Charge It charges forward to victory. (Coglianese Photo)
• Pletcher trainee makes triumphant return after long layoff
• Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $300,000
David Joseph/Gulfstream Park
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Whisper Hill Farm LLC’s Charge It made a much-anticipated and triumphant return from a seven-month layoff Sunday at Gulfstream Park, scoring an always-in-control 1 1/2-length victory in the featured $87,000 optional claiming allowance.
Sidelined since capturing the July 2 Dwyer at Belmont Park by a dazzling 23 lengths, Charge It stalked a solid early pace before moving to the lead leaving the far turn and continuing on to a comfortable decision over late-rallying Vittorio.
“You never take anything for granted in this game. The horse was training super. We felt like we had him ready off the layoff,” Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He was stalking some pretty nice fractions and did it nicely. The horse that finished second had some pretty good form too. It was what we were hoping to see.”
Charge It, the 1-5 favorite in a field of seven in Race 8, ran 1 1/16 miles under Luis Saez in 1:41.96. over a track rated good.
“The trip was great. He’s a pretty fast horse. The key with him was to try to make him relax behind horses and he did great. He laid off and did it perfect,” Saez said. “We came to the half-mile pole, and I had so much horse. I just let him go a little early so he can breathe and be all right, and at the top of the stretch I just came with him and didn’t really do anything. I didn’t let him go because we wanted to save something. He felt very good. He’s doing unbelievable. He came back great.”
Charge It graduated by 8 ½ lengths at Gulfstream in his second career start last February before overcoming a starting gate issue to finish second behind White Abarrio in the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) in April. The Pletcher trainee finished off the board in the Kentucky Derby (G1), in which he encountered some traffic, before rebounding with his spectacular showing in the Dwyer.
“Our big goals for the summer are the Met Mile and the Whitney,” Pletcher said. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do between now and the Met Mile.”
Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $300,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $300,000 Wednesday at Gulfstream Park.
The popular multi-race wager went unsolved Sunday for the fifth racing day following a mandatory payout of an $828,941.81 carryover pool that generated a Rainbow 6 handle of $6,265,823.
The Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
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Luis Saez starts his day with three straight winning rides aboard Let Freedom Rein ($8.80) in Race 1, Pens Street ($4.40) in Race 2 and The Sleepychipmunk ($6.80) in Race 3 before guiding Charge It ($2.40) to victory in the Race 8 feature.
Jose Ortiz doubled, scoring on Royal Jubilee (12) in Race 4 and Lady Beth ($8.20) in Race 6.
Trainer Jose D’Angelo saddled back-to-back winners, scoring with The Sleepychipmunk ($6.80) in Race 3 and Royal Jubilee ($12) in Race 4.