Adore the Gold, with Cornelio Velasquez aboard, wins the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Adore the Gold, with Cornelio Velasquez aboard, wins the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.


Adore the Gold Shines in Swale Victory

John D. Murphy's homebred Adore the Gold, under heavy pressure all the way, pulled away from Forefathers in deep stretch to win the $150,000 Swale (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday by less than a length.

Ridden by Cornelio Velasquez for trainer Michael Gorham, Adore the Gold was making his 2007 debut. The front-running son of Murphy's handicap star Formal Gold, out of Amore E Baci (Dixieland Band), completed the 6 1/2-furlong heat in 1:15 4/5.

Adore the Gold, on the inside, led Forefathers and Storm Trust through a quick opening quarter mile of :22 and continued to hold a head advantage after a half in :44 3/5. Cowtown Cat, the 3-2 favorite, loomed up on the outside on the turn but flattened out in the stretch as Adore the Gold  and Forefthers slugged it out through the lane. Adore the Gold inched away in upper stretch but was under strong urging late to win by three parts of a length.

"The plan was to stay in behind, but (Adore the Gold) wanted the lead today," Velasquez said. "He was going easily. I had a lot of horse at the eighth pole. Forefathers pressured him at the head of the lane. I still had a lot of horse."

Forefathers, making his stakes debut for Nick Zito, was a clear second by more than five lengths over Cowtown Cat and John Velazquez.

Adore the Gold last raced Dec. 2, winning the seven-furlong H. Steward Mitchell at Laurel Park on the lead by four lengths. The dark bay has won four of five lifetime starts, with his loss coming when fifth in the one-mile Nashua (gr. III) at Aqueduct on Nov. 3. The Kentucky bred has earned $203,787.

"We’ll stretch him out, but we just don’t know where or when yet," Gorham said. "He’s never seen a crowd this big, that’s for sure, and that might be why he was he was a little intimidated. Cornelio got after him and straightened him out. We wanted to get out there and get a position, but he was so quick, he didn’t want to take him back. So he let him hold his spot.”

Sent off as the second choice, Adore the Gold paid $7.20, $3.80 and $2.60. Forefathers, who won both of his U.S. starts at Calder last year after beginning his career at Lingfield in Great Britain, returned $4.40 and $2.60 while completing a $33.80 exacta. Cowtown Cat, coming off a 4 1/4-length win Jan. 14 over first-level allowance foes at Saturday's distance, was $2.20 to show.  

Reata's Rocket finished fourth. Gunfight, Storm Trust and First Cavalry trailed.

(Chart, Equibase)