Hi Happy Works Out The Trip In Pan American

Argentine-bred Hi Happy finally earned his first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s G2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream Park, working out a trip under the red-hot Luis Saez to win by about three lengths. The 6-year-old son of Pure Prize, now trained by Todd Pletcher, covered 1 1/2 miles over the firm turf in 2:23.85. Hi Happy, a homebred for La Providencia, was sent off as the second choice at 2-1; 9-5 favorite Sadler’s Joy finished fourth.

“[One Go All Go] was the speed of the race,” Saez explained. “Everything went perfect. We sat second. At the half-mile pole I asked my horse and he kept battling. When we made the straight, he just took off.”

One Go All Go raced comfortably on the lead through fractions of :23.96, :49.21, 1:13.79 and 1:38.15 for the mile under mild pressure from Hi Happy to his outside and 22-1 long shot Markitoff trailing in behind on the rail. Saez gave Hi Happy his cue as they approached the stretch for the second time, collaring the leader at the head of the lane and pulling away.

It was the third win of the day for both Pletcher and Saez, who also rode stakes winners in the Sanibel Island on Therapist and the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on Coach Rocks. It was also Pletcher’s third win in the Pan American, following Navesink River (2005) and Deeliteful Irving (2002).

Bred in Argentina by his owners, Hi Happy was undefeated in his native country, including four Group 1 victories. Transferred to the United States, the colt struggled to find the winner’s circle and ended up with a lengthy layoff through most of 2017. Returning to the races this year in the care of conditioner Todd Pletcher, Hi Happy was third last out in the Gulfstream Park Turf, and moved up to the victory in the Pan American. Overall, Hi Happy’s record stands at seven wins from 12 starts, with earnings of over $700,000.

The post Hi Happy Works Out The Trip In Pan American appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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