Willie Martinez and Trinniberg broke on top and never looked back en route to an easy front-running six-length victory in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park March 10 (VIDEO).
At seven furlongs, the Swale marked the season debut for Trinniberg and Ever So Lucky, who at one point was among the early contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before several setbacks delayed his first 2012 start.
Trinniberg, second last year in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and Nashua Stakes (gr. II) in New York for owner Shivananda Parbhoo and trainer Bisnath Parboo, was making his first start since a seventh-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs last Nov. 4, a race in which he set a blistering pace of :20 4/5 for the first quarter.
Sent off 7-1 odds, Trinniberg was in control throughout, getting the first quarter mile in :22.65 and the half in :45 flat. After completing the six furlongs in a quick 1:08.98 while on an uncontested lead, the son of Teuflesberg rolled in the stretch, stopping the timer in 1:21.69.
The winner paid $17.20, $9.60, and $6.40. Longshot Hello Prince and 6-5 favorite Ever So Lucky, who had followed Trinniberg around the track in second and third, respectively, paid $38.60 and $12.80 and $2.80, respectively. The rest of the field was completed by Silver Menace, Good Morning Diva, Bahamian Squall, Quick Wit, Motor City, Seve, and Musical Flair.
Owner Shivananda Parbhoo said removing blinkers from the colt proved the difference in the Swale.
"We’ve been planning for some time to take the blinkers off and I think it made a big difference," he said. "He was really relaxed out there. At some point we’ll probably try him going longer, but I really don’t have anything planned for him right now.”
"Unexpectedly, we were out without much pressure," Martinez said. "We knew (Hello Prince) had tactical speed. This horse was a speed ball last year, which is why they took the blinkers off. He’s going to be a horse to watch this year. He’ll definitely be able to stretch out. I don’t know how far he’ll be able to go, but he’ll get there quickly.”
“We are very happy," said Ever So Lucky's trainer, Jonathan Sheppard. "Obviously, you like to win, but we hadn’t really been training him for speed like that. We’ve been trying to get a good bottom under him for longer races and two-turn races. I thought it was a very good effort. He galloped out really well.”
The victory was the second in six career starts for Trinniberg, who upped his earnings to $191,300. The winner was one of four in the 10-horse field not nominated to the Triple Crown series.
Bred in Kentucky by J. M. Stables, Trinniberg was a bargain yearling purchase by M & H Training and Sales, which acquired the colt for $1,500 from the Beau Lane Bloodstock consignment to the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. Pinhooked by M & H into the 2011 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s April sale of 2-year-olds in training, Trinniberg was purchased by owner Parbhoo for $21,000.