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Mike Smith celebrates aboard Custom for Carlos after the Count Fleet Handicap
The undercard feature on Apple Blossom Handicap day was the $150,000 Count Fleet Handicap (G3) for older horses sprinting 6 furlongs. Custom for Carlos was sent off as the 7-10 favorite in the field of 7, off his close second place finish in the Toboggan at Aqueduct after winning the Mr. Prospector at Aqueduct. In to challenge him included 5-1 second choice Chief of Affairs, an allowance winner last out after finishing second in the King Cotton Stakes, and 11-2 third choice Riley Tucker, second in the Hot Springs Stakes in his last start.
Custom for Carlos closes on the outside in the stretch
Jockey Cliff Berry sent Chief of Affairs to the lead early and he set a pace of 22.19 and 45.33 down the backstretch and around the turn while being stalked by 8-1 EZ Dreamer early. Entering the stretch, EZ Dreamer tired allowing Chief of Affairs to open up a 2 1/2 length advantage at the 1/8 pole through 5 furlongs in 56.97. However, Custom for Carlos, who sat 2 lengths off the pace saving ground on the turn, came out three wide for the drive to prevail by a neck in 1:09.05 over the fast track. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to late-running Riley Tucker third.
Also check out Zenyatta winning the Apple Blossom Handicap.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Custom for Carlos Smith 3.34 2.80 2.20 5 Chief of Affairs Berry 4.80 2.80 4 Riley Tucker Bridgmohan 2.80 Winning Time: 1:09:05 $2 Exacta 3-5 15.40 $1 Trifecta 3-5-4 19.50
Left: Custom for Carlos in the winner's circle. His trainer Eddie Kenneally said that jockey Mike Smith "took him off the rail, which was the right thing. He doesn't like being inside. He got him out. It worked out well."
Right: Custom for Carlos heads to the winner's circle after the race.
Left: Custom for Carlos in the walking ring before the race.
Right: Custom for Carlos in the post parade. The 7-10 favorite was forwardly placed about 2 1/2 lengths off the pace early under new jockey Mike Smith, came out for room and closed well to get the victory. The son of More Than Ready improved his record to 6 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 13 starts, earning $460,630 for owners Homewrecker Racing LLC and Avalon Farm.
Left: Second place finisher Chief of Affairs in the walking ring before the race. The 5-1 second choice set the pace early under jockey Cliff Berry but could not hold off the winner late, finishing second by a neck. The Bret Calhoun trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $132,832 for owners Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch.
Right: Third place finisher Riley Tucker in the walking ring before the race. The 11-2 third choice raced back in fifth 4 1/2 lengths off the pace under new jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, then came out three wide to rally late, taking third beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The Steve Asmussen trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 4 thirds in 22 starts, earning $358,846 for owner Zayat Stables LLC.
Jockey Jon Court sent 14-1 longest shot Grand Sensation to the front first time past the stands and he set an uncontested pace of 23.75, 47.54, and 1:12.53 while as many as 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Total Bull in second. Entering the stretch, Total Bull and jockey Calvin Borel came out for room and passed the pacesetter at the 3/16 pole. Flying Private put in a late rally from 4th but Total Bull easily held him off by 1/2 a length in 1:44.00 over the fast track. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to Cryptolight third.
Results Chart from DRF.
Left: Total Bull in the winner's circle. The even-money favorite was slowest out of the gate under new jockey Calvin Borel, but moved up to track the leader for the first 7 furlongs, before taking over the lead in midstretch to get the win.
Right: Total Bull in the post parade. The Bob Baffert trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 5 starts, earning $128,800 for owners Patti and Hal Earnhardt.
Left: Second place finisher Flying Private returns after the race. The 5-2 third choice saved ground on the inside in third early under new jockey Terry Thompson, gaining steadily late to get 2nd beaten 1/2 a length. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 5 seconds, and 0 thirds in 14 starts, earning $301,580 for owners Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack.
Right: Third place finisher Cryptolight in the walking ring before the race. The 2-1 second choice raced in fourth early under jockey Luis Quinonez, came out four wide into the stretch and passed the tiring pacesetter to get third beaten 4 1/4 lengths. The Joseph Martin trainee improved his record to 8 wins, 10 seconds, and 9 thirds in 38 starts, earning $358,320 for owners Paul R. Gutheil and Ronald Dewolfe.
Jockey Chris Emigh sent 4-1 fourth choice Distinctive Dixie to an uncontested lead around the clubhouse turn through fractions of 24.55, 48.64, and 1:12.94 while as many as 2 lengths ahead of Payton d'Oro stalking her in second. Entering the stretch, Payton d'Oro and jockey Terry Thompson moved up to challenge setting up a duel to the line. The pair battled noses apart for the final 3/16 mile but Payton d'Oro pulled ahead in the final strides to win by 1/2 a length in 1:43.93. It was a long 4 1/2 lengths back to 25-1 longest shot Punta Ballena third, while favorite Euphony was fourth.
Results Chart from DRF.
Left: Payton d'Oro in the winner's circle. Her trainer Cindy Jones said, "It set up perfectly. She had a little problem with her feet. We don t know why she got the sore feet, but we worked on them aggressively and they're fine now." She will ship from Oaklawn to Delaware for an east coast campaign.
Right: Payton d'Oro in the post parade. The 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro out of Jade Hunter mare Jealous and Jaded improved her record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 0 thirds in 14 starts, earning $423,435 for owners John Ferris, Mike Pressley, et al.
Left: Second place finisher Distinctive Dixie returns after the race. The 4-1 shot set the early pace under jockey Chris Emigh but was unable to hold off the winner late. The Wally Dollase trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 2 thirds in 14 starts, earning $210,172 for owner Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust.
Right: Third place finisher Punta Ballena in the post parade. The 25-1 outsider stalked the pace in 3rd early under jockey Abel Castellano Jr., and could not improve position late, holding third beaten 5 lengths at the line. The McLean Robertson trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $76,929 for owner Joseph Novogratz.
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