The calendar has turned and the juveniles are now 3, but the Calder shippers are still holding their form.
Making his first start away from his home base of Calder Casino & Race Course, Determinato surprised a good field in Gulfstream Park’s first male 3-year-old stakes of the meet, as he stalked favored Gangsterontherun for a half-mile, took over turning for home, and held off a late charge from Leave of Absence to win the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes (VIDEO) by 1 1/4 lengths Jan. 8 at odds of 14-1.
Determinato broke his maiden in his debut in May at Calder but came into the six-furlong Spectacular Bid riding a four-race losing streak. However, just as Calder shippers Awesome Feather
and Gourmet Dinner
did when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III), respectively, at the end of last season, the son of Closing Argument
handled stakes company when shipped away from his home track.
Eibar Coa guided Determinato to victory for trainer Larry Pilotti. The final time on the fast dirt track was 1:11.13. The dark bay/brown colt is owned by Ron Marano.
Sent off at 8-5 in a field of eight, Gangsterontherun broke sharply under Alex Solis and sped a quarter-mile in :21.75 and a half-mile in :44.74. But Determinato, breaking from the outside post, was also involved early and never let the favorite get too far away. By the time they reached the top of the lane he had caught the pacesetter and opened up a narrow advantage with a furlong to run.
Determinato put away Gangsterontherun by mid-stretch and had enough left to hold off a late charge from Leave of Absence and Rajiv Maragh. Cane Garden Bay
also closed well with Julien Leparoux to get third, a nose in front of a tiring Gangsterontherun.
Determinato finished runner-up in the Birdonthewire Stakes Oct. 16 at Calder and missed by a neck in an allowance test om the same track later that month. Most recently, he finished seventh in the Jack Price Juvenile Stakes Nov. 13.
“We knew he was a nice horse from the beginning," Pilotti said. "He’s had a few issues along the way like a pulled muscle and a few other things. The (Jack Price) was our fault. Ron’s father died earlier this year, and that race came up around his birthday, so we ran him back a little quicker than we should as kind of a tribute, but it didn’t work.
"I had U Can Do It for the family a few years back. We’ll probably try (Determinato) in the seven-eighths next (gr. II Hutcheson Stakes Feb. 26).”
Bred in Florida by Frank Marano, Determinato is out of the Jeblar mare Twilight Mirage. He has earned $102,525 from six starts.
The winner paid $30.60, $9.20, and $6.60. The exacta (9-5) returned $105.80 and the trifecta (9-5-8) was worth $200.90 for $1.