Flashpoint, shipping in from New York for Rick Dutrow Jr., stole the show in the $150,000 Hutcheson (gr. II) (VIDEO), as he ran away from odds-on favorite Travelin Man to romp by 7 1/4 lengths Feb. 26 at Gulfstream Park.
An impressive debut maiden winner Jan. 15 at Aqueduct, Flashpoint was ambitiously placed in the seven-furlong Hutcheson against four stakes winners and 3-5 choice Travelin Man, who earned a 106 Beyer in his maiden debut last month. He responded to the challenge, making easy work of his stakes debut. The 3-year-old son of Pomeroy is owned by Peachtree Stable.
With Cornelio Velasquez also flying in from New York for the mount, Flashpoint broke sharply and pressed the pace of Travelin Man, who guided the field of nine through speedy fractions of :22.16 and :44.53. Madman Diaries and Royal Currier were also close to the pace, but it was a two-horse race from the start and Travelin Man and Flashpoint hit the quarter-pole together.
It wasn’t long after they straightened away that Flashpoint edged clear of Travelin Man. He opened up a 1 1/2-length lead at the eighth-pole and pulled way for the convincing victory. The final time on the fast dirt was 1:22.03. Travelin Man and John Velazquez were three lengths clear of Little Drama, who closed willingly at 50-1 to get third.
Flashpoint, bred in Florida by Silverleaf Farm, won his racing debut by 6 1/4 lengths going six furlongs in a quick time of 1:09.03. He had three works in New York before shipping to Florida for the Hutcheson. The victory earned the gray/roan colt $90,000 and increased his earnings to $115,200.
“You have to be excited after a horse does that," Dutrow said. "He was sensational the first time and sensational today. I thought he’d be in front, but broke a step slow and sat off Todd (Pletcher's) horse (Travelin Man), so I’m happy to know that he can do that.
"We’ll discuss the options, including the Florida Derby (gr. I, April 3). Personally, I like the seven-eighths to a mile-and-an-eighth angle, but we’ll see. I would say his next start will be here. You never know if they can go long until they do it, but naturally with the (Kentucky) Derby coming up everybody thinks about it.”
Flashpoint, a $100,000 Keeneland September 2009 yearling sale purchase, is out of the Two Punch mare Two Punch Lil.
The winner paid $15.80, $5.60, and $4.20. The exacta (5-3) returned $40.20, and the trifecta (5-3-6) was worth $392.80 for $1.