Ribo Bobo Asserts Class to Withstand Challenge in $75,000 Caixa Electronica
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Ribo Bobo got to the finish line first yet again Sunday, winning his 12th race from his last 13 starts, as well as his third straight stakes victory of the Champion’s Meet at Gulfstream Park.
The finish line, though, seemed a bit farther away than usual for the 1-2 favorite’s connections during the stretch run of the $75,000 Caixa Eletronica Stakes.
“We were looking for the finish line, I can tell you that,” said owner Rob Lombardi, admitting to having an anxious moment in the final sixteenth of a mile when Ribo Bobo received an unexpected and stern challenge from Dad’z Laugh before asserting his class.
Ribo Bobo, claimed by trainer Jason Servis for Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stable for $6,250 at Gulfstream on March 8, withstood a strong bid by Dad’z Laugh before holding off the 9-2 third betting choice by a measured half-length.
“He’s amazing,” said Servis, whose 6-year-old gelding had won in hand in both the $110,000 Claiming Crown Express on Dec. 7 and the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 18.
Ribo Bobo, who broke from the rail post position under Paco Lopez, was outrun for the early lead in the six-furlong stakes by Mongolian Saturday, who was hustled out of the gate by jockey Jose Lezcano. The pacesetter opened up a clear lead on the backstretch, only to be quickly joined by Ribo Bobo to his outside. Lopez took a hold of the reins and rated the favorite alongside the pacesetter leaving the backstretch before being dragged to the lead midway on the turn into the homestretch. Virtually standing up in the irons and without moving a muscle, Lopez took a quick peek back to look for a possible challenger turning into the stretch. He soon got one. Still under a confident hand ride, Ribo Bobo appeared in total control at the top of the stretch before Dad’s Laugh and Javier Castellano quickly loomed boldly to his outside. Lopez got busy on Ribo Bobo, and the son of Louis Quartorze dug in to turn back his challenger.
“He's such a nice horse. He tries really hard all the time and he's so smart, it really doesn't have anything to do with the jockey. I thought maybe I'd let someone go and I'd take second. I waited for the #2 (Dad'z Laugh) because I knew he was the horse to beat,” Lopez said. “I knew I had a lot of horse left (in the stretch).” Dad’z Laugh held second, 3 ½ lengths ahead of Mongolian Saturday. Ribo Bobo ran six furlongs in a swift 1:08.98 to collect his 17th career victory and the $45,000 winner’s share of the purse. Servis, who won a six-way shake to claim Ribo Bobo after losing him two starts earlier for $8,000, said Ribo Bobo has been able to maintain his winning edge without a lot of training. “He looks so good because I don’t have to do much with him, sprinting. It keeps him looking good. It’s not like the mile and an eighth horses that you’ve got to train,” Servis said. “Friday nights we go to an organic place and get a case of dandelions. Every Friday, he gets them, I can tell you that.”
Ribo Bobo will be pointed to the $100,000 Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream on the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) undercard on March 29.