In a completely dominant performance, owner Gary Barber's Conquest Tsunami made every pole a winning one as he cruised to a 4 ¼ length victory in Sunday's $70,000 Clockers' Corner Stakes under Drayden Van Dyke. Trained by Peter Miller, the 7-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding got 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:11.02, which is just a quarter second off of the track record of 1:10.73.
“My first time on him,” said Van Dyke. “Pete said to try and make the lead. I watched film and know that last time on the hill, Cistron (today's runner-up)…went ding-dong with him on the lead and they went a little faster than I did today.
“Today, I was able to get an easy lead, well not necessarily easy, but when he's able to be alone he relaxes better, puts his ears up, and then he kicks on better.”
Most recently third in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes going six furlongs on the main track Jan. 19, Conquest Tsunami, who is out of the El Corredor mare Classic Neel, was off as the 7-5 favorite as he returned to turf in a field of nine older horses and paid $4.80, $3.40 and $2.80.
A winner of the Grade III Daytona Stakes over the course on Feb. 24 of last year, Conquest Tsunami now has three wins from five tries down the hill. With the winner's share of $43,620, he now has earnings of $783,031 and an overall mark of 30-9-4-5.
“His time was awfully fast!” said Miller. “He liked that one week turn around. He was doing so well, Gary Barber and I, we're not afraid to do that with the right horse, right situation, and sound horse. If (the horse) has lots of energy and feels good, let's go!”
In a race that saw the one-two-three finishers run in that exact order throughout, Cistron held Eddie Haskell at bay by 1 ¼ lengths. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Cistron was off at 11-1 and paid $8.80 and $5.20.
Eddie Haskell was never challenged for third money and held sway by two lengths over Secretary At War. Off at 5-1 with Kent Desormeaux up, “Eddie” paid $4.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.06, 42.65 and 1:04.90.
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