Summer Exclusive prevailed after a stretch-long battle to win the $73,600 Harry Henson S. during the April 25 opening day of Hollywood Park’s Spring/Summer meet. The victory was the first stakes win in just the third lifetime start for the 3-year-old son of Exclusive Quality.
Exclusive Quality now has three stakes winners in 2013, and with just shy of $1 million in progeny earnings this year, the Journeyman stallion tops the Florida Third Crop sire list by a wide margin.
Making his turf debut in the six furlong Henson, Summer Exclusive had just one horse beat after a quarter mile. Garrett Gomez move his mount to the inside going into the turn, then came outside for room in the stretch and was able to wear down the pacesetter Sacred Ovation by a head on the wire. The winner completed the six furlongs in 1:08.96.
The win was the second in three starts for Summer Exclusive, who is owned by a partnership that includes Chandler, Fink, Gencarella, Trzos, Topol and Altamira Racing Stable, and increased his earnings to $77,860.
“I had a dream trip, really,’’ said Gomez. “(trainer Peter Miller) and I talked a little before the race and it ended up just like we thought.
“I ended up in an ideal spot. They weren’t flying, but there were four of them across the track and it was just a matter of waiting to see who was going to be the first one to move forward and that I was going to follow.
“Finally, I decided to follow (Sacred Ovation) because it looked like he was traveling the best. I slid up inside, came around and I thought I could go and get him anytime I want. I had to work a little harder than I expected."
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