03/21/2006 12:00AM

'Bushmills' wires rivals at Ocala


Bushmills Best made every stride a winning one in the 17th running of the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes for 3-year-old males at the Ocala Training Center in Florida on Monday. The Championship Stakes was one of six stakes with total purses of $380,000 run in Ocala Monday, four of them restricted to horses who went through the sales ring at an Ocala Breeders' Sales Company sale.

The 1 1/16-mile Championship Stakes was the fourth start and third victory for Bushmills Best, a Florida-bred son of Concerto. Under jockey Jose Lezcano, who won three of the six stakes, Bushmills Best finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Gone Prospecting, with Harborage another neck back in third.

Trained by Kirk Ziadie, Bushmills Best was sold at last June's OBS 2-year-old in training auction for $55,000 by Ocala Stud, agent for local breeder Dianne Cotter. That is the same combination that bred and marketed last year's Kentucky Derby favorite, Bellamy Road.

The $100,000 3-year-old fillies division of the OBS Championship Stakes went to Saffronista, ridden by Lezcano. An Ecton Park filly, she won by 11 lengths.

Running Lass led all the way to win the $50,000 OBS Sprint for 3-year-old fillies. The male division went to Starforaday. Kaufy Machine, trained by Ziadie and ridden by Lezcano, won the $40,000 Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes. Emerald Earrings won the $40,000 Florida Breeders' Distaff Stakes.