Live Oak Plantation's Florida Won blossomed in his first start over the main track, coming home strongly in deep stretch to win Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Ontario Derby at Woodbine.
The winner, off at odds of 10-1, paid $22.30. A length and a half behind was Coltimus Prime in second, just ahead of favored Ami's Holiday in third. Final time for the nine furlong Polytrack event was 1:50.80.
The colt, trained by Mark Casse, had made all six starts over a turf surface, including two stakes tries at Woodbine. The Ontario Derby was his second career victory. Patrick Husbands was aboard the colt for Sunday's stakes score.
“I breezed him last week (on the 'Poly') and he breezed like a winner,” Husbands said. “Today, I rode him with confidence. I wasn't worried about the horses in front of him, I knew what type of horse I was sitting on…I waited until Luis (Contreras, Ami's Holiday) went and I had plenty of horse.”
“He's been travelling really well over the Poly,” said Kathryn Sullivan, assistant to Casse. “He's looked great and came into the race in good order. He got a little hot in the paddock, but that's a bit him. When I saw him going down the backside, I thought Patrick had him nice and relaxed and I was very confident.”
Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway, Florida Won is a 3-year-old son of Birdstone out of the Grand Slam mare Grand Portege. Consigned by his breeder to the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, he sold for $385,000.
Squeeze the King finished fourth, followed by Jose Sea View, the pacesetting Lunar Rover, and Picozza. Freitag was scratched.
View the full Equibase chart here.
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