Green Vegas Leave Straight Faced Behind

Green Vegas, the only horse in Saturday's $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes to have won a stakes race around two turns, benefited from a fast pace to rally to victory while denying Straight Faced a sweep of the lucrative series for juveniles at Calder Race Course.

Julio Garcia rode the son of Trippi for Luis Olivares, who owns and trains the bay colt. They got the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:47.87 over a track rated 'fast' despite a mid-afternoon shower.

Olivares had previously captured the 1988 edition of the In Reality with Silver Sunsets and now has seven FSS tallies.

The previously unbeaten Straight Faced, who had taken the first two legs in this year's FSS – the Dr. Fager and Affirmed divisions – sprinted to the front right out of the gate but was immediately menaced by 74-1 shot Hold'em Or Fold'em. The battling front-runners took the field through quick fractions of 23.52, 48.02 and 1:13.91.

Green Vegas bided his time from off the pace, made a three-wide move at the top of the stretch, and held off a late run from Wonderous Glory to prevail by a half-length.

"I knew there was no way this horse could get beat today," Garcia said.

The win made it back-to-back stakes victories for Green Vegas, who took the $150,000 Foolish Pleasure Breeders' Cup last month. Overall, his record improved to three wins from six starts. He earned $240,000.

"I knew he could do it," Olivares said. "I ran him in the (Foolish Pleasure) just to make sure about the distance."

Olivares said he is considering the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

"He's done a lot. Let's say I'm not ready to rule it out yet."

Wonderous Glory finished a neck clear of Imawildandcrazyguy. It was another 3 ¼ lengths back to 7-10 favorite Straight Faced, who ran fourth in the seven-horse field.

"I wasn't real happy about him going head and head, and I asked Manny (jockey Manoel Cruz) why he did it," said Stephen DiMauro, trainer of Straight Faced. "He felt the other horse was pressing him and thought, if he took too much hold, he would be fighting him."

The second choice, Green Vegas paid $8, $4.20, and $2.80. Wonderous Glory returned $10 and $6.40. Imawildandcrazyguy paid $5.

(Chart, Equibase)