Endorsement Sparkles in Gulfstream Allowance

One-time Classic contender registers fast front-running win in 1 1/16-mile test.

Endorsement, on the Triple Crown trail for WinStar Farm in 2010, continued his comeback from injury with a sparkling win in an allowance optional claiming event at Gulfstream Park Feb. 1 (VIDEO).

The 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor , now owned by Bill Casner and trained by Eoin Harty, won the $45,000 race in easy front-running style by 2 1/4 lengths as the 4-5 favorite in a field of nine. Endorsement, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was credited with a track record at the seldom used distance of 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream, timed in 1:42.35 on a fast track. He led by four lengths at mid-stretch and coasted home.

“That was the race that we were looking for, the race we thought he was capable of. We’ve always felt that this is a very high-level horse. We’ll start looking at graded races now,” Casner said following Endorsement’s victory in the fourth race.

He carved fractions of :24.99, :49.57, and 1:12.87.

Endorsement sustained a non-displaced right front condylar fracture in a workout at Churchill Downs the week before the 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. The chestnut was trained at the time by Shannon Ritter. WinStar won the Derby that year with Super Saver , trained by Todd Pletcher.

This was the third race back for Endorsement, who won the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) by three lengths in March 2010 in his final race before being injured.

He returned to action with a second-place effort against optional claimers going six furlongs at Gulfstream Dec. 10. Endorsement was second again in a one-mile optional claimer over the same track Jan. 1 after breaking through the starting gate before the race. This was his first try around two turns since launching his comeback.

Out of multiple graded winner Charmed Gift (by A.P. Indy), Endorsement was bred in Kentucky by Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership. He has three wins and three seconds in seven lifetime starts with earnings of $475,833.