Life Imitates Art was very game in his victory in Saturday's Grade III Dania Beach at Gulfstream Park. The seven and one-half furlong contest over the turf for 3-year-olds was the colt's graded stakes debut for trainer Chad Brown.
Stuck behind horses on the rail early in the race, jockey Joel Rosario was forced to wait aboard Life Imitates Art as Duffle Bag jumped out to an early lead. Rounding the clubhouse turn, Copingaway took over that lead by about a length and led through early fractions of :24.47 and :49.40. Meanwhile, Life Imitates Art snuck through a hole on the rail into fifth as Isotherm drifted out on the backstretch.
With a quarter of a mile left to run, Life Imitates Art broke through another gap between rivals to take the lead. Isotherm was also moving up the outside to mount a very strong challenge, but Life Imitates Art and Rosario managed to hold him off in a mad scramble for the wire. The final time for Life Imitates Art was 1:30.42, with Isotherm a close second. Urban Bourbon was up for third, and Surgical Strike closed to be fourth.
Life Imitates Art was bred in Florida by Hardacre Farm, by More Than Ready out of a graded stakes-placed daughter of Unbridled's Song. The 3-year-old colt is owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, and he was a $175,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase. Life Imitates Art has now officially won two of his five lifetime starts, with three seconds. His other win came via a disqualification.
Quotes from the G3 Dania Beach:
Trainer Chad Brown (Life Imitates Art): “He really put it together. Joel (Rosario) fit the horse perfectly and gave him a great ground-saving trip. When he called on the horse, the horse really responded and I'm really proud of him. We've always thought he was one of our better horses. They've got a good turf series here [at Gulfstream] and we'll take a look at what's next. I'm really happy for the owners (Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence), they've allowed me to be patient with the horses.”
On unplaced Ray's the Bar: “It was a tale of two trips—he was stuck behind a slow pace and wide. Not the ideal trip for him. He's trained far better than that and we'll draw a line through this, regroup to a different stakes next time.”
Jockey Joel Rosario (Life Imitates Art): “It worked out perfect. I was trying to save some ground, we had a lot of horse. I was waiting and then hopefully the horse in the front would come in and then maybe I could go out but he decided to stay outside and then I went outside the other horse. I was just looking for some room. He's a nice horse, trying really hard.”
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