An Irish-bred son of Rainbow Quest, Stream of Gold last won April 2, 2005, in England. He was 0-for-5 since coming to North America last summer, but was on the board in four of those efforts. Most recently, he was third in the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes (gr. IT), missing by 3 ¼ lengths to Einstein Feb. 23.
In the Mac Diarmida, Stream of Gold broke last, came from off the pace, split horses at the top of the lane, and corralled longshot Cougar Bay at the sixteenth pole. Under Eddie Castro, he held off hard-charging True Cause in the final strides.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Stream of Gold completed the 1 3/8-mile test in 2:10.87 on a firm turf, which was a course record for that distance. Godolphin Racing's True Cause was three-quarters of a length in front of Cougar Bay for second. French Vintage was fourth in the field of 12 older horses.
Presious Passion was a keen pacesetter in the early going, opening up a clear lead through the backstretch. The 5-year-old gelding posted ambitious fractions of :22.89, :45.46, and 1:10.08 for six furlongs. Drilling for Oil and Ascertain were hustling to stay close, followed by Barastraight and Silver Whistle.
As they went into turn, Ascertain and Barastraight passed the tiring leader, while Cougar Bay came up to challenge. Cougar Bay, with Eibar Coa aboard, was first as they entered the stretch and was going well with a furlong to go.
The 5-year-old Daylami gelding could not hold the lead however, as Stream of Gold was in the midst of his run and caught the leader with a half-furlong to go. He had just enough to hold off True Cause at the wire.
“He was slow at the break," Castro said. "I was a little worried about the fast pace. I stayed behind horses and at the three-eighths pole I had nice position. He just made one big run. I wasn’t concerned about the other horse at the wire. When I rode him last time (in the Gulfstream Park Turf), he quit at the eighth-pole. He was very good today.”
Out of the Irish River mare River Dancer, Stream of Gold was bred by Ballymacoll Stud Farm. The gelding improved to 4-5-2 from 19 career starts, which have come in four different countries. He upped his lifetime earnings to $647,699.
“He broke flat-footed and came out last, but he’s so versatile, he can do anything," said Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother Kiaran. "He’s a true marathoner. It turned out just fine with a fast pace up front, and he was able to get covered up, getting a perfect trip. If he gets to the front too soon, he’s liable to try and pull. Today, he got to the front at just the right time.
"He’s been training great and loves it here in Florida, where he can breeze every week on turf (at Palm Meadows). He’s a neat, old gelding that we should have a lot of fun with this year. His next start will probably be the Elkhorn at Keeneland (April 25)."
Stream of Gold was second to English Channel in the Sept. 30 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, and was also a bridesmaid to Presious Passion in the W. L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) Dec. 15 at Calder Race Course.
Going off as the favorite, Stream of Gold paid $4.60, $3 and $2.20. The exacta (9-3) was worth $20, while the triecta (9-3-11) returned $95.60.