HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Matthew Schera’s Demander coasted to an easy 2 ¼-length victory in Wednesday’s feature at Gulfstream Park, a mile allowance for older horses.
Under Gabriel Saez, the 4-year-old colt couldn’t have made the effort look much easier, winning under wraps to notch his second straight victory at Gulfstream Park. The son of Yes It’s True was claimed for $50,000 by trainer George Weaver two starts back and has yet to lose for his new connections.
“The owner called me, and he had been watching the horse,” Weaver said. “He actually owns the sister to the horse, and he was interested in the horse. I knew the horse from years past. I knew he broke his maiden here. He never gets beat far, and he was kind of a consistent horse, and the owner wanted to give it a shot. Ian Wilkes (who had Demander previously) is a very nice guy and a great trainer, and I feel bad sometimes claiming horses, but it’s just part of the business. I’m just glad that the horse is doing well and that we’re here to enjoy it.”
Demander was kept in hand throughout. The chestnut comfortably settled in second in the race’s early stages, just off the pace of Golden Jason, who set fractions of 24.98 seconds for the first quarter and 48.93 seconds for the half. Rounding the far turn, Ghost Hunter, under Eddie Castro, surged through an opening along the rail and briefly took the lead, but Demander loomed large on the outside. Once let out a notch by Saez, Demander took command and was confidently ridden to the wire before being geared down in the race’s final stages.
“He’s a really long-striding colt, and he put himself in a good spot along the backside,” Weaver said. “It was a good spot to be in. I felt, when I looked at the odds board – we were 9-5, 8-5, around in that range – and I knew it was a good spot for him. I was happy that he was able to do it that easily. He can save something for the next one.”
Demander, who captured an allowance at 7 furlongs on March 15 in his last start, is quickly running through his conditions for Weaver. With the immediate goal of winning a conditioned race for non-winners of two starts accomplished, all options are open for the colt’s next landing spot.
“We’ll discuss it with the owner,” Weaver said. “He ran so well in the one-other-than that we said, ‘Let’s try to run him in a two-other-than, and then we can think about getting some black type for him,’ and we found the right spot. He’s moving up now in the conditions, so we’ll have to be looking at everything – three-other-thans and some stakes options as well.”
Demander clocked in at 1:38.26 for the mile and returned $5.00 to win as the post-time favorite. WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Vinceremos, who vied with Demander for favoritism as a Grade 3 stakes winner, got up for second ($3.00, $2.10), ¾-length ahead of Ghost Hunter ($2.20).
Cash Rules and Golden Jason rounded out the order of finish. Dudeman and Urban Cool were scratched.
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Swells to $634,269.14
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot will stand at $634,269.14. Multiple ticketholders with Wednesday’s 7-10-2-4-5-1 combination each cashed for $2,623.