HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 3-year-old Requite, unraced since last September’s Hopeful (G1), returned an impressive winner Saturday at Gulfstream, cruising home under wraps to capture the eighth race, an allowance for older males.
The son of Warrior’s Reward was much the best in the 6-furlong contest, despite not having raced in more than nine months. Under jockey Eddie Castro, the bay did not break alertly but quickly settled into stride in mid pack as Mystical Myles, Bold Summit and Bluegrass Luck lined up across the track in a three-horse speed duel on the front end. Those three ran the opening quarter in 22.50 seconds before Requite began to pick off horses one-by-one. Trained by George Weaver, the bay loomed three-wide at the top of the stretch and immediately took command of the race, drawing off in the stretch despite never switching leads. He was geared down late by Castro as he crossed the wire 3 ½ lengths in front. The final time of the race was 1:09.92.
“We’re happy with the race,” Weaver said. “He showed us a lot of promise last year as a 2-year-old, and he trained well for this. He ran like we wanted him to.”
“There was good speed in here,” he added. “I think breaking a little bit flat probably helped him. He was in a solid spot on the backside, and he had a really good turn of foot turning for home, and I think 1:09 and change is going to end up being a good time on this racetrack.”
Requite, owned by Bermuda Limestone Thoroughbreds, broke his maiden at first asking last August at Saratoga before stepping up to Grade 1 company for his second start in the Hopeful, when he finished fourth behind the undefeated Competitive Edge. Following that race, the colt prepared for a start in the Champagne (G1), but Weaver ultimately bypassed that race to give his trainee time off.
“After the Hopeful, he came back and had a huge ulcer in his eye, and it took us about two weeks to heal it. I’m thinking that kind of discouraged him,” Weaver said. “That’s all we could come up with. He trained fine from that race, but we were going to run him in the Champagne, but approaching that, we were a little unhappy with how he was doing, so we just put him up for a while.”
Weaver was noncommittal about a next start for Requite but said it would likely be in a stakes race of some kind. The 7-furlong Woody Stephens (G2) on June 6 was mentioned as a potential target.
“He’s always been very talented,” Weaver said. “Hopefully, we’ll keep him going and go on to bigger and better things. If he comes out of [this race] well, we’ll go on to a stake next.”
Weaver also said that he is keeping all of his options open for the colt when it comes to distance; Requite may not be limited to sprints in future starts.
“I don’t know yet,” Weaver said. “He’s so talented; I wouldn’t commit him to anything. I think we take it a step at a time and move him up gradually.”
Requite paid $5.20 to win. Hear That Tune ($4.60, $2.80) got up for second, just edging third-place finisher Chepstow ($2.60) by a nose. General Sham’mah, Bluegrass Luck, Bold Summit, Mystical Myles, and Amace completed the order of finish.
Distinta Scores Breakout Win in Saturday Allowance
Passion Stables’ Distinta, a daughter of Summer Bird, is a filly to watch after running home unchallenged to a 1 ½-length victory in the fifth race, a 6-furlong allowance for sophomore fillies. After competing with some of the most talented sophomore fillies in the nation in Gulfstream’s Forward Gal (G2) and Davona Dale (G2) stakes this winter, the Gustavo Delgado trainee finished a strong second in an allowance on April 18 before coming away with a breakout performance Saturday.
Sent off as the 4-5 post-time favorite in the field of six, Distinta, under Tyler Gaffalione, was positioned in third early, just off the pace of the front-running Standard Deal and Winter Dawn. After Standard Deal posted fractions of 22.42 seconds for the first quarter and 45.91 for the half, it was a cavalry charge rounding the far turn, as five fillies lined up abreast entering the stretch, each seemingly with a chance at victory. As soon as the group straightened for the drive home, Gaffalione said “Go” with Distinta, and the filly immediately responded. She seized the lead before ultimately drawing off in the final furlong over Silver Fog, who closed from fifth to get up for second. It was another 1 ¾ length back to Odachi in third.
“We had a pretty good trip. She broke sharp,” Gaffalione said. “There was a lot of speed, so I didn’t want to send her too much. I just tried to rate her a little bit, and she relaxed nicely down the backstretch. When we got to the turn, everyone started to make their moves and establish their positions, so I just held my position right there, and she really dug in between horses. When she got in front, she just really opened up. She’s a nice filly.”
Distinta posted a final time of 1:11.82 for the 6 furlongs and returned $3.80 to win. Silver Fog paid $2.80 to place, while Odachi’s show returned $2.80. Standard Deal, Winter Dawn, and Desert Imagine rounded out the order of finish.