Mystic Sky Shines in Soldier’s Dancer
Jun 17, 2017
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Vegso Racing’s Mystic Sky closed with a late kick to pulled off a 20-1 upset in Saturday’s $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer at Gulfstream Park.
The Phil Gleaves-trained 4-year-old son of Sky Mesa ($42.60) prevailed over pacesetter My Point Exactly by a neck after trailing the 10-horse field early. My Point Exactly, a 25-1 longshot ridden by Jose Batista, finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Two Step Time and jockey Emisael Jaramillo but was disqualified and placed fourth for interference in the stretch. Two Step Time was placed second and fourth-place finisher Galleon Mast was placed third. Odds-on favorite Enterprising finished sixth following a troubled trip in which he had to be steadied in traffic on several occastions.
The Soldier’s Dancer anchored Saturday’s 11-race program that was co-featured by the $100,000 Ginger Punch, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for Florida-bred fillies and mares won by Randy Bradshaw and Commonwealth Stable’s Somethingelse. The 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old and up Florida-breds also anchored the 20-cent Rainbow 6 sequence on a mandatory-payout day, when multiple tickets with all six winners returned $26,761.18.
Mystic Sky was patiently rated off the pace by jockey Luca Panici before swinging wide into the stretch and powering to his first stakes victory, covering the 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.42.
“Luca gave him an excellent ride. He rode him like a European horse. He covered him up all the way. He didn’t let him see any daylight until he turned for home and he came flying. It was wonderful,” Gleaves said.
Mystic Sky won one of his first seven starts while dropping into $30,000 claiming company last year before coming back from a four-month layover like a new horse. The homebred colt has won four of his last seven starts while finishing in the money in his other three races.
“We made a big turnaround with him. He had a breathing problem and last year, before Gulfstream Park West [meeting] we did a throat operation on him, a tie-back operation which is a normal procedure with breathing problems. Since then he’s been a monster,” Gleaves said. ”Now he can finally breathe”.