HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Leinster came through for the bettors who made him their 2-5 favorite in the stretch, where the Rusty Arnold-trainee added the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (G3) to his growing list of graded-stakes victories.
The Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash for older horses, and the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3), a six-furlong race for 4-year-olds and up, co-headlined a 12-race program that also featured a mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool.
Leinster broke alertly from the starting gate to contest the early pace between horses before being eased back by jockey Luis Saez, who was content to track pacesetter High Crime and Inter Miami during a 21.03-second first quarter of a mile. Saez eased Leinster to the outside on the turn into the homestretch and the veteran turf sprinter responded with a powerful stretch drive to catch High Crime by a neck.
“That was the trip that we expected. I know we had some speed inside, but he’s that kind of horse that you can’t rush him early. You have to let him get his feet,” Saez said. “When he came to the stretch, he knows what to do. He was always responding and it was easy for him. When we came to the stretch, I knew we were going to be OK. I know [High Crime] was a pretty tough horse, but Leinster he came from the layoff, too, so we didn’t want to push him early. He did his job.”
Making his first start since finishing third in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland, Leinster ran five furlongs on a ‘good’ turf course in 55.29 seconds.
“I liked the way he did it. They were going head and head; they were going so fast, [Saez] took him back and gave him a breather,” said Arnold, who trains Leinster for Amy Dunne, Brenda Miley and Westrock Stables LLC. “It looked for a second he might not get there, but he that gear.”
High Crime, the 3-1 second choice ridden by Julien Leparoux, held second 1 ½ lengths head of Harrysontheloose and jockey Junior Alvarado.
Leinster won back-to-back Grade 2 stakes, the Shakertown and the Woodford, over a fast Keeneland course before finishing just a length behind victorious Glass Slippers over a ‘good’ Keeneland turf in the Breeders’ Cup.
“Since he started running sprints on the grass, he’s missed the board once, and that was in the  Breeders’ Cup [Turf Sprint]. He didn’t get a trip and maybe he was over the top,” Arnold said.
Arnold said that the 6-year-old son of Majestic Warrior would likely run next in the $1 million Al Quoz (G1) on the March 28 Dubai World Cup undercard or the April 3 Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland.
Gulfstream Park Press Release and Photo, Coglianese Photos, Lauren King