Grand Tito, Backseat Memories Share the Spotlight in Showing Up
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grand Tito appeared on his way to victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Showing Up Stakes in deep stretch, before Backseat Memories suddenly darted to his inside to loom as the likely winner nearing the finish line of Gulfstream Park’s turf course.
As Grand Tito re-rallied and the pair of surging 3-year-olds crossed the wire, it was anyone’s guess who won the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes. And even as a dead-heat was posted on the infield toteboard, the final outcome of the Showing Up was still in doubt. Although it had been determined that Grand Tito and Backseat Memories has crossed the finish line in unison, an objection placed Backseat Memories’ share of the victory in doubt.
When the dust settled and the objection was disallowed, a pair of winner’s circle celebrations ensued with lightly raced Grand Tito sharing the glory of first stakes victory with Backseat Memories, a more-seasoned sophomore who notched his second stakes success.
Sr. Quisqueyano, the 8-5 favorite making his first start of turf, set a comfortable pace around the first turn and along the backstretch, as Grand Tito raced a few lengths back on the outside and Backseat Memories settled nearly the back of the eight-horse field. Unable to carry his speed on grass as he had done on dirt to earn nearly $340,000, Sr. Quisqueyano gave way on the turn into the homestretch, where Grand Tito launched his bid to take the lead into the homestretch. Just when it appeared that the 3-year-old son of Candy Ride would draw off to victory, Backseat Memories surged in deep stretch to set up a most uncertain finish.
Backseat Memories, the 7-2 second choice ridden by Jilver Chamafi, and Grand Tito, a 13-1 long shot guided by Fernando Jara, finished three lengths clear of third-place finisher Starship Zorro, whose jockey Manoel Cruz had claimed interference by Backseat Memories in the stretch run to no avail. The co-winners ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.76.
Backseat Memories, who was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Humberto Toledo for owner Elena Arocha at Gulfstream last winter, has now won four of his last five starts for his new connections.
“He performed good. He’s trained good. If it was a firmer track, I think he’d have won more easy,” Toledo said. “When I claimed him, I was looking for a well-bred horse I could make into a good horse.”
Grand Tito, a $225,000 yearling purchase, was making only his fourth lifetime start in the Showing Up. After finishing seventh in his debut on dirt, the Groupo 7C Racing Stable’s colt lost a photo in his turf debut and breaking his maiden on turf on June. 22.
“I expected him to run like a big race. I’m thinking he’ll run in another stake here or maybe Saratoga,” trainer Antonio Sano said.
Sano gave high praise to Chamafi, who picked up the mount aboard Grant Tito earlier in the day.
“He gave him a great ride, because he never had ridden him before and didn’t get a chance to get to know him,” Sano said.