Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, making his first start in more than four months, came off the rail in the stretch to collar stablemate Deputy Storm and drew off to a 2 1/4-length victory in $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Limehouse, a chestnut colt by Grand Slam, got his 3-year-old campaign for trainer Todd Pletcher off to a strong start, completing the seven-furlong Hutcheson in 1:22 1/5 on a fast track.
Patiently ridden by John Velazquez, Limehouse had a dream trip, settling in behind the pacesetter Deputy Storm, who led Harbour Gate and Bourbon N Blues through quick early splits of :21 3/5 and :43 3/5. Coming out of the home turn, Deputy Storm put away his rivals and steered for home under Jerry Bailey a couple of lengths in front.
Limehouse found room as the other leaders fell away and drew even with Deputy Storm in mid-stretch after six furlongs in 1:08 4/5, gradually pulling away. Saratoga County, with Eibar Coa aboard, came from well back to finish third, beaten by four lengths for it all.
Limehouse's last start was a fading third to Eurosilver in the 1 1/16-mile Lanes' End Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland in his last start Oct. 4. He won the Chimney Juvenile and Bashford Manor (gr. III) at Churchill Downs earlier in his 2-year-old campaign. Overall, he's won four of seven starts with earnings of $350,435.
From the Dixieland Band
mare Dixieland Blues, Limehouse was bred in Florida by Cheryl A. Curtin. He was purchased for $140,000 in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August 2002 yearling sale for $140,000.
Limehouse paid $10.40, $5.80 and $4. Deputy Storm returned $10 and $6.60. Saratoga County's show was $9.60. The $2 exacta was worth $79.
WynnDot Comma, the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10, encountered traffic trouble on the final turn under Joe Bravo, but lacked much of a kick after angling out in the stretch and finished fourth. He was followed by Weigelia, Blushing Indian, Bourbon N Blues, Harbour Gate, Ghost Mountain and Bachelor Blues.