Dark Phooey Sneaks Through To Win Gallant Bob

Gallant Bob Stakes (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
PRX- For Three Year Olds
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
September 23, 2017

The field in the Gallant Bob was an interesting one. There was only one horse in the field who had been a regular sprinter throughout his career. For a Grade 3 event with this high of a purse, that was a little unexpected. If you looked at the racing form, and the past performances of the horses in the field, without being told how long they were going to run today, pretty much everyone would have said that this race would have been at least a mile. There was only one horse in this field who could definitely be looked at as a natural sprinter. And, by the way, guess who won the race? I titled the preview, “Will they be ready for the wire?”, and while several had the urging of their jockeys to know that the wire was coming in the stretch, only one really seemed to have the nose for it, as evidenced by his nice closing effort in the stretch. That would be Dark Phooey, your race winner. With the win, Dark Phooey has now been a part of the exacta in nine straight, and six of them are victories. This was his first graded attempt, and that’s what likely kept him from the favorite. He makes it count though, so congratulations to him and his trainer, Ekli Stable. It is the trainer’s first win in the stake, and the jockey, I Ortiz Jr, also gets it done for the first time. The time of the victory was 1:09.05, the second quickest in the history of the stake. Let’s look at how it was done!

(1/4 Mile- :22.46)- There are three of them who break sharply out of the gate. Initially, Di Zanzi, from Gdp Inc was the most ambitious before he seemed to become restrained after about a furlong. The other two quick starters were from our outer posts, and Axeman’s Special Guy was looking particularly good here, with True Code shadowing behind him for D J C Racing Stables. Our eventual winner, Dark Phooey, was not concerned with this and patiently stayed glued to the rail, about two and a half lengths back for Ekil Stable, while one of the newest addition’s to John Henry’s stable, Shen Valley, kept him company. Report (Nakamura Stables) was another length or so back while The Hand Youre Dealt (Mb Stables) was dealt the closing card if he wanted to win.

(Top of stretch, 1.5F To Go)- After running a half mile within the turn at :45.23, the field emerges at the top of the stretch with True Code looking really good now. He would overtake Special Guy about midway through the turn, but that may have been more of a product of that one tiring out. At the top of stretch then, its True Code by a length over Di Zanzi, who’s about to take over a second. Running in the fourth position is our Dark Phooey. He’s still on the rail here, but he would have to move over to the next lane if he was to pass True Code. Shen Valley had also moved to the outside, as he looked to split Special Guy and Di Zanzi. The Hand Youre Dealt was looking to go further to the outside, while Report was not yet making his move.

(Finish- 1:09.05)- It was very apparent in the stretch that there was one horse in this field who has been ingrained to go six furlongs. Don’t misinterpret that as a put down to the others as there were a few in here who transitioned to the distance just fine, but in looking at Dark Phooey, you knew, this was his forte. Calmly, I Ortiz Jr moved Dark Phooey to the outside of True Code, and he completed the pass for the win without much difficulty. On the outside, Di Zanzi was running well, to move up. Soon into the stretch run we began to see Report moving up too, and he would do well to nip Di Zanzi for second, but needed to start his run earlier if he wanted to catch Dark Phooey. True Code clings to the fourth position. On the outside, a run by The Hand Youre Dealt never panned out, and he was fifth. Shen Valley was flat in the stretch, and that cost him his ability to breed. Early running Special Guy had nothing late.

About The Winner: Dark Phooey, trained by Ekli Stable and ridden by I Ortiz Jr, is a three year old colt by Hong Kong Phooey, and out of Dark Panther. He was bred in New York as a first quarter two year old by Ekli Stable, the only trainer for which he has ever known! Congratulations to the connections! The win is his ninth in 13 career starts, his sixth stake win, and first graded stake win. His career earnings now sit at $581.260.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Dark Phooey Ekli Stable Ortiz I Jr 4.05   11 1:09.05  
  Report Nakamura Stables Rosario J 19.70   2no 1:09.30  
  Di Zanzi Gdp Inc Velazquez J R 1.85   33/4 1:09.32  
  True Code D J C Racing Stables Pennington F 5.95   41/2 1:09.47  
  The Hand Youre Dealt Mb Stables Albarado R J 3.50   53/4 1:09.58  
  Shen Valley John Henry Bejarano R 17.50   61 1:09.75  
  Special Guy Axeman Quinonez L S 5.05   7 1:10.10  

Track: Fast

Time: :222  :451  :57   1:09

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Dark Phooey 10.10 6.20 3.10
3 – Report   20.50 9.50
4 – Di Zanzi     2.50

$1 Exacta: 1 – 3 Paid 112.10

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 3 – 4 Paid 606.00

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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