Hamazing Destiny and jockey Corey Nakatani took advantage of a duel between the early leaders before taking the lead at the top of the stretch en route to winning the Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) on the May 29 Preakness Stakes undercard at Pimlico Race Course (VIDEO).
Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the stalking Hamazing Destiny opened up by three lengths at mid-stretch and cruised home by 1 1/2 for his first stakes win. Corey Nakatani was aboard the slight 5-2 favorite, who snapped an 11-race losing streak over the past 20 months.
Lukas earned his first graded stakes win since Dublin captured the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 7, 2009.
Immortal Eyes, whose best running style is from off the pace, jumped out to the early lead under Travis Dunkelberger while dueling with Diski Dance, with Hamazing Destiny not too far back while racing in the middle of the track.
After the first quarter was completed in :23.02 and a half-mile in :46.32, Hamazing Destiny made his move as the field rounded the turn. Collaring the leaders coming into the stretch, Hamazing Destiny soon took the lead and continued his dominance through the lane.
The 6-year-old son of Salt Lake--Ms Proud Destiny, by Artax, stopped the timer in 1:10.48 for six furlongs over a fast track. He returned $7.80, $3.80, $3.00. Bandbox, the second choice at 5-2 odds as well, closed well late for second under Abel Castellano Jr., 1 ½ lengths behind the winner. He paid $4 and $3.40. It was 1 ¾ lengths back to Action Andy and Horacio Karamanos, worth $4.60.
The Maryland Sprint victory came in the 26th career start for Hamazing Destiny, who is owned by Barry Butzow and Westrock Stables. With five wins and 10 second- or third-place finishes to his credit, the horse has earned $705,345. Included among his stakes-placed efforts was a second in the 2010 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Hamazing Destiny was coming off a seventh-place finish in the Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 5.
“He was the favorite and he ran like it,” Lukas said. “I thought Corey did a nice job. I was a bit worried when they threw up that :23 (seconds for the first quarter). I thought, ‘Well, they’re not going very fast, and we’re still in it.’ The horse liked the track.”
“The trip was great,” Nakatani said. “He broke alertly and they weren’t going as fast as they were at Churchill last time. So it helped to get in a real stalking position. Coach (Lukas) wanted me to be just off them like we were. It enabled him to run his best race. He ran a tremendous race.”
Hamazing Destiny was bred in Kentucky by Destinaire Farm and purchased by Butzow for $70,000 from the Beau Lane Bloodstock, agent for Edward A. Gamble, at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale.