Reveron holds off Casual Trick to win the Gulfstream Park Derby.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Reveron holds off Casual Trick to win the Gulfstream Park Derby.
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Reveron Gears for 2012 With Gritty GP Derby

Songandaprayer colt tallies at 8-1 in first distance race of year for 3-year-olds.

Stretched out to two turns for the first time, improving Reveron responded with a half-length victory in the inaugural $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby Jan. 1 for his third consecutive win (VIDEO).

The big races on Gulfstream's 3-year-old calendar are still to come, but winning trainer Agustin Bezara puts his Songandaprayer colt right at the top of the class after Reveron held Casual Trick safe in a game effort.

“We think he is the best 3-year-old in Florida right now," said Bezara, a 10-time training champion in his native Venezuela who now has a five-horse stable based at Calder. "This is my first stakes win in the U.S. and the biggest day I’ve had since I came here two years ago. We’ll see how he comes out of it. He goes the (two-turn) distance. We’ll consider the options.”

Fernando Jara guided 8-1 shot Reveron to victory for owner Walter Stipa while clocking a time of 1:44.74 for the unusual 1 1/16-mile distance at Gulfstream. Cabotaba Partnership bred Reveron, a $20,000 Keeneland yearling, in Kentucky.

Reveron's four prior starts were at Calder. He finished second in his debut Sept. 10 and third on a sloppy track Oct. 16. The dark bay/brown colt broke his maiden by six lengths going seven furlongs Nov. 5, then defeated a first-level allowance field, also at seven furlongs, by 2 1/4 lengths three weeks later.

Always prominent while stalking pacesetter Nachas and Joy in second, Reveron took over on the far turn and battled Casual Trick, ridden on the outside by John Velazquez, the rest of the way. Reveron got a slight advantage at mid-stretch and held off his rival impressively.

“I had to ask him a little bit in the first part of the race because the first turn comes up so fast," Jara noted. "After that we were in good position and my horse really performed well. He dug in and wouldn’t let the other horse by.”

Casual Trick, the 3-1 second choice in the field of 11, was 5 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher King Kid, ridden by Corey Lanerie. Spectacular Bid Stakes winner Ancient Rome, the narrow 3-1 favorite, gave way early after chasing the pace and finished 10th.

Reveron, out of the Awesome Again  mare Carolina Sunrise, ran his career record to 3-1-1 in five starts with earnings of $104,460. Sent off as the fifth choice, the winner paid $19, $8.40, and $4.60, and combined with Casual Trick ($5.60, $4.40) for a $115.60 exacta. King Kid paid $3.60 to show.

Still to come on the Gulfsteam calendar for 3-year-olds: the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at one mile Jan. 29; the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 26; and the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles March 31.