Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Double Crown got the better of 3-5 favorite Green Light Go both on the track and in the stewards’ room after Saturday’s $75,000 Roar S. at Gulfstream Park.
The 28-10 second choice, Double Crown was the lone entrant making his stakes debut. The Kathy Ritvo sophomore proved up to the challenge with a professional effort. Although Green Light Go prompted early leader Cajun Casanova through splits of :22.39 and :45.19, the odds-on choice was outkicked by the swooping Double Crown into the stretch.
While striking the front on the outside, Double Crown was on his left lead and trying to lug in. At the same time, the tiring Cajun Casanova drifted out a bit. Green Light Go was accordingly in tight between them, but only briefly as he was still searching for top gear.
Double Crown quickly regrouped for Cristian Torres and kept finding all the way to the wire. Green Light Go did kick on late, whittling the margin to a half-length, and jockey Luis Saez lodged an objection for interference.
The stewards allowed the result to stand. Indeed, Cajun Casanova was arguably more culpable. Green Light Go, carrying four pounds more than Double Crown, appeared to take more time to wind up regardless. Moreover, Double Crown had the swifter turn of foot, and he was holding off Green Light Go at the end of 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.57.
“We had a good trip – everything I planned,” Torres told track publicity. “He broke sharp and I settled behind the horse I had to beat. When I asked him to run and got him in the clear, he responded very nicely.
“When he passed the horse he started to go in, but I corrected him right away and got him straight. He finished strong.”
Green Light Go has now lost three straight since his good-looking score in the Saratoga Special (G2), placing a distant second to Tiz the Law in the Champagne (G1) and third in the Swale (G3). He was adding Lasix here.
With Verve, the Hutcheson hero, rallied from last in an eye-catching third. Ournationonparade checked in a further 4 1/4 lengths back in fourth, followed by Cajun Casanova and Ricki Ticki Taffi.
Double Crown improved his resume to 3-2-1-0, $83,865. The Maryland-bred scored first out at Laurel Sept. 8 for Lacey Gaudet. Purchased privately and transferred to Ritvo, he was a troubled second in an April 26 allowance here to the promising Hop Kat.
The bay gelding was bred by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Rebecca Davis. From the first crop of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Bourbon Courage, Double Crown is out of the Two Punch mare Two Columbus. This is the further family of Grade 2 scorers Ellafitz and Ventana as well as champion Lord Avie.
The $75,000 Powder Break lost its headliner, Got Stormy, after the mile test was rained off the turf. Taking advantage of the opportunity was 11-1 shot Jakarta, a former claimer turned stakes debutante. Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Edgard Zayas, the Three Diamonds Farm runner dictated the pace, repelled a bold bid from Valedictorian, and drew away by 2 1/4 lengths.
The main-track-only Bella Ciao got up by a half-length from Valedictorian, who just held third from Valiance. W W Fitzy, the lukewarm 2-1 favorite, chased early before retreating to fifth. Next came Goodbye Brockley and Great Sister Diane. Aside from Get Stormy, the other withdrawals were Silver Kitten and Chad Brown’s duo of Tapit Today and Noor Sahara.
“I knew she was going to be on the lead; it was a matter of if they let her go comfortable enough that she could hold on,” Zayas said. “She fought back. At the three-eighths pole she got a little pressure, and I thought at the quarter pole she was about to be done and I started riding her and she kept digging in. It was an off-the-turf race and a lot of horses didn’t finish, and she got lucky.”
Jakarta, who negotiated the mile in 1:36.37, has earned $159,986 from her 11-6-2-1 record. Originally based at Penn National in her home state, the 5-year-old Bustin Stones mare was produced by the Stormello mare T J’s Stormy Wit. She went to her current connections for $35,000 as a private sale at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic December Mixed Sale.
The $100,000 Musical Romance also witnessed a front-running winner in the 3-1 Lady’s Island, who comfortably dispatched even-money favorite Wildwood’s Beauty by 3 3/4 lengths. Sprinting to a clear lead with Emisael Jaramillo, the Georgina Baxter mare answered the 7-furlong question in 1:22.86.
Bellera, the slight second choice also at 3-1, completed the chalky trifecta. Starship Bonita, Liza Star, J P’s Delight, Oceans of Love, Picara, and Two Sixty rounded out the order of finish.
Runner-up in last year’s Musical Romance, Lady’s Island had not tried to stretch her speed so far in the interim.
“We were worried – 7 furlongs, we thought she might be vulnerable,” Baxter said. “We’re very happy. She’s improved and improved. It’s been a progression.
“She’s bigger and stronger. She’s double the size of any field in this field. She’s a monster and physically a monster.”
Campaigned by Matties Racing Stable and Averill Racing, Lady’s Island now won eight of her last nine. Her only loss in this span was a second to Extravagant Kid in the Jan. 18 Sunshine Millions Sprint versus males. Her scorecard stands at 30-16-4-3, $504,935, reflecting five stakes wins including the Dec. 14 Sugar Swirl (G3). The Florida-bred, claimed for just $16,000 at Gulfstream in June 2018, is a daughter of Greatness and the Broad Brush mare Broadway Martha.