HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Winless in 14 ½ months, Action Andy and jockey Paco Lopez made it look easy with a front-running 4 ½-length victory in today’s fourth race, a 6 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance on the main track.
Dropped in for a $100,000 tag after running in 16 consecutive stakes, the 7-year-old gelding broke fast from post three and led through a quarter-mile in 22.69 seconds and a half in 45.10. After going six furlongs in 1:08.59, Lopez and Action Andy separated from the field and hit the wire in 1:14.89, just .45 off the course record set by 4-year-old Forest Danger on Feb. 14, 2005.
Second choice in the field of five at 9-5, Action Andy ($5.60) was one of two horses to run for a claiming price along with even-money favorite Apriority, who finished second. Neither horse was claimed.
“It was easy, right? He won in hand,” winning trainer Carlos Garcia said. “He was training really good, and I took a shot to run for $100,000. I don’t think anybody has that much money.”
Action Andy’s last win came in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 8, 2012, three weeks before finishing a narrow third in the Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream. He was second in three of five starts in 2013, including the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap.
“He had showed speed before, but we decided to take him back his last couple races,” said Garcia, 74, who has won 1,349 races and 14 graded stakes since 1971, including the 1983 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream with Norsan.
“Today I said, ‘Let him go. If you break on top, just go,’” he said. “The horse is fit. We trained him here last year and he never trained as good as this week. This week he was training really good. He loved the surface. Even after the finish, he couldn’t pull him up.”
Owned by Robert Gerczak, Action Andy has 12 wins from 39 career starts, including back-to-back victories in the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap and Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park in October 2012.
Rainbow 6 Grows to $3.1 Million
Unsolved for the 45thconsecutive racing day, the 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a carryover of $3,156,187.72 heading into Saturday’s 11-race card. Post time is 1:05 p.m.
Going into the program, the Rainbow 6 carryover had topped $3 million for the first time at the meet, and another $482,985 was bet into the pool today. One bettor was alive to take down the $3,523,330 jackpot heading into the finale with Lador Vador, a 70-1 long shot who finished off the board. The record payout for the 20-cent Rainbow 6 is $3,591,245.44 to a New Jersey bettor on Feb. 22, 2013.
Today’s winning 4-5-1-5-2-9 combination was worth $16,893.64.
The jackpot for the popular multi-race wager is only paid in full when a bettor holds the only ticket with the winners of the day’s final six races. When there is no jackpot winner, 70 percent of the pool is paid out while 30 percent goes back into the pool.
Saturday’s card includes the 32nd running of the $200,000 Honey Fox (G2) for older grass females at one mile.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Paco Lopez rode three consecutive winners with Hidden Intentions ($5.20) in the third, Action Andy in the fourth and Night Song ($22.60) in the fifth and added a fourth victory with Strategic Keeper ($10.60) in the ninth. Meet-leading apprentice rider Dylan Davis had two wins, taking the opener with Puntrooskie ($18.40) and the nightcap with Moonwalker ($13.20).
Rainbow 6 carryover: $3,156,187.72