Stalking Kiss the Kid, ridden by Elvis Trujillo at odds of 11-1, overcame Society's Chairman in the last strides to post a neck victory in the $100,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes on the Gulfstream Park turf Jan. 10.
Society's Chairman, closing from mid-pack for jockey Edgar Prado, had put his head in front of stubborn pacesetter A.P. Magic with a furlong to run, but just failed to last over the relentless Kiss the Kid. Society's Chairman finished second by a half-length over A.P. Magic and Joe Bravo. It was a nose to Museeb and Wesley, who wound up in a dead heat for fourth.
Less than a length separated the first five finishers. The winning time for the 1 1/16-mile was a sharp 1:40.59 over firm ground.
Owned and trained by Amy Turrant, 6-year-old Kiss the Kid has found the winning touch in his last two starts after eight consecutive defeats dating back to December 2007. The Kentucky-bred Lemon Drop Kid horse wrapped up his 2008 campaign with a neck victory in Meadowlands' Cliff Hanger (gr. IIIT) on Oct. 10.
"He ran a great race coming off that kind of layoff," Tarrant said. "This will be perfect as a tune-up for the Gulfstream Park Turf (gr. I on Feb. 1). He is versatile. He ran third in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) last year as a longshot, but I do think he is a little better on turf. He’s just a real nice hard-knocking horse.”
Trujillo settled Kiss the Kid in third soon after the start and chased A.P. Magic and Museeb through early fractions of :23.95, :48.38 and 1:11.28. Kiss the Kid rallied three wide on the far turn as Society's Chairman made his bid to reach contention in the stretch. Society's Chairman got the lead on the outside of A.P. Magic mid-stretch but couldn't quite hold off Kiss the Kid, who surged late to get the victory.
"I was pushing (the horse) a little down the stretch and we came through," said Trujillo, who logged his third win of the day at Gulfstream.
Buffalo Man, the lukewarm 5-2 choice, faded to eighth in the stretch.
With his first victory on the Gulfstream lawn in five tries, Kiss the Kid improved his career mark to 7-2-5 in 25 starts. The $60,000 winning purse swelled the dark bay's career earnings to $534,767.
Jayeff B Stables bred Kiss the Kid, who is out of Black Tie Kiss, by Danzig.
Sent off as the sixth choice in the field of 11, Kiss the Kid carried co-high weight of 122 pounds to victory and paid $24.60, $10.20 and $6.80. The $2 exacta was worth $227.80. Society's Chairman returned $8.80 and $5.80. A.P. Magic was $16 to show.
Silver Tree, the popular multiple graded stakes winner expected to make his 9-year-old debut in the Ft. Lauderdale, was scratched.