Adirondack Summer Best In Dania Beach
By Ed Gray
HALLANDALE, FL – Adirondack Summer benefited from a swift early pace to score her first stakes victory in the $100,000 Dania Beach Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
The New York-bred son of Thunder Gulch ($11) prevailed by a nose over Brilliant Speed in the one-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds, receiving a well-timed ride by Alan Garcia.
Adirondack Summer lagged well off the pace, contested by longshot The Best Glacier and 8-5 favorite Lil Bit O’Fun, who contributed to the first six furlongs being run in a swift 1:10 1/5. As the pacesetters and closest stalkers drew weary from their early efforts, Adirondack Summer and Brilliant Speed had the freshest legs in the stretch, with the Clement-trained colt a nose better than the latter at the wire.
“That was great. It’s been a good weekend,” said Garcia, who rode Tar Heel Mom to victory in Saturday’s Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3). “My horse didn’t break that sharp, so I was patient and waited for the quarter pole to ask my horse. He did a very good job.”
Adirondack Summer, who broke his maiden at first asking at Belmont Park before finishing second in his most recent start at Aqueduct, ran the mile in a solid 1:34 2/5. Brilliant Speed, ridden by John Velazquez, finished 1-1/4 lengths ahead of Master Dunker and Luis Saez. Swift Warrior finished fourth under Paco Lopez but was disqualified to eighth for interference in the stretch.
The winner, a $30,000 yearling purchase by Peter Deutsch, earned $60,000 for his initial stakes victory.
“He was very unlucky not to have won his last start. I was concerned that he was as far back as he was early in the race, but with the pace up front, it worked out for the best,” said Clement, who didn’t reveal future plans for Adirondack Summer.
Shared Heart Wins Eventful Debut
Trainer Todd Pletcher unveiled an extremely promising 3-year-old in the sixth-race, won in dominating fashion by Shared Heart ($5.80). The son of Forestry dueled with Woolley Bird into the stretch before drawing away from the field. After separating himself from the field in the stretch, Shared Heart started to bear out badly, prompting jockey John Velazquez to grab a firm hold of the reins to keep him on a more direct path to the finish line. Despite the restraint, Wertheimer & Frere’s homebred colt prevailed by 11 lengths, completing seven furlongs in 1:23 3/5.
Velazquez rode two other winners on Sunday’s card: Tonigail ($20.20) in the first and Royal Majesty ($7.20) in the eighth, both for trainer Peter Walder.
Trainer George Handy visited the winner’s circle after the fifth race. The 87-year-old veteran of many seasons at Gulfstream saddled Gator’s Tracks ($31.20) for a narrow victory in the 1-1/16-mile turf race for $25,000 claimers.