Winning his fourth stakes race on the Festival of the Sun card, jockey Cornelio Velasquez guided Trust N Luck to the early lead and cruised home for the 4 3/4-length win over The Name's Bond in Saturday's $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.
Trained by Ralph Ziadie, who notched his sixth all-time Florida Stallion Stakes win, the son of Montbrook covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46 2/5 and paid $8.20, $5.40 and $3.80. The Name's Bond, ridden by Jerry Bailey, was unable to close the gap down the stretch and settled for second and paid $14.80 and $8.00 as a 17-1 outsider. Patriotic Flame, a 46-1 outsider with Rosemary Homeister, Jr. aboard, finished 1 ½-lengths back in third and paid $14.80
Owned by Einar Paul Robsham, Trust N Luck pocketed $240,000 to propel his lifetime earnings to $313,800. The victory was his third in six starts, all at Calder, with his only off the board finish coming in the Affirmed Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes when he dumped jockey Gary Boulanger soon after the start.
It was Trust N Luck's first victory in the Florida stallion series.
"He got caught in a speed duel in the first one (Dr. Fager) and you know what happened to him in the second (the Affirmed, when he wheeled and lost his rider at start)," said Ziadie. "Then we started concentrating on getting him to this race. He came up a little short the next time (second in Foolish Pleasure), but that didn't really bother me. We did some work with him at the gate to make sure that wouldn't happen again (wheeling at start). He's a really good horse and I've believed in him all along.
"It didn't hurt that the track appeared to have a speed bias today, but I think he'd have won anyway the way he ran," the trainer added.
Lawbook, the sixth place finisher Saturday, was going for a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes.
"He broke good but had to be steadied around the first turn," said trainer Thomas Heard, Jr. "When they straightened out on the backside, (jockey Roger Velez) tried to get on the outside, but horses got on the outside of him and he couldn't move up. He didn't need to be that far back of them (the leaders). He was too far out of it. I knew the winner had the speed, and we couldn't be that far way from him. I expected to be much closer than that. He (Lawbook) made a run at him (Trust N Luck), but there was no getting the horse who won."
"Good horses are good horses -- they can run fast," said Velaquez, enjoying one of his best days. "The good horses run for Bailey and they run for me."