Mansell Stables' Quest Star and jockey Edgar Prado dictated the pace from the start and scored a sharp 1 3/4-length victory over 3-5 favorite Man From Wicklow in the $200,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the lawn at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
The winning time in the 1 1/2-mile Pan American was 2:28 2/5.
Quest Star went to the lead at the rail soon after the break and cruised through the opening half-mile in :50 and six furlongs in 1:15 while maintaining a 1 1/2-length lead over Mr. Livingston and Whata Brainstorm.
The 4-year-old son of Broad Brush continued to nurse his lead through a mile in 1:40 2/5 and 2:04 1/5 for 10 furlongs. He had plenty left to hold off Man From Wicklow, who finished a length ahead of Reduit, who nosed out Whata Brainstorm for the show in the nine-horse field.
Bailey allowed Man From Wicklow to fall well back early and the son of Turkoman, seeking his third straight graded stakes victory, was seventh after a mile. He made a three-wide move on the final turn to reach contention, but could not run down the winner. Man From Wicklow won the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) on Feb. 16. He carried top weight of 122 pounds Saturday and spotted the winner nine pounds.
Reduit, who rallied wide for jockey Mark Guidry, was vanned off afterward.
Elliott Walden trains Quest Star, who won an allowance at 1 3/8 mile at Gulfstream on Feb. 9, his first start of the season. Winner of the 1 1/8-mile National Museum of Racing Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga in August, the Kentucky bred won for the first time at the 12-furlong distance. Overall, he has four wins in 16 starts with four seconds and four thirds. He notched a winner's purse of $120,000, increasing his career bankroll to more than $400,000.
John Messara bred Quest Star, a $150,000 Ocala March 2001 purchase.
The 9-2 second choice paid $11.80, $3.40 and $3. Man From Wicklow returned $2.20 and $2.20. Reduit's show price was $4.80.