The Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
GP- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Turf
January 13, 2018
The more well known names running in the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes did not seem to show up for this race, and in a race where the betting public could determine no clear favorite (One Direction, at 5.90/1 was the favorite), a new addition to LionKing Stables, Solow, stole the show and picked up the win. Maybe the bute made all the difference! It is the first win in the stake for the trainer, as well as for the jockey, L Contreras, who snapped J R Leparoux’s recent stranglehold on the race. The time of the victory was 1:39.80, which ranks the race in the middle in terms of finishing times of prior editions. Here’s a look!
(1/4 Mile- :23.02)- The start of the race sees the great Sir Tom (Brave) jump out to the lead from one of the outer posts, and The Land (Wolf Ridge Stables) also breaks well and is within a length, from post 11. Nineties Batler (Not Baller as he was alluded to in the preview), from John Henry starts well too, and is second into the opening turn, slightly ahead of the land, and stalking the two of them would be One Direction (Estero Farms). This is accounted for the starters in posts 8-11, showing that the outside push may be alive and well into this year. Just off the lead, sitting about two and a half back were Magi (Nakamura Stables) and Sir Laffalot (Tiratzo). Behind them, we had the typical midpack four wide running of horses with, from inside to outside, A Crazed Frenzy (Eastern Equine), Danke Schon (Nakamura Stables), our eventual winner Solow (LionKing Stables), and Desolation Island (Mb Stables). Expressly (Wolfs Den) ran wide and did not enjoy the same outside push from post 12, and Limato (Chili King Stables) saw them all in front of him.
(½ Mile- :46.18)- The front end emerges with a battle between Nineties Batler and Sir Tom, and they exchange the lead a couple times over the course of the backstretch as they inch away from the rest by almost two lengths. One Direction is still in good striking range, as is The Land, with Magi running consistently on the rail. Danke Schon was a good mover at this point of the race, leaving those he ran with previously to advance to fifth, and look for more. Sir Laffalot was sixth, content with his position, while Solow began to explore the option of an outside run. Others were not showing much, though Limato had caught the pack.
(Top of Stretch, 1.5 To Go)- Rounding the turn, Sir Tom began to outduel Nineties Balter and show why he is a champion racehorse, but it soon became evident that his lead was in trouble. One Direction was reeling him in quickly, and by the time they hit the top of the stretch they were in part of the three-way battle for the lead. The third component of that fight was Magi, who gracefully rode the rail throughout the race, but needed to move off of that to get by the two frontrunners. Magi’s stablemate Danke Schon was also looking into joining the mix and was within a length of the lead himself. Nineties Balter was still fourth at this point, but looking like he might have some trouble keeping up in the stretch. While all this was going on, we also had Solow, who had been scoping out that outside lane for much of the backstretch run, and took charge of it running into the turn. About halfway into the turn is when we saw Solow really began to make up ground and look like he would have a great shot at winning this race, even with covering the extra race track that this six-wide move would entail. Everyone else who had been at the back starting to gradually cut into the distance as well, but there was not that one particular noteworthy move amongst them that looked like they might run with Solow to the front.
(Finish- 1:39.80)- A tremendous stretch run by Solow in this race, especially when you consider the wide trip that he had in this stretch. Solow would not let his new trainer, LionKing Stables down in the stretch, as his powerful stride saw him take the lead in the final moments to get the win! It was not easy, as Danke Schon who had been running well, also seemed to have an extra gear for the closing moments of the race, and got up for second, just a head over the third place One Direction. That one had seemingly done everything right in the race until the very end. Things were very tight between 2nd and 6th, showing that the game picks up right where it left off in 2017. Limato, who ran gamely in the stretch, and impressively picked his way through traffic, sees the wire come up too soon, but gets 4th barely over Magi, who hold off Sir Tom. The next three, Desolation Island, A Crazed Frenzy, and Nineties Balter were all close as well. The back sees Sir Laffalot beating Expressly and The Land.
About The Winner- Solow, trained by LionKing Stables and ridden by L Contreras, is a four-year old gelding by Rene, and is out of Serenity In Blue. He was bred as a first-quarter two year old by Blushing Meadows in Florida and was acquired by the trainer, via Smokey Stover just 10-days ago in private sales for $100.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 16 starts, his third stake win, and second graded win. His career earnings are now $596.280.
Time: :23 :46 1:092 1:394
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 3 – 2 Paid 122.10
$1 Trifecta: 3 – 2 – 9 Paid 720.30
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES