HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A little less traffic and a little more distance proved to be the right combination for All Tied Up on Friday at Gulfstream Park.
The improving 3-year-old son of Even the Score rallied from well back to run down Branded Hand in deep stretch and win the fifth race, a starter optional claimer, by a length under jockey Luis Saez.
A half-brother to stakes winner Probation Ready who was purchased for $130,000 in Ocala last March, All Tied Up ran 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:43.35, returning $7 as the 5-2 favorite in a field of 10.
It was the meet-leading 32nd victory for Todd Pletcher, who trains All Tied Up for Dogwood Stable.
“This horse is improving,” Pletcher said. “He’s made the kind of physical development over the winter that you like to see in these young horses and is heading in the right direction, hopefully.”
In his previous start, All Tied Up was bottled up in traffic and didn’t get room to run until late and closed to be fifth in a field of 10, beaten just three-quarters of a length by dead-heat winners Medal Count and Drover Road going 7 ½ furlongs.
The race marked his season debut for All Tied Up, who broke his maiden in his last start at 2, also at Friday’s distance, on Nov. 3 at Aqueduct.
“I think he had a pretty eventful trip last time,” Pletcher said. “He was trying to close well, and I think it was just one of those races where everybody was sort of bunched up together and he didn’t have a place to go.”
On Friday, Saez had All Tied Up settled in a spot near the back of the pack before steering him four wide around the far turn to set up a stretch run where he passed horses and reeled in the late leader before drawing clear.
“I liked the spot he was in. He was a bit far back but he was kind of in a cozy spot all by himself,” Pletcher said. “He didn’t have any traffic around him and I thought Luis gave him a really heads-up ride. He saved some ground around the first turn and didn’t worry about going around horses on the second turn. He just wanted to keep his momentum going. I think he’s an improving colt.”
Pletcher will consider several options for All Tied Up, whose sire was a multiple Grade 2 winner on dirt. “The good thing about today’s race was that it still leaves a one-other-than [allowance] on the table,” Pletcher said. “We’ll probably take a look at that and after that, maybe a stake.”
Carryover grows: There was more than one unique winner of Friday’s Rainbow 6 wager, pushing the carryover to $166,465.04 heading into Saturday’s 11-race program.
Unsolved for the 10th consecutive racing day, the 20-cent Rainbow 6 returned $994 for bettors who selected the 7-7-7-8-3-3 sequence that included favorites All Tied Up ($7) and Mr. Online ($4.20) as well as long shots She’s Spooky ($16.80) and Daring Kathy ($15.60).
Looking ahead: Nineteen horses were nominated for the 64thrunning of the $200,000 Hutcheson (G3) on Feb. 1, including Grade 2 winner Corfu and unbeaten No Nay Never, a Group 1 winner in France last summer, along with stakes winners Cool Cowboy, Long On Value, Mighty Brown and Wildcat Red.
Who’s Hot: In addition to All Tied Up, Saez also won the fourth race with Hot Coffee ($9), subbing for injured rider Matt Rispoli, and the seventh with Daring Kathy ($15.60). Hot Coffee and Daring Kathy are both trained by David Fawkes, who won with one of his first 57 starters for the meet.
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche also picked up a pair of winners, with Kenai Warrior ($7.80) in the eighth race, and favored Mr. Online ($4) in the 10th.
Rainbow 6 carryover: $166,465.04