, With Verve struck the front end inside the 1/16 pole and held on gamely for victory.
Trained by Larry Bates, With Verve crossed a neck clear in a final time of 1:11.44 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“I studied the race and it looked like there was a lot of speed, so my plan was to break, let him settle, and come with a run,” said Prado, who has now ridden all four of the horse’s wins. “The race set up beautiful. Around the turn, I asked him a little bit and he was going well. The horse inside (Shivaree) fought real hard in the lane. (With Verve) is a gutsy horse. He’s getting better with every race, and the thing I like about him is he can go short or long.”
After breaking slowest of all, Shivaree rushed up into contention when it mattered most, but he didn’t have enough to hold off the eventual winner. Ournationonparade was a neck back in third, a 1/2-length ahead of Smash Factor.
Peruvian Boy and King Snake completed the order of finish. Scarto was scratched.
With Verve’s win improved his overall mark to 8-4-1-0 with $135,940 earned. The Florida-bred 3-year-old gelded son of Kantharos had broken his maiden at second asking while running for a $35,000 tag at Gulfstream Park West before tackling starter and state-bred allowance foes.
“He’s a real nice horse,” Bates said. “Mr. Wirth … has been in the game some 50 years. They’ve had a lot of homebreds. This is the nicest we’ve had in a while. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
With Verve returned $38.60 to win, $8.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. Shivaree brought back $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show, while Ournationonparade paid $2.60 to show.
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