Csaba runs away from the competition in the Skip Trial Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/AtTheRaces-1/At-the-Races-2014/i-rMtHpBG">Order This Photo</a>

Csaba runs away from the competition in the Skip Trial Stakes.
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Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin

Csaba Runs Like Old Self in Skip Trial Stakes

Blinkers give veteran 'a new lease on life,' says trainer Phil Gleaves.

Making the 32nd start of his successful career, Csaba  ran like his old self while posting a 1 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Skip Trial Stakes July 19 at Gulfstream Park (VIDEO).

Equipped with blinkers for his second straight stakes victory, the 5-year-old son of Kitten's Joy  out of the War Chant filly High Chant collected his ninth stakes victory while asserting his class over seven rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.
"I put blinkers on him for his last two starts. That's given him a new lease on life. He's gotten a lot sharper," trainer Phil Gleaves said. "He was acting sharper saddling; he was sharper in the paddock. It was something to change him up a little bit."
Csaba broke alertly under jockey Manoel Cruz but settled a few lengths off the pace as favored Palatine Hill, pressed by Sr. Quisqueyano, set a solid early pace around the first turn and into the backstretch, posting fractions of :23.89 and :46.83.
After relaxing nicely on the outside, Csaba advanced to challenge Palatine Hill around the turn after six furlongs in 1:10.78 and into the stretch before drawing off to a comfortable victory. Grand Tito made a sweeping challenge under Santiago Gonzalez on the turn into the homestretch but settled for second. Palatine Hill and Kings Over, both trained by Peter Walder, finished in a dead-heat for third, a half-length farther back.
Csaba, though, never really had an anxious moment while turning in a thoroughly professional effort as the 7-2 third choice.
"We had nice position down the backstretch and when I asked him at the three-eighths pole he responded well," said Cruz, who rode three winners on Saturday's card. "I've ridden him quite a bit and he's such a good horse."
Csaba ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.12 on a fast track while earning $45,105 for owners Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff, boosting his career bankroll to $673,070. Improving his career line to 13-3-5 in 32 outings, he returned $9.40, $5.40, and $3.
"I was a little bit concerned he was too far back going down the backside, but I took a look at the teletimer, and they were going too fast—46-and-4—so it didn't concern me that much," Gleaves said. "This horse is a grinder. He just grinds away, and I just love him. He just does what it takes to win."
Csaba, who was bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, likely earned a trip to Saratoga Race Course for a start in the $100,000 Alydar Stakes Aug. 17.