No Suspense for Mystery Giver in Repeat

(from track report)
Team Block's Mystery Giver unleashed a tremendous rally through the stretch to win the $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap for the second consecutive year Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Mystery Giver drew away in the stretch for a 3 1/4-length victory. Less than a length separated the second through eighth place finishers, with Dynameaux holding off Freefourinternet by a nose for second.

In what may have been the best performance of his career, Mystery Giver rated comfortably in midpack under leading jockey Robby Albarado, who guided the 5-year-old son of Dynaformer to the outside around the turn. Mystery Giver accelerated through the lane on the outside of his rivals, drawing clear to win with authority.

Mystery Giver completed about 1 1/8 miles on the Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:50.41 and paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.80 as the favorite in the field of nine.

Foster's Landing, Royal Spy, and Dynameaux set fractions of 25 seconds flat for the quarter-mile, 50.46 for the half, and 1:14.40 for six furlongs. At the top of the lane, Dynameaux took the lead, but he was no match for Mystery Giver.

"When I asked him he gave me a great burst of energy," said Albarado, who won three races on the afternoon. "He won easily and continued to gallop out well after the race."

"He ran huge," said winning trainer Richard Scherer. "I was happy he was so close with the pace being what it was. He really finished well."

Mystery Giver won for the eighth time in 18 career starts and surpassed the $500,000 mark in career earnings. The half-brother to multiple stakes winner Ioya Two, owned and bred in Illinois by Team Block, will most likely point to the $700,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) on Mar. 23.

(Chart, Equibase)