William Clifton, Jr.’s Our Way closed with a big rush in the stretch at Gulfstream Park to take Saturday’s $ 100,000 Sunshine Millions Turf by a neck for trainer H. James Bond. Cleverly ridden by John Velazquez, the 4-year-old gelded son of Tizway covered 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:41.81.
“Johnny is the master of all masters,” Bond said. “If you want a masterful ride on turf, you call Johnny. That was the difference in the race today – Johnny had him in the right spot. There was no pace up front. This horse usually needs a pace to close into, and Johnny had him in the right spot and saved every inch of ground he could.”
Go Around, the post-time favorite, broke a bit slowly but rushed up to take the lead from his outer-most post position. Moving out to a one-length advantage over Enterprising, Go Around set a steady early fraction of :25.07 while Our Way and Reporting Star vied for third. Enterprising pushed the pace a bit to pressure Go Around into a half in :49.23, then moved up to challenge the leader through the turn.
Enterprising took the lead by a whisker at the top of the stretch, but Our Way was just two lengths behind the dueling leaders. Velasquez tipped his mount out to the center of the track and dropped low to the saddle, pressing Our Way to reach his full stride. The gelding responded willingly, flying past his rivals late to beat Enterprising by a neck on the wire. Reporting Star finished third over Go Around.
“Perfect trip,” Velazquez said. “He broke really well and [Bond] told me he didn’t want me too close, but if it’s slow enough, get close enough. He broke well, so it worked out perfect. I didn’t have to do anything, I just put my hands down and followed the horse on the lead. He responded when I asked him down the lane.”
Bred in Florida by Farm III Enterprises, Our Way was a $ 140,000 OBS March 2-year-old in training sale. The Sunshine Millions Turf is his second career stakes win, improving his record to four wins from 11 starts, with earnings of over $ 220,000.
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