Corinthian made a big impression finishing first in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park last winter for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, but the son of Pulpit was disqualified to third after a wild run through the stretch and was subsequently sidelined by a hairline fracture. In his only other start since then, Corinthian finished a dull third as the odds-on choice in a Saratoga allowance July 29.
Thursday, Corinthian, sent off at odds of 2-1 in the $48,000 event , ran the 1 1/8 mile-distance in a solid 1:48:04 under jockey Javier Castellano. Corinthian was prominent from the start while part of a slow pace scenario and had plenty left when challenged by Jazil into the far turn before drawing clear.
“He was really good in the paddock today," Jerkens said. "Hopefully, he’s matured some from last year. When we tried to bring him back last year (after the injury), nothing went right. We had a horrible virus in the barn, and then he broke out with a bad skin disease. At that point, we decided to call it off for the year and wait to bring him down here for the winter.
"He ran about as good as I could want today, and with three weeks (plus) to the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) (Mar. 3), that might work out."
Too Good rallied for third at 37-1, beaten four lengths by Jazil, who was ridden by Fernando Jara.
“We were second best today," said Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of the 4-5 choice Jazil. "We ran into a buzzsaw. I think we found ourselves closer to the front because the pace was so slow, but there wasn’t much we could do. The winner was awesome.”
Corinthian twice defeated Jazil last year -- in the Fountain of Youth when Jazil finished seventh -- and in a Gulfstream allowance race won by Corinthian by three-quarters of a length over his rival.
The winner returned $6.80, $3, and $2.20. Jazil paid $2.40 and $2.10, while Too Good returned $2.40.