A Grade I winner who lost Saratoga's Grade I Test by a nose to You in her last start, Carson Hollow made short work of three rivals in the Floral Park. She popped quickly out of the gate and never surrendered the lead, going in uncontested splits of :22 2/5; :45 4/5 and :57 4/5. When she switched leads for jockey John Velazquez in the lane, she opened up on her nearest pursuer and had more than enough to withstand Gold Mover and triumph
in 1:10 1/5.
"It was easy," Vealzquez said. "She broke real sharp today. She was into the bridle; I kind of just grabbed hold of her and kept my hands tight. Things worked out perfectly. I just tapped her a few times on the shoulder to get her attention down the lane."
Owned by Hemlock Hills Farm and Stronach Stable, Carson Hollow is a New York-bred daughter of Carson City who has now won five of six starts.Trainer Richard Dutrow said she would likely start next in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at six furlongs. Last year, the filly Xtra Heat nearly upset the Sprint field, losing to Squirtle Squirt by a half-length here at Belmont Park."She won big today," Dutrow said of Carson Hollow after the Floral Park. "She relaxed so well with Johnny (Velazquez) that he was just galloping her along. When the other horse (2001 Floral Park Handicap winner Gold Mover) came to her, she didn't want to run with that other horse. So, she just took off. "The track has been playing awfully dead lately, and for her to run a
half that slow has got to be something to do with the track. If it was a fast track, she would have went :44 4/5 with them at the same pace behind her. She took off when he asked her. We have plenty of time to the next race. If we have to train her a little more aggressively, we can do that. I've just been playing around with her." Carson Hollow, off at 1-2, returned $3 to win. Shiny Band was third and To Marquet was last. La Galerie was scratched. (Chart, Equibase)