Sunday, August 4, 2019
HALLANDALE BEACH - Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC’s Chance It kept the buzz alive Saturday at Gulfstream Park with a dominating 3 ¼ -length victory in the $100,000 Dr. Fager, first leg of the 2019 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series,
The six-furlong test for 2-year-olds sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida, co-headlined the Florida Sire Stakes program with the $100,000 Desert Vixen, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.
Chance It first created the buzz June on 29 when he earned the fastest Beyer Speed Figure (92) of any 2-year-old in the country at the time while breaking his maiden and was sent to post as the 1-5 favorite. The son of Currency Swap broke well from the No. 1 post under Edgard Zayas and was immediately taken on by Man With a Plan, who was ridden hard by Emisael Jaramillo to take a narrow advantage along the backstretch.
Unable to ease his mount off the inside, Zayas remained patient aboard Chance It while being lapped on by the long-shot pacesetter. Zayas asked his mount for some run leaving the backstretch, and the Florida-bred colt quickly asserted himself to open a lead on the far turn. Liam’s Lucky Charm made a sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch but was no match for Chance It, who drew away to a comfortable victory.
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Liam’s Lucky Charm, the 12-1 third-choice, finished second, 10 ¼ lengths ahead of Absolute Grit, the 5-1 second choice who raced evenly under Christian Torres. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Chance It ran six furlongs in 1:11.22, a final clocking built on fractions of 22.53 and 45.82 seconds for the first half mile on a sealed ‘good’ track.”
Chance It was greeted in the winner’s circle by a large contingent from Shooting Star Thoroughbreds, a first-year ownership group managed by longtime trainer Mary Lightner.
“We had the speed right next to us so we were definitely concerned about that. But we went in thinking if he’s good enough he can overcome these things and he showed today he could,” Lightner said. “Edgard knows the horse really well and he does such a great job and Saffie, nobody could do a better job than Saffie getting him ready.”
Chance It is out of Vagabon Diva, who had been adopted for $250 and subsequently given away to Ocala breeder Bett Usher. The long-striding colt was purchased privately after a Lightner-trained half-brother broke his maiden in his first start. Despite a modest pedigree, Chance It attracted several offers that were turned down.
“We have had a little bit of interest, the phone has been ringing a few times, but we’re a racing syndicate and we wanted to do right by all these people,” Lightner said. “It’s hard to get a really good horse. So that’s the direction we decided to go. To keep him and see what we can do in the Sire Stakes.”
The open division of the Florida Sire Stakes series will continue with the running of the $200,000 Affirmed on Aug. 31 and conclude with the $400,000 In Reality on Sept.28.
“Mary turned down a lot of money, which is good for me because we get to keep the horse,” Joseph said. “The horse is going to have a bright future.”