Zulu Alpha wins The Mac Diarmida

February 29, 2020

Photo Credit: A. Coglianese

Gulfstream Park News

Even-Money Favorite Captures 1 3/8-Mile Turf Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Michael Hui’s Zulu Alpha, fresh off a victory in last month’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy, continued to display his affinity for Gulfstream Park with a come-from-behind triumph in Saturday’s $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2).

The 25th running of the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida for 4-year-olds and up on turf was the eighth of nine graded-stakes on a blockbuster 14-race program of 10 stakes worth $1.95 million, immediately preceding the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2).

Under Tyler Gaffalione, who earlier in the day captured the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) with undefeated 3-year-old filly Tonalist’s Shape, Zulu Alpha ($) ran near the back of the nine-horse field early before sweeping to the lead on the far outside around the turn and outrunning a game Admission Office to the wire. The winning time was 2:11.47 over a firm turf course.

It was a different trip than last time for even-money favorite Zulu Alpha, who skimmed the rail all the way around to win the Pegasus World Cup Turf by two lengths. The 7-year-old gelding now has six career graded-stakes victories, four of them at Gulfstream, including last year’s Mac Diarmida and W. L. McKnight (G3). He is four-for-five lifetime at Gulfstream.

Admission Office stayed up for second, followed by Sadler’s Joy, Channel Maker, Spooky Channel, A Thread of Blue, Nessy, early pacesetter Morocco and Armistice Day.

$200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) Quotes

Winning trainer Mike Maker (Zulu Alpha): “Tyler [Gaffalione] rode him last time. Not much to say. Give him a shot and put him in a position to win at the quarter pole. We’re looking at Old Forester Derby Day and Arlington Million and Breeders’ Cup. He’s been effective 1 ½, 1 3/8thand 1 3/16 – he’s a nice horse to have.”

Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Zulu Alpha): “He’s incredible. He just gives you so much confidence and he’s so fun to ride. It was great because coming down the stretch for the first time I looked at the infield screen, I saw 23 [seconds opening fraction] and I was smiling. I knew they were setting a nice tempo in front of me so I wasn’t too worried.”

@jonathanstettin #2 Ettalusive ran big to finish 2nd in Gulf Stream 3rd 16-1

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