Dispatched the 13-10 favorite for Saturday's featured Sunshine Forever S. at Gulfstream Park, Halladay (War Front) enjoyed a fairly soft time of things from the front beneath Luis Saez and proved not for catching, reporting home a 1 1/4-length winner from Aquaphobia (Giant's Causeway). Social Paranoia (Street Boss), last-out winner of the GIII Appleton H. Mar. 28, completed a 1-3 finish for the Todd Pletcher barn.
Halladay hit the ground running and took some token pressure from a hard-held El Tormenta (Stormy Atlantic) and a three-wide Admission Office (Point of Entry) through a half-mile in :47 flat. Still traveling strongly on the turn, the grey colt was set down after six furlongs in 1:09.57 and finished his final 2 1/2 furlongs in :29.09 to hold sway as Aquaphobia gave game chase. It was the second win on the program for Harrell Ventures, who won race six with Riggins (Liam's Map), who was claimed for $65,000. It was the third win on the day for Pletcher.
“I knew there was another speed so we just tried to break clean and see,” Saez said. “If he was right there, we'd take it and if not we can track somebody. But, he broke perfect and he was right there, so we took it. He was pretty relaxed. Around the first turn he was going very, very nice and relaxed. He came to the half-mile [pole] and when he felt the pressure, I just let him roll and he took off. He won pretty easy.”
Halladay was third in the age-restricted English Channel S. and Gio Ponti S. in New York last fall before earning his first stakes score from a high draw in this track's Tropical Park Derby Dec. 28. Farther off the pace than usual when fourth in the GIII Tampa Bay S. Feb. 8, he wired a one-mile allowance by three lengths over this course when last seen Apr. 4.
Halladay is one of four winners from five to race from his dam, winner of the GIII Dogwood S. and GIII Iowa Oaks in 2009, and has a 3-year-old half-sister by Empire Maker and a yearling half-sister by Gun Runner. Hightap was most recently covered by Union Rags.
SUNSHINE FOREVER S., $75,000, Gulfstream, 5-9, 4yo/up, 1 1/16mT, 1:38.66, fm.
1–HALLADAY, 123, c, 4, War Front–Hightap (MGSW,
$300,345), by Tapit. ($225,000 RNA Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-Harrell
Ventures, LLC; B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd & Winchell
Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Todd A Pletcher; J-Luis Saez.
$44,640. Lifetime Record: 12-5-2-4, $288,485.
2–Aquaphobia, 123, h, 7, Giant's Causeway–Pussycat Doll, by
Real Quiet. O-Paradise Farms Corp, David Staudacher &
Hooties Racing LLC; B-M Roy Jackson (KY); T-Michael J Maker.
3–Social Paranoia, 126, c, 4, Street Boss–Shutterbug, by Deputy
Minister. ($75,000 Ylg '17 FTKJUL). O-The Elkstone Group, LLC
(Stuart Grant); B-Mineola Farm II LLC & Silent Grove Farm LLC
(KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $7,200.
Margins: 1 1/4, 1 1/4, HF. Odds: 1.30, 4.70, 3.10.
Also Ran: Admission Office, Cullum Road, El Tormenta, Sand Dancer, Highland Sky, Hawkish. Scratched: Just Whistle, Regally Irish, War of Will. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
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