Mr. Amore Stable's Vision Perfect was a blur as he streaked to a commanding victory in the $100,000 Janus Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The Janus kicked off the stakes portion of an 11-race card that featured six turf stakes, headlined by the $100,000 H. Allen Jerkens, a two-mile event honoring the memory of the legendary Hall of Fame trainer.
Vision Perfect ran five furlongs in 54.71 seconds, after setting swift fractions of 21.21 and 43.14 seconds for the first half-mile, despite receiving outside pressure from Pay Any Price, who set a Gulfstream Park and North American record for five furlongs on turf while winning the 2017 Silks Run in 53.12.
“I had a hold. I wasn't rushing him. I just rode him with confidence,” said Irad Ortiz Jr, who rode the 6-5 favorite for the first time. “He broke fast out of there and kept on going. He's a nice horse, a nice sprinter.”
Trained by Jason Servis, the 6-year-old son of Pollard's Vision won his second straight stakes since a troubled off-the-board finish in the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Pay Any Price, who was seeking his fifth straight victory and 16th triumph of his career, tired in the stretch to finish third under Edgard Zayas, 2 ½ lengths behind late-running Extravagant Kid and jockey Tyler Gaffalione.
Girls Know Best showed the way to 13 other fillies and mares on her way to a three-quarters of a length triumph in Saturday's $100,000 Abundantia Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The runner-up in last year's edition of the five-furlong dash, the Eddie Kenneally-trained chestnut filly with four distinctive long white stockings broke alertly from the starting gate from the No. 12 post position and never looked back. The 4-year-old daughter of Caleb's Posse set fractions of 21.26 and 43.14 seconds for the first half mile and continued on through the stretch under Jose Ortiz to comfortably hold off a late run by Morticia. Smiling Causeway who chased the pace under Luis Saez, finished another length back. The winning 3-1 favorite ran five furlongs in 55.20 seconds to capture her 11th race in 21 career starts.
“She's a very fast filly. She likes it here. She finished second in this race last year and she won a stake in January, as well, so she likes this turf course,” trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “She ran a good race and Jose rode her perfectly.”
Owned by Triton Stable, Brian Chenvert and Kenneally, Girls Know Best captured last season's $135,000 Ladies Turf Sprint after finishing second in the Abundantia.
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