May 25, 2024

Hoist the Gold records first stakes win, earns BC Sprint berth in Phoenix

Hoist the Gold proved best in the Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland (Coady Photo)

Dream Team Racing’s homebred Hoist the Gold rallied to the lead leaving the far turn and held sway to the finish line, scoring by three-quarters of length in Friday’s $349,375 Phoenix (G2) on Keeneland’s opening day program.

John Velazquez guided the Dallas Stewart trainee, and Hoist the Gold registered his first stakes win and guaranteed himself a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 by winning the “Win & You’re In” event.

“When you show up with a nice horse and a jock (Velazquez) that’s won five Grade 1s for you, you got a lot of confidence,” Stewart said. “I didn’t worry about a thing down the backside. It played out perfect. He got him out. The horse loves this track. He came home good, so we know where we’re going November 4: back west (for the Sprint). It’s great to be here. It’s a great day. We got a great thing going with horse racing; we just gotta keep rolling.”

Hoist the Gold finished second in the Commonwealth (G3) this spring and the Perryville S. last fall at Keeneland. Overall, the four-year-old owns five stakes placings, including the Churchill Downs (G1) this spring, and he rebounded from a pair of unplaced efforts in graded stakes at Del Mar.

By Mineshaft, Hoist the Gold has now earned $804,547 from a 24-4-6-3record.

The dark bay colt stalked up close in third after breaking from the rail post, and Doctor Oscar and Sibelius sped forward to establish opening splits in :21.79 and :44.83. Hoist the Gold made his move entering the stretch, opening a 1 1/2-length lead with a furlong remaining. He stopped the teletimer in 1:09.13.

 “Dallas Stewart and I talked in the paddock and I watched his (Hoist the Gold’s) races – seems like when he’s close to the pace he’s much better,” Velazquez said. “So I told him I’m going to come out of there and get him third at least and we’ll have a really good chance. Once I got him back and got behind those two horses I was in a great position where I thought I wanted to be. But I almost messed up a little bit when I asked him a little too much the first sixteenth of a mile.”

Hoist the Gold was off as the 6.02-1 fourth choice among 11 runners. Bango, the 3.38-1 second choice, offered a challenge in midstretch from just off the pace, and 2.58-1 favorite Nakatomi came rallying widest of all to challenge in deep stretch. Hoist the Gold held off all challengers, and Nakatomi outfinished Bango by a neck for second.

Necker Island, Sibelius, Gulfstream Way, Manny Wah, Doctor Oscar, Top Gunner, Voodoo Zip, and Baytown Bear came next under the wire.

Hoist the Gold is the first stakes winner from the Tapit mare Tacit Approval.