Thoroughbred Champions Training LLC's Gladiator King, the longest shot in a four-horse field, took control right from the start of the $100,000 Hutcheson (G3) at Gulfstream Park and continued on to register a comfortable four-length victory under Leonel Reyes.
The 65th running of the Hutcheson, a six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds, headlined Saturday's 13-race program that also featured the $100,000 Any Limit, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies won in a dead-heat between Miss Marcela and Brunette Princess.
Trained by Jaime Mejia, Gladiator King, who was sent to post as the 12-1 outsider, ran six-furlongs in 1:10.88 after posting fractions of 22.17 and 45.11 seconds for the first half mile and 57.41 for five furlongs.
“I am very happy to win the stakes. He is a good horse,” Reyes said. “He broke good and went to the lead and I went on with him. He tried very hard all the way.”
Favored Federal Case closed to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Topper T, the second choice who pressed the pace before weakening on the turn into the homestretch.
Gladiator King won for the first time in five starts since capturing the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 18.
“His [form] was going down, but now he is back,” said Mejia, who said the son of Curlin is likely to race next in a sprint at Churchill Downs early next month.
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