Love the Game Up in Time in Carterista

(from track report)
Acclaimed Racing Stable's 5-year-old gray horse Love the Game provided an exciting finish to the $75,000 Carterista Handicap at Calder Race Course Saturday, running down the pacesetter, Honorable Pic, in the final strides to win by one length.

The 5-to-2 favorite with jockey Jose Ferrer on board, Love the Game was taken back in the early going of the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Honorable Pic set all the fractions over the firm turf course, with Cellars Merlot and Simmer in stalking range, and looked to have the race won approaching the finish line until Love the Game came flying extremely late on the far outside.

"On the backside I had a lot of horse," said Ferrer. "I was going to try and save a little ground on the turn but I was a little far back so I went ahead a made a sweeping move to get my horse rolling.

"I swung outside at the quarter pole and he ran like a freight train down the lane. He took off. I was never worried – I thought the horse in front of me would stop."

Love the Game is trained by Henry Collazo, who is having a very good meet thus far. Today's win was his sixth victory of the early season. A son of Mecke, Love the Game covered the distance in 1:40 2/5. Honorable Pic held on to finish second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Cellars Merlot.

"He is such a sweet horse to train and he's thrived here since he came to me (from New York last fall)," Collazo said. "You always have some concern about his trip with his style (closer), but he's got a terrific turn of foot. He's push-button. I don't think we've hit the top floor with him yet and think he can go up to another level."

Love the Game paid $7.20, $3.80 and $3. Honorable Pic returned $11 and $7. Cellars Merlot showed for $10.20. The $2 exacta was worth $101.40.

(Chart, Equibase)