Sir Oscar Notches In Reality, Sweeps Series

(from Calder report)
Sir Oscar, ridden by Julio Garcia, took the lead on the far turn and held off a late run by Tap Dancer to win the $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths.

He become the fifth colt or gelding to sweep the three-race series. The son of Halo's Image covered the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:47 2/5 and paid $4.40, $3 and $2.40 as the 6-5 favorite.

Trained by Manny Azpurua, who notched his fourth overall victory in the Florida Stallion Stakes series, Sir Oscar earned $240,000 to more than double his bankroll to $438,800 for owner Oscar Novo of International Fair Play Inc. The colt kept his perfect record intact at five for five, all at Calder.

Azpurua said Sir Oscar wouldn't go to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in two weeks.

"I think he can be any kind of horse and I just want him to have a chance to show it next year," said Azpurua. "I will consider the seven-eighths race on Florida Million Day (Jack Price Juvenile on Nov. 15)."

For Garcia, the In Reality was his eighth overall win in the Florida Stallion Stakes series. In addition to his sweep with Sir Oscar this year, Garcia also swept the series in 2000 with Express Tour. The In Reality also was his second stakes win on the 2003 Festival of the Sun card. Earlier in the afternoon, he piloted Zak's Precocious to victory in the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes.

"This was his first time going a distance of ground so he was a little green in the first turn and he drifted out a bit," Garcia said. "After that, when we hit the backside he got into the bridle and from there I was very confident that he would run his usual race and win."

Tap Dancer, with Eduardo Nunez in the saddle, made a late rally to run second in the eight-horse field and pay $4.60 and $3.40. It was another neck back to Perpetual Peace, who finished third and returned $4.60.

(Chart, Equibase)