At Gulfstream Park, Discreet Dancer with Javier Castellano aboard established himself as a potential three-year-old force with a dominating win in the 7th race at Gulfstream Park.
“What a horse,” Castellano said. “It’s almost scary how good he is. He was quick out of the gate and just did everything right. I didn’t want to be on the lead, but he just put himself there. He was just galloping.”
“This race opens up a lot of options,” said Todd Pletcher, trainer of Discreet Dancer. “The Holy Bull Stakes on January 28 at Gulfstream Park comes up as a little too quick in three weeks. We’ll see, but I wouldn’t be afraid to stretch him out (two turns) after today.
On the West Coast, Out of Bounds’ won the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. “He’s a very big horse, but he’s a gentle giant,” said Out of Bounds winning trainer Eoin Harty. “He’s come around mentally as well as physically, and sometimes it takes a while for both to catch up. Lucky this horse has the mental attributes as well as the physical attributes.”
“When I first came off the turn, I thought I was going to run right by the favorite (Secret Circle), but this horse is just young enough to where he doesn’t quite understand everything about the game yet,” Out of Bounds jockey Garrett Gomez said. “I had to spank him a couple times to let him understand what I was wanting from him, and when I got into him a little bit he progressed and went forward.”
On to the East Coast where Godolphin Racing’s Alpha justified going off as the 4-to-5 favorite in the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct. He rallied from off the pace to draw away in Aqueduct’s first stakes race of the year for Triple Crown hopefuls.
With jockey Ramon Dominguez aboard for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, the three-year-old Bernardini colt tracked the leaders before pulling away for the victory.
“They went pretty slow,” Dominguez said. “Two sprinters were in the front, and I wasn’t overly concerned about having him any closer, but because of the lack of pace his move was kind of gradual.”
In the center of the country, horse racing fans saw the Prevue Stakes at Turfway Park. Mr. Prankster came from off the pace getting back on track for trainer Mike Maker, who co-owns the colt with Thomas Conway John McKee was aboard.
“He’s just kind of a pushbutton horse,” said McKee. “The race set up well for us and we let the speed go. I was in a good position down the backside, and turning for home, when I asked him, he was there. Mike had him ready to go and I was just a passenger.”
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