Chester and Mary Broman's Hook and Ladder led from start to finish and held off a game challenge from Trippi and Rollin With Nolan for an impressive victory in Friday's Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. II).
The 4-year-old son of Dixieland Band ridden by Richard Migliore for trainer John Kimmel got a good jump out of the gate and was stalked early by Beware Avalanche. Hook and Ladder led Trippi through the first quarter-mile in :22. Those two continued to hold their positions, stopping the timer in :43 4/5 for a half-mile as Hook and Ladder began to draw away rounding the turn. The three-quarters of a mile was completed in 1:08 2/5. Hook and Ladder continued his dominance through the stretch as the stalking Trippi began to close. The winner held on for a head victory over Trippi, the 4-5 favorite in the six-horse field as Rollin With Nolan, who unleashed a strong move in the stretch, finished third. The final time for seven furlongs was 1:21 4/5.
Hook and Ladder returned $10.40, $4.60, and $3.20. Trippi was worth $3.00 and $2.20 and Rollin With Nolan paid $2.60 to show.
Bred in Kentucky by Marshall Naify, Hook and Ladder was purchased for $800,000 at last year's Barretts July sale. Initially trained by John Shirreffs, Hook and Ladder broke his maiden by 5 1/2 lengths in his career debut at Hollywood Park. In his only previous stakes experience previous to Friday's victory, the colt finished fifth in the Jerome Handicap (gr. II) victory of Fusaichi Pegasus last September. Hook and Ladder is undefeated in three 2001 starts and improved his record to five wins in seven starts.