In a pair of thrilling stretch drives to settle the divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course Saturday, Fortunate Card and Lawbook emerged with hard-earned victories.
In the first race, the $75,000 Desert Vixen for fillies, fortunate Card fought off Heavenly Miss to emerge with a short head advantage.
Fortunate Card completed the distance in 1:11 3/5. Jockey Sebastian Madrid, who broke his 0-for-27 record in Florida Stallion Stakes races, rode her. Trainer Henry Collazo, however, boosted his FSS record to an impressive three wins from four starts. Collazo trained Carey's Gold to two divisional victories in last year's series.
Fortunate Card was bred in Florida by the partnership of Farnsworth Farms & Joel Sainer. Farnsworth Farms is the top breeder in FSS history with 10 wins in the series. The brown filly is a daughter of Fortunate Prospect, the sire of FSS winners Fortune Pending (1994 My Dear Girl) and Bold World (2001 Susan's Girl). Fortunate Prospect is owned by Richlyn Farms.
Lawbook took the $75,000 Dr. Fager division in similar fashion. He outlasted Trust N Luck in 1:11 1/5 by 3/4 of a length.
Lawbook is trained by 84-year-old Thomas Heard, Jr., who has now trained a stakes winner in eight consecutive decades. (He won his first stakes race in 1938 with Be Blue.) He has only tried two horses in Florida Stallion Stakes races over the years and this was his first victory in the program.
Winning jockey Roger Velez has now won three FSS races in only four attempts. Velez rode Carey's Gold to two victories in last year's series.