It may not have been an artistic success, but Stradivinsky triumphed as the 11-10 favorite in the $58,800 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Jan. 23 in south Florida (VIDEO).
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, the hard-knocking 8-year-old gelding ran five furlongs over a "good" turf course in :56.69 for his 14th career win from 35 starts. Claimed for $50,000 last May at Churchill Downs, the Florida-bred son of Stravinsky out of the Apalachee mare Lubicon defeated four rivals for his fifth win in the past seven races, all on turf.
Out-sprinted for the lead by 11-1 shothot Retire to What, Stradivinsky chased the pacesetter in second before taking the lead in mid-stretch. Under pressure from Leparoux, Stradivinsky was all out to prevail over 6-5 second choice Great Attack by 1 1/4 lengths.
Retire to What ran the opening quarter-mile in a swift :21.80 and the half in :44.44.
“I have mixed feelings. I’m happy with the outcome; I’m happy he got there first and he was able to settle. But I have mixed emotions because I didn’t like the way he didn’t change leads,” said winning trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.
Leparoux was happy with Stradivinsky’s effort, particularly after he was unable to grab his customary early lead.
“I thought I was going to go right out to the lead, but he really didn’t put me in the race like I thought he was going to,” Leparoux said. “After that I just sat for a little bit, and when I asked him, he ran on well.”
Stradivinsky was claimed by Dutrow from trainer Larry Rivelli for owners Michael Dubb, Jack Mandato, and Bethlehem Stables. He hadn’t raced since being outrun for the early lead and fading to 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 6. The bay won the Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Belmont Park in July in his first start for the current connections.
“We’re looking for a big race, so if we get an invite to Dubai we’ll likely go,” Dutrow said. “But, again, I have mixed emotions.”
Live Oak Stud bred the winner. Stradivinsky banked $36,000 for the victory and has earned $572,337.
Stradivinsky carried high weight of 124 pounds and paid $4.20, $2.20, and $2.10. Great Attack, ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, returned $2.60 and $2.10 in his stakes debut for trainer Wesley Ward and completed a $7.80 exacta. It was 1 1/4 lengths to Ahvee's Destiny in third. He paid $2.40 with Joe Bravo aboard. Retire to What and Carte Blanche trailed.
Strike the Tiger and Yankee Injunuity scratched.