You and I Forever likes to make a wide move but generally is a bit closer to the front than he was in the March 13 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO). Though not with the leaders this time, he wasn’t far off the pace and the tactic paid off, as the 5-year-old horse won his first stakes by charging from eighth to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
Le Grand Cru made the lead from the gate in the mile dirt race at the South Florida track, with You and I Forever unhurried in eighth under Javier Castellano. There was a tight group battling on the front end after a half-mile in :46.40, with only a couple of lengths separating the entire 11-horse field.
Cool Coal Man took a narrow advantage after six furlongs in 1:10.89, but Inkado was just a half-length back in second, and it was only another half-length to You and I Forever, who was in the five path at the top of the lane when he shot to the lead.
You and I Forever crossed under the wire in 1:36.83, with Motovato in second and Cool Coal Man barely holding third.
Favored This One’s For Phil finished eighth after never being closer than fourth.
You and I Forever was bred and is still listed as racing for Edmund Gann, a longtime owner and breeder who died Feb. 7. The horse, by A.P. Indy out of the You and I mare You, was bred by Gann in Kentucky. He is trained by Marty Wolfson, who also saddled second-place finisher Motovato.
You and I Forever was a longshot, paying $29.40, $12.20, and $7.80. Motovato returned $5 and $3.60 and Cool Coal Man paid $5.40.
“We had a plan going into the race,” Castellano said. “There was a lot of speed in there and I wanted to be mid-pack and wait for the horses to come back to me just let my horse finish, and it worked out exactly that way.”
Wolfson said he liked both You and I Forever and Motovato coming into the race, but had to push the estate of late owner Edmund Gann to run You and I Forever.
“He wasn't even going to run,” Wolfson said. “A deal has been made (by the estate of Gann) to sell the horse to interests in India as a stud prospect. I begged them to let me run him.”
Wolfson called You and I Forever and Motovato, also a 5-year-old, “amazing horses to still be running.
“Both have had multiple surgeries,” said Wolfson, before adding, “At least I get to keep Motovato.”