Phantom Currency Earns First Stakes Victory, Wires Mac Diarmida Field

Susan and Jim Hill’s Phantom Currency notched his first career stakes victory in front-running style, turning back favorite Tide of the Sea through the stretch for a one-length triumph in Saturday’s $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The 26th running of the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida for older turf horses was the second of nine stakes, eight graded, worth $1.475 million on a blockbuster 14-race program headlined by the $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) for 3-year-olds on the road to the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa March 27 and $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) featuring the seasonal debut of 2-year-old filly champion Vequist.

Ridden by Paco Lopez for trainer Brian Lynch, Phantom Currency ($15.60) completed the distance in 2:13.84 over a firm course. Tide of the Sea, looking to give trainer Mike Maker his third consecutive Mac Diarmida victory, ran second, with stablemate Temple third.

Breaking from Post 6 in a field of eight, Phantom Currency – a 5-year-old gelding by Goldencents – was sent to the lead in typical style by Lopez, going a quarter-mile in 23.60 seconds with a comfortable gap back to Tide of the Sea in second as the group came through the stretch for the first time. Tide of the Sea ranged up after a half in 49.08 and went the mile in 1:38.40 to forge a short lead.

Phantom Currency responded by wresting the lead back on the turn and straightened for home in front with Tide of the Sea and Temple furthest outside closing in. Phantom Currency, a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming allowance winner in is Gulfstream debut Jan. 13, dug in along the rail. Moon Over Miami was fourth, followed by Sir Sahib, Admission Office, Basha and Aquaphobia.

“I was surprised they left him alone like they did, and I was very happy to see him make the lead like they did and then slow it down the second quarter,” said Lynch. “He’s a horse that gets very, very game when he’s left alone. Paco said he gave him a little breather around the three-eighths pole and he still felt like he had a lot of horse. He let them come to him and then he crept away. I’m very proud of him. He’s been an overachiever, this horse. He obviously likes this track and he’s very dangerous when he’s left alone.”

“It was the first time I rode the horse and Brian told me to put him on the lead,” said Lopez. “I did exactly what he told me. I had to use him in the race coming to the three-eighths [pole] and he wanted to run off a little bit the first quarter. The second quarter I got a hold of him and he got comfortable. I was on the rail and I waited. [Tide of the Sea] passed me a little bit but I was confident I had a lot of horse and in the stretch he got away from them.”

In his previous stakes attempts, Phantom Currency finished off the board in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup and Clark (G1), the latter on dirt. Lynch finished second in the 2020 Mac Diarmida with Admission Office.

The post Phantom Currency Earns First Stakes Victory, Wires Mac Diarmida Field appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.