Carol and George Nyren’s 4-year-old gelding Dry Martini won his first stakes race when he finished first in the $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) on Monday’s holiday card at Calder Race Course. Elvis Trujillo was the winning jockey for trainer Harry Benson.
Dry Martini sat off the pace set by Rexson’s Rose, Siphon City and Too Many Toyz, running in fifth position in the 1 1/16 miles test, and was asked for his run at the quarter pole by Trujillo, who won this race last year aboard Siphon City.
The gray gelded son of Slew Gin Fizz passed the leaders coming down the stretch to win by a length over a fast-closing Rehoboth in second. Too Many Toyz finished a nose back in third. The winning time was 1:46.41 over a fast main track.
Bred in Florida by Carol Hershe and Marty Hershe, Dry Martini put together a three-race win streak at Calder last summer from July to October. He won his last race at Gulfstream Park on March 2 and with today’s victory, his lifetime earnings reach $259,355.
Sent off as the favorite in the Memorial Day Handicap, he paid $3.60, $2.80, and $2.40. Rehoboth returned $3.80 and $3.00, while Too Many Toyz paid $3.20 to show.
“He’s been a good horse from the beginning since Marty Hershe (breeder) sent him to me. Carol and George (Nyren – owners) bought him privately early in his 3-year-old year before he ever started,” Benson said. “He’s actually had some bad luck in a couple races that he might have won with better trips. We were going to run him in the Skip Away (Gulfstream on Mar. 31), but he came up with a little ankle problem, so we had to wait. He ran a big race today and right now I’d say we’ll probably take him to Iowa for his next start ($300,000, grade II Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup on June 30 at Prairie Meadows).”
“This race appeared to have a quick early pace and when those three horses went for the lead it looked like that was going to happen, but they actually went very slow up front. I just followed Harry’s instructions, which were to sit back and let this horse close on the tiring front-runners. It worked out just like he said it would despite the slow pace. My horse made me feel confident all the way around there, letting me know he was ready any time I called on him.”