F. Eugene Dixon's Political Attack held off even-money favorite Miesque's Approval to win Sunday's $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park, breaking an eight-race losing streak.
Ridden by Mark Guidry, Political Attack was under heavy pressure from the favorite, ridden by Jerry Bailey, on his outside, and Strategic Partner and John Velazquez on his inside, but the 4-year-old son of Hawk Attack found more in deep stretch to win by a about a half-length. Strategic Partner was a length farther back.
Guidry kept Political Attack, who is trained by Michael Matz, close to leader Rakoon through the first turn and down the backstretch while tracking in second through moderate fractions of :23 4/5 for the opening quarter-mile, :47 4/5 for the half and 1:11 for six furlongs. Midway through the final turn, Political Attack collared the leader and rolled to the front at the top of the stretch.
Challenged in the stretch, the bay colt responded gamely. Miesque's Approval, three wide on the turn, and Strategic Partner, who found room on the inside, were both well rated behind the leaders and in position to strike when they reached the stretch, but could not match the winner. Sardaukar won the photo for fourth in the seven-horse field.
Political Attack, a Triple Crown candidate after winning the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) Jan. 1, 2002, won for the first time since then. He was fourth in last year's Fountain of Youth (gr. I).
Sunday, Politcal Attack collected his fifth victory overall in 16 career outings. He is now 4-for-11 in turf races with a second and two thirds. The $60,000 winner's share increased his career bankroll to more than $300,000.
Bereton C. Jones bred Political Attack in Kentucky.
Sent off at 9-1, the winner paid $20.40, $8.40 and $6.40. Miesque's Approval returned $3.20 and $2.40. Strategic Partner's show price was $3.60. The $2 exacta was $63.80.