“GIANT RUN” SCORES THE TROPICAL PARK DERBY
Robert Baker and William Mack’s Giant Run lived up to his name when he won the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby by 1 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park Dec. 31.
Going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, the 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway raced along comfortably in fourth under jockey Joe Bravo behind pacesetters Stockyard and Franklin Towers through six furlongs. As the frontrunners began to tire, Giant Run made his move by going four wide in the turn and taking off down the stretch to stop the clock in 1:40.02. Favorite Oscar Nominated finished second, a head over Two Step Time in third.
“You couldn’t have asked for a horse to have a better spot heading into the first turn,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “From there, he was just sitting by himself without anyone putting any pressure on him. It worked out in our favor. It looked like Joe had plenty of horse once he reached the three-eighths pole. I could see him looking over his shoulder, kind of looking for the competition. He really had an extra gear today and it was very impressive.”
Giant Run returned $19.80, $9.40, and $5.40 across the board. Oscar Nominated paid $3.80 and $3.40, while Two Step Time was worth $16.20.
Saturday’s win was Giant Run’s fourth stakes victory this year. In September he won the Centaur Stakes at Indiana Grand Race Course, in July he took the Manila Stakes at Belmont Park, and in March it was the Cutler Bay Stakes, also at Gulfstream. He also finished second and third in the Palm Beach Stakes and the Penn Mile (both gr. IIIT), respectively.
Bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds in Maryland, the colt was purchased by Baker and Mack for $200,000 from consigner Hidden Brook at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. Giant Run now has a record of 5-3-1 from 14 starts, with earnings of $419,480.
Four races later in the Tropical Park Oaks, also run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s homebred Ultra Brat won at odds of 35-1.
The 3-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo broke well and raced along in second behind Gypsy Eyes while favorite Try Your Luck was a half length back in third on the rail. Jockey Angel Cruz started to urge Ultra Brat around the turn for home and the filly responded, easily moving around Gypsy Eyes to hit the wire first in 1:41.23. Shaan nabbed second in a late surge, with Try Your Luck in third.
“(Trainer) Graham (Motion) told me not to send her because she would be rank, so I just let her break on her own and she settled really good for me down the backside,” Cruz said. “When I asked her, I had a lot of horse.”
Ultra Brat entered Saturday’s race off a fourth place effort on the dirt in the Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel Park. A winner on turf and dirt, she also won the Christiecat Stakes at Belmont Sept. 9. Her record is now 4-1-0 from 9 starts.
Ultra Brat paid $75.40, $29.40, and $19.00 across the board. Shaan returned $11.40 and $7.40, and Try Your Luck paid $4.