Instilled Regard found a seam leaving the far turn and held off Admission Office by a half-length in the $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale (G2), earning his first turf win from four attempts. Owned by Larry Best’s OXO Equine, the four-year-old colt looks like an exciting turf prospect for Chad Brown in 2020.
The Ft. Lauderdale was one of two turf stakes, along with the My Charmer for fillies and mares, offered at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Off as the 3-1 second choice among nine rivals, Instilled Regard saved ground behind the early leaders while racing up close under Irad Ortiz Jr. Cross Traffic showed the way while being tracked by Marzo, and the field was closely bunched entering the stretch. Instilled Regard surged three wide through a narrow gap while straightening for home, and carried his momentum to the lead in deep stretch.
Admission Office, the 6-1 fourth choice, and 2-1 favorite Channel Cat came flying late, but Instilled Regard was able to prevail.
“I got a perfect trip,” Ortiz said. “My horse broke sharp and I used him a little bit to be close. I didn’t want to be too far and he put me in the right position. I was just waiting for the hole and finally at the end turning for home I got through and you could see how (he accelerated to the lead).”
Winner of the 2018 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds, Instilled Regard finished fourth in last year’s Kentucky Derby before eventually switching to turf with a third in the Hollywood Derby (G1) last December. The dark bay son of Arch was making his second start off a layoff in the Ft. Lauderdale, recording a fast-closing second in a November 9 turf allowance at Aqueduct, and Instilled Regard has now bankrolled $589,240 from a 14-3-3-3 record.
“This is the same horse that showed up for me (at 85-1) on Kentucky Derby day a year ago,” Best said. “I knew I had a better horse than that that day, and we ended up beating a lot of great horses. This is a real horse.”
Instilled Regard stepped 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.18 on the firm turf.
Flavius finished a neck behind Channel Cat in fourth and was followed by Exulting, Cross Border, Marzo, Spooky Channel, and Up the Ante.
Instilled Regard was bred in Kentucky by KatieRich Farms. The son of Arch hails from the Forestry mare Enhancing, a daughter of 1994 champion 3-year-old filly Heavenly Prize.
Mitchell Road fended off a challenge from Take These Chains in upper stretch and posted a popular front-running victory in the $100,000 My Charmer, scoring as the 2-5 favorite in the one-mile turf test. Jose Ortiz was up for Bill Mott, and the 4-year-old filly notched her third stakes win of 2019 with the 1 1/2-length decision.
Campaigned by E.J.M. McFadden Jr. and breeder Mrs. J.V. Shields Jr., Mitchell Road garnered her third stakes tally of 2019. The Kentucky-bred daughter of English Channel captured the Gallorette (G3) and Albert M. Stall Memorial earlier this season, and she increased her earnings to $221,470 from an 11-6-3-0 line.
Mitchell Road snapped a three-race losing streak while completing a mile in 1:34.10.
Take These Chains held second at 20-1, a neck better than 6-1 Munchkin Money. No Pali Spirit, Steelin Magnolias, Altea, Picara, Joy Nidera, Beachwood Ella, and Hogans Holiday completed the order of finish.