Power Alert and Julien Leparoux in the winner’s circle after the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint
Grade 3 winner Power Alert stormed to the lead in deep stretch and held off a dramatic late rush from Rainbow Heir to win the $ 125,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint by a nose Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The eighth running of the five-furlong Turf Sprint for 4-year-olds and up was the fourth of six supporting stakes, three graded, worth $ 1.15 million in purses on the $ 12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) program.
It was the second straight win in the Turf Sprint for Power Alert ($ 8.60) and kept him undefeated in five career tries at Gulfstream, including four stakes victories. The winning time was 54.90 seconds over a firm turf course.
Jockey Julien Leparoux kept 7-year-old Power Alert in the clear on the far outside from Post 11 as 18-1 long shot Pay Any Price rocketed through opening fractions of 20.86 and 43.08 seconds. Power Alert wore down a stubborn Pay Any Price down the center of the stretch and withstood Rainbow Heir’s desperate bid for his 11th career win.
It was a half-length to Long On Value in third with Pay Any Price another half-length back in fourth.
Trainer Brian Lynch (Power Alert): “I’m very proud of this horse. He comes from the small country town where I came from in Australia. For him to show up on these big days like this means a lot to me. He’s such an honest campaigner. When he’s right, he’s a very fast horse over five-eighths of a mile.”
“Initially, I thought he [won], but when I watched the replays I thought [Rainbow Heir] might have. It was a head bob and I had a gut feeling that our head was down and his was coming back.”
“He’s a lovely sound horse that still enjoys his job. When they’re in that frame of mind you can get them sort of performances out of them.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Power Alert): “I knew they were going fast early because if my horse is not on the lead, they’re going too fast. He really loves this track. I knew he got up and got his head down at the wire.”
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