Saturday, July 9, 2022
HALLANDALE BEACH - After a respectable sixth in the April 2 Curlin Florida Derby at 1 1/8-miles, Steal Sunshine successfully cut back to seven furlongs today at Gulfstream Park, rallying from last to score an upset victory in the $75,000 Carry Back, reminiscent of the racing style of the Hall of Fame Florida-bred who the race is named after.
Owned by Carrie Brogden and Little Red Feather Racing, Steal Sunshine followed up a strong late-closing starter allowance victory at a mile last time out with an even more impressive eye-catching stretch surge in the seven-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds.
The Bobby DiBona-trained son of Constitution took complete advantage of a blistering early pace set by King Cab, who set fractions of :21.79 and :43.84 seconds for the first half-mile with Octane, and Cattin and Reddington in hot pursuit. Last by several lengths along the backstretch and far turn under a patient Lionel Reyes, Steal Sunshine quickly caught up to the field entering the turn with a wide sweep into the stretch, where his fresh legs carried him past his tiring rivals to a 2 ¼-length victory.
“I took a shot running him in the Florida Derby," DiBona said. "He ran very respectable and put on a good show against some of the better horses. We’ve been thinking in the barn, ‘Long, long, he’ll run all day.’ I know that but he’s been compromised by slow fractions at times. Today, I said, ‘They’re going to be smoking. Maybe this is what he’s been waiting for – something to run at.’ He showed it today.”
Steal Sunshine ran seven furlongs in 1:22.77 to capture his first stakes race and his third victory in eight starts. He was so far back early even his No. 2 ‘chicklet’ wasn’t visible on the TV screen.
“I saw the fractions, but I needed to see his head stick into the screen somewhere," DiBona said. "Then, I saw him on the screen on the move and then he angled out. I looked up and saw 43-and-change, and I said, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s coming." He destroyed the field today.”
Strike Hard finished second, a half-length ahead of Clapton.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed
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The multi-race wager went unsolved on the first day after a lucky bettor hit the jackpot for a $118,521 payoff.
Sunday’s Rainbow sequence will span Races 4-9, featuring a contentious 1 1/16-mile optional claiming starter allowance on Tapeta. Kathleen O’Connell’s all-weather specialist Uno Tiger will seek to regain his winning form. The 5-year-old son of Macho Uno was riding a three-race winning streak on Tapeta before stepping up to stakes company last time out and finishing a close third in the Soldier’s Dancer.
Uno Tiger is slated to clash with Joe Orseno-trained Lamplighter Jack, who is riding a three-race winning streak of his own on Tapeta.