Under a perfectly timed ride from Irad Ortiz Jr., Anne Scott’s Galleon Mast caught defending champion Our Way in deep stretch and edged by late for a thrilling head victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf.
The Turf for 4-year-olds and up and the $150,000 Filly & Mare Turf for females 4 and older, both at 1 1/16 miles, were among four Florida-bred stakes worth $600,000 in purses on the 12-race Sunshine Millions Day program.
Favored at 6-5 in the field of seven, Galleon Mast ($4.60) completed the distance in 1:40.68 over a firm turf course. Our Way, making his first start since last August, was three lengths ahead of Second Mate, who edged Spring Up by a neck for third.
Swagger Jagger, Charlie Mops and Manchurian High, who won the Turf in 2015 and 2016, rounded out the field. Enterprising, the Mike Maker-trained program favorite, was scratched.
“Perfect. That’s all I can say. It’s all about timing with this horse and he did an excellent job,” winning trainer David Fawkes said. “You saw the last jump or two, the other horse was coming back at him. As soon as he makes the lead he likes to stop.
Charlie Mops, racing first time off the claim for trainer Peter Walder, was quickest from the gate and led through an opening quarter-mile in 24.03 seconds and a half in 47.61, pressed by Swagger Jagger and Spring Up with Our Way and Galleon Mast rating in behind.
“The first eighth was a little slow and I got a little nervous,” Fawkes said, “but then I saw they went [the half] in 47 and I thought we were comfortable, and he was able to get it done.”
Our Way started rolling around the far turn and coasted to the lead as they straightened for home, with Galleon Mast out wide in pursuit. The multiple stakes winner steadily gained ground down the stretch as the two leaders separated from the field before getting up near the wire.
“I had horse. I was just waiting there. I know when I ask him, he’s going to be there for me,” Ortiz said. “I just didn’t want to make the lead to early. I was confident. I knew he was going to be there for me. Every time I asked him a little bit more and more, so we were in good shape.”
The win was the eighth from 22 starts for Galleon Mast and fourth in his last five, all in stakes. He won the Eight Miles East, The Vid and Mr. Steele last summer and fall at Gulfstream, where he is now 6-for-13 lifetime with four seconds and a three thirds.
“He’s just so easy,” Fawkes said. “He’s a good horse. No matter what anyone says, good horses are easy.”
Starship Jubilee Takes Flight in $150,000 Filly & Mare Turf
Multiple Grade 2 winner Starship Jubilee, upset as the favorite in the Claiming Crown Tiara last month, made a triumphant return to Gulfstream with a workmanlike one-length victory in the $150,000 Filly & Mare Turf.
It was the seventh win from 12 lifetime starts at Gulfstream for Starship Jubilee ($4) and first since having her five-race win streak snapped in the Sky Classic (G2) last summer at Woodbine. Co-owned by Soli Mehta and trainer Kevin Attard, she ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.03.
“She came here for the Claiming Crown and I was a little disappointed, but in hindsight I probably should have shipped up a little sooner and let her acclimatize. I thought she tired a little bit last time,” Attard said. “We worked her a little bit harder coming into this spot knowing this was a race we thought she’d be tough in. She definitely loves this course, there’s no doubt about it.”
Starship Jubilee, whose win streak came after being claimed for $16,000 last winter at Gulfstream, settled in third under jockey Jose Lezcano as Daddy’s Boo – a winner of 15 of 25 career starts – sped through fractions of 23.12 and 46.67 seconds, chased by Josdesanimaux.
“She’s an easy filly to ride. She broke good and always put me in a good position,” Lezcano said. “When I asked her, she went on. It’s not too hard to ride a filly like her.”
Lezcano snuck past Josdesanimau along the rail as the three leaders exited the backstretch and swung her to the outside to launch a bid after Daddy’s Boo went six furlongs in 1:10.88. Starship Jubilee set her sights on Daddy’s Boo entering the stretch and gradually wore down the pacesetter to edge clear late.
“The trip set up perfectly. He had her in a great spot and saved ground,” Attard said. “I was worried about [Daddy’s Boo] kind of getting an easy lead and being a hard horse to run down. She’s also a winning machine and you knew she wasn’t going to lay down after kind of having the lead to herself. When he angled out and it looked like he still hadn’t kind of asked her, you feel good at that spot. When he got into her she accelerated and got the job done.”
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