Two races prior, Dutrow and Prado teamed up to take the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) with Diamond Stripes. For Benny the Bull, it was his third consecutive win, as he entered off victories in the Nov. 24 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park, and the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park in his 5-year-old debut.
A straightaway sprint of about six furlongs, the Golden Shaheen was contested by a field of 15. Maryland-bred Barbecue Eddie was one of the early leaders, as was Cobalt Blue, Munaddam and Bouresly Racing Syndicate's Star Crowned. Breaking from post 14, Martin and Pam Wygod’s homebred Idiot Proof was also near the front and under the handling of David Flores, took over with a quarter-mile left in the sprint.
Flores tried to keep Idiot Proof on a straight path, but the 4-year-old Benchmarkcolt, who was second in the TVG Breeders Cup Sprint (gr. I) last year, began to steadily drift in. By the time they reached the final furlong, Idiot Proof was near the rail, but still had a clear advantage despite his inability to stay near his lane.
However, Benny the Bull, who broke from post 10 and was mid-pack much of the way, was eating up ground from the middle of the racetrack and had his sights set on the leader. Under left-handed urging from Prado, he corralled Idiot Proof in the final 100 yards and won going away.
“It feels great to win two races. I am very excited about it," Prado said. "We thought we could do well tonight and they ran beautifully. I knew I had Idiot Proof within striking distance and I hadn’t really asked my horse yet. Today he had to prove he could run against the best horses in the world and he did it. When I asked him for a little but more, he gave me 100%”.”
Benny the Bull went off as the 8-5 betting favorite, just ahead of Godolphin's Diabolical, who never factored and finished seventh. The final time was 1:08.70.
California-bred Idiot Proof, trained by Clifford Sise Jr., finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Star Crowned, who took third at odds of at 60-1. Brewer Racing Stable and partners' Barbecue Eddie was fourth.
Benny the Bull won for the seventh time in 15 starts and after taking home $1.2 million for his latest score, boosted his career earnings to more than $1.8 million. A son of Lucky Lionel--Comet Cat, by Birdonthewire, Benny the Bull was bred in Florida by Tomoka Farms.
“I wasn’t sure he was going to get there with the way that horse was drifting in,” said Dutrow, who watched from Gulfstream Park. “I hadn’t really thought about how tough it would be for him to close (on the straight course). He’s always been a horse who drops back. When I sat down with Edgar to talk about strategy, I didn’t know what to tell him. He said ‘Don’t worry. I know what to do.’ He did a great job.”