Front-running Bim Bam surged late to upset odds-on choice Interactif by a nose in a terrific finish to the $125,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes on the turf Feb. 7 at Gulfstream Park.
J D Farms' Florida homebred son of Deputy Wild Cat did all of the hard work in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds, setting the pace for Interactif, who is being mentioned as a Triple Crown contender. Bim Bam could not have been blamed for giving way when passed by the favorite at the sixteenth pole. But urged on by Eibar Coa, the colt found more along the inside of Interactif and got up with a final lunge.
After carving fractions of :24.60, :49.91, and 1:14.11, Bim Bam won in a time of 1:42.07 over firm ground, defeating a field of seven rival sophomores.
Interactif, the 122-pound high weight ridden by Kent Desormeaux, tracked in second as the 4-5 favorite for most of the journey and appeared to let up just slightly after getting a head in front of Bim Bam.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Interactif was most recently third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Nov. 7, losing by three-quarters of a length. The Broken Vow colt was a two-time grade III winner on grass last year.
Since being switched to the turf last fall by trainer David Brownlee, Bim Bam is a neck away from three consecutive victories. In his most recent try, he ran second in the Dania Beach Stakes over the Gulfstream turf to start the season Jan. 16, losing by a neck. Bim Bam won the Appleton Juvenile Turf over Florida breds on the Calder turf course Nov. 14 in his grass debut.
Bim Bam is also a stakes winner on dirt and a consistent runner on either surface. Never worse than third in nine starts overall, Bim Bam has four victories and earnings of $296,295 with the winning purse of $75,000.
The winning bay is out of the Colony Light mare Laurel Light.
Sent off as the third choice, Bim Bam carried 120 pounds and paid $10.60, $3.60, and $3. Interactif returned $2.40 and $2.40 and completed a $27.60 exacta.
It was two lengths to Asphalt, given a stalking ride at the rail by Rajiv Maragh. Asphalt, who paid $3.20 to show, was followed by Dean's Kitten and Our Champion, who loomed up dangerously on the outside in the stretch but flattened out. Lucas Brady and Cat Park finished in a dead heat for sixth and Thunder Brew trailed.