Rejuvenated Reload Captures $150,000 Canadian Turf
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Reload could have been best described as “useful” during his first two years of racing, winning enough races to earn his keep without being a threat in stakes company.
The 5-year-old son of Hard Spun now can best be described has “highly promising stakes performer” after capturing Saturday’s $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Making his second consecutive start on turf after racing in relative obscurity on dirt and synthetic surfaces for the first 15 starts of his career, Reload collected his second straight turf triumph under a ground-saving ride by Javier Castellano. While providing the two-time defending Gulfstream Park riding champ with his sixth winning mount of the day, Reload enjoyed a ground saving trip throughout the 51st running of the mile turf stakes to score by a neck over Mr. Online.
“He’s been training really well. Sometimes he just doesn’t show up. But since I put him on grass, it seems to have turned him around,” trainer Shug McGaughey said.
Reload made a strong impression on turf in his 2014 debut, capturing a 1-1/16-mile allowance by three lengths at Gulfstream on Jan. 17.
“I had breezed him on it (grass) at Payson last March and he didn’t breeze so well,” said McGaughey, explaining why he waited to try Reload on turf. “But when I brought him down here this year, this is what I was going to do with him.”
His sparkling turf debut encouraged his trainer that he was ready to try graded-stakes company in the Canadian Turf. Castellano placed the Phipps Stable homebred on the inside within a couple lengths of pacesetter Mr. Online and stalking Rydilluc around the first turn and along the backstretch.
As Rydilluc, the 7-2 favorite in a field of 11, faltered on the turn into the stretch, Reload loomed dangerous while advancing on the leader. Mr. Online continued to show the way into deep stretch before being passed to his inside nearing the wire.
“Everything worked out great, thank God. I'm thankful and I'm blessed. It's a great day. The race unfolded perfectly, it was beautiful. He settled behind the two horses,” Castellano said. “I really like the way he did it, he cut the corner and saved all the ground. He was very brave and went through a tiny hole on the rail. He gave me a great performance today."
Reload, the 9-2 second choice, was clocked in 1:32.34 on his way to his fifth victory in 17 starts. Mr. Online, ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, held second, 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Salto and jockey Joe Bravo. Rydilluc and jockey Edgar Prado finished fifth. McGaughey said the Makers 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland at April 12 is a likely spot for Reload’s next start.