War Front Colt Halladay Dominates Gulfstream Park Turf Foes

Harrell Ventures LLC’s Halladay never gave another horse a chance at Gulfstream Park Saturday, taking control from the start of the featured optional claiming allowance and speeding to a dominating three-length victory.

The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old son of War Front set a hot pace in the stakes-quality mile turf race for 4-year-olds and up on his way to a final clocking in 1:32.65 under Luis Saez.

Halladay ($6.60) posted fractions of 23.64 and 46.39 seconds for the first half mile of the Race 10 feature before completing six furlongs in 1:08.95 and seven furlongs in 1:20.61

“He’s a talented horse. We were on the AE [list] for the stake the other day. We’re happy to have to opportunity to run him,” said Pletcher, whose trainee failed to draw into the field for the Appleton (G3) on the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) undercard.

Halladay, who registered a front-running victory in the Dec. 28 Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream, finished a troubled fourth in the Feb. 8 Tampa Bay (G3) last time out.

“It was a pretty roughly run race at Tampa. He was involved in three or four horses bouncing off each other in the top of the stretch,” Pletcher said. “He really seems to like Gulfstream.”

Kroy, a multiple stakes winner over the Gulfstream course, chased Halladay for a mile before settling for second under Emisael Jaramillo. Penalty and Edgard Zayas finished third another 1 ¼ lengths back. First Premio, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, trailed early and finished fifth.

In the Race 11 co-feature, Courtlandt Farm’s Sonneman ($12.20) overcame a slow start while benefiting from a fast early pace to register a fast-closing victory in the seven-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds.

Trained by Mark Hennig, the son of Curlin hesitated at the start and broke last, as I’ll Fight Dempsey, the 1-2 favorite ridden by Luis Saez. I’ll Fight Dempsey, an impressive debut winner Feb. 29, set pressured fractions of 22.66 and 44.82 seconds for the first half-mile, which would take a toll in the stretch run but set up Sonneman’s late surge.

Sonneman, who hadn’t run since breaking his maiden at Belmont in his third career start Oct. 5, ran seven furlongs in 1:23.70 while winning by two lengths over Golden Candy. I’ll Fight Dempsey finished fourth.

The post War Front Colt Halladay Dominates Gulfstream Park Turf Foes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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