After not running his best and finishing eighth in last year's edition of the Appleton, the 6-year-old son of Include entered this year's race off two close seconds over the Gulfstream Park turf. The Todd Pletcher trainee had a nine-month layoff before losing by a neck in a Jan. 15 optional-claiming allowance race and by three-quarters of a length in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1T) in February.
All Included's score Saturday was his first graded stakes win in his 17 starts, and he now has a bankroll of $507,440.
"My concern was I tried to wait as long as I can in the race," jockey Javier Castellano said of his ride on the winner. "I have the type of horse that comes from behind. I took my time and rode with a lot of patience and confidence because I had the best horse in the race."
Siding Spring jumped out of the gate and went for the early lead in the one-mile test on the firm turf. Diamond Bachelor raced in second just off the frontrunner and Delta Prince, a half brother to champion Royal Delta, raced comfortably in third in the six-horse field. All Included traveled at the back of the pack.
After clocking :23.41 and :46.29 for a half-mile, Diamond Bachelor began to pressure Siding Spring as the rest of the field closed on the frontrunners. As six furlongs went in 1:09.73, Delta Prince and jockey Jose Ortiz maintained a narrow advantage out of the turn, but proved to be no match for All Included, who swung wide and ran down Delta Prince to stop the clock in 1:33.12.
Sent off as the even-money favorite, All Included returned $4.20, $2.40, and $2.10 across the board.
"I thought the mile would actually suit him well," Pletcher said. "Like it is in a compact field, you're just hoping you get a good trip. (Castellano) gave him plenty of time to get his run together. It took him a little longer to do last time than he wanted.
"They have a race here at the end of the month (the grade 3 Miami Mile). He seems to really like Gulfstream, so we would consider staying here for that."
In the next race on the card, the $200,000 Orchid Stakes (G3T), it was William Parson Jr. and David Howe's homebred Summersault who ran down odds-on favorite Olorda to win by three-quarters of a length.
After winning back-to-back allowance races on Gulfstream's grass, the 5-year-old Rock Hard Ten mare proved that she could step up in class on Saturday, her first graded stakes attempt in 22 starts.
Second choice Maquette took command early and set a rapid pace through a mile, with fractions of :23.47, 46:12, 1:10.54, and 1:35.12. Olorda raced off the pace in second, Quiet Kitten in third, while Summersault and Temple Fur settled near the back. After a mile, Summersault was in fourth, 4 1/2 lengths off the leader.
In the last turn of the three-turn, 1 3/8-mile test, the field bunched up and Olorda had a one-length advantage heading into the stretch. After going three wide in the last turn, Summersault began to edge her competition under some urging from jockey Paco Lopez and prevailed, stopping the clock in 2:12.24 to become the 25th black-type stakes winner for her sire.
Quiet Kitten got a nose in front of Temple Fur for third, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Maquette.
"I know (pacesetter Maquette) was going very, very fast," Lopez said. "My filly is always running a little more close, but I don't push. At the half-mile/five-eighths (pole), I ask my filly. She was coming and coming. She finished very well."
Sent off as the 9-1 longshot, Summersault returned $20, $5.20, and $3 across the board. The Mark Hennig trainee now boasts a record of 6-5-2, with earnings of $374,983.