New York-bred Inherit the Gold bagged his fifth consecutive win and scored in his graded-stakes debut when he powered home to a 6 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) April 2 at Aqueduct.
The 5-year-old son of Gold Token overtook pacesetter Understatement coming off the turn and was never challenged in the final furlong of the 1 1/8-mile Excelsior, the first graded race of the year on Aqueduct’s main track. Eddie Castro guided the gray/roan gelding home for trainer Jimmy Hooper, covering the distance in 1:50.34 on a fast main track. He is owned by Glas-Tipp Stable and Susanne Hooper.
Jimmy and Susanne Hooper also bred Inherit the Gold, along with Edmond Murray and Mary Murray.
A short field of five went to post in the Excelsior, and Understatement fired sharply from post 1 to take the lead. With David Cohen aboard, Understatement took the field through splits of :24.75, :49.47, and 1:13.48 while on an easy lead.
But Inherit the Gold, who sat a stalking second the whole way, inched closer round the final turn and easily took over when they straightened away. He opened up a four-length advantage at the eighth-pole.
Modern Cowboy closed from off the pace under Ramon Dominguez to get second, but he was no match for the winner. Understatement held third.
All five of Inherit the Gold’s consecutive wins have come at Aqueduct this winter. He won the Mr. International and Kings Point stakes in his previous two starts. Overall, he has won seven of 14 starts and has now earned $288,601.
“It was a perfect trip," Jimmy Hooper said. "Eddie knew he might have to stay a little closer today and he did. It’s whenever he decides he wants to make the move. Eddie has done a great job with him. We just listen to what he tells us. He’s a very, very smart horse, way smarter than we are.
"I’m just going to enjoy this one; who knows where we’ll go next. I want him to be happy. As long as this horse is happy, we’ll have a lot of fun.”
Inherit the Gold is out of the Personal Flag mare Melissa’s Sunshine.
Sent off as the favorite, Inherit the Gold paid $4.80, $2.40, and $2.10. The exacta (2-5) returned $11.60 and the trifecta (2-5-1) was worth $21.40.
More Than a Reason was fourth, followed by Goombada Guska.