It's Never To Late Claims Victory In Sunshine State
By Ed Gray
HALLANDALE, FL – It didn’t look like Ed Moore made a wise $10,000 claim at Delaware Park last July when trainer Julio Cartagena entered It’s Never to Late for a $7,500 claiming price in his first start.
As things turned out Saturday at Gulfstream Park, Moore bought himself a stakes winner.
It’s Never to Late, who captured that $7,500 claiming race back in September without being claimed, continued a strong performance record for his new connections with a hard-fought triumph by a nose in the $60,000 Sunshine State. The victory was the fifth in six starts for Moore and Cartagena and his third in as many starts at the Gulfstream Park meeting.
“Julio isn’t here today, but he told me I should bring a jacket,” Moore said. “He (It’s Never Too Late) obviously likes this track. I live in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, but I’m from the Philadelphia area and have had horses for nearly 50 years. I used to race as Main Line Stable and have had my share of good ones and bad ones.”
It’s Never to Late ($15.20) closely stalked Our Edge throughout the seven-furlong stakes for Florida-bred horses. The outcome of the Sunshine State was up for grabs inches before the finish before It’s Never to Late prevailed by a nose over late-closing Coffee Boy, who finished another head in front of Our Edge. D’Funnybone, the 3-5 favorite, ran evenly to finish fourth, 2 ½ lengths behind Our Edge.
Josue Arce picked up the mount aboard the victorious 6-year-old gelding from Carlos Marquez Jr., who rode at Aqueduct, where he fell just a neck short of victory in the Bay Shore (G3) aboard Vengeful Wildcat.
“The race set up the way I thought it would. The horse who I thought was going to be on the lead was and I was able to sit right off of him,” Arce said. “He just wouldn’t let the other horses go by him. He has such a big heart.”
It’s Never to Late, who ran seven furlongs in 1:21 4/5, earned $36,000 in his first stakes race from 33 career starts.