05/07/2016 5:43PM

Castro sweeps English Channel, Honey Ryder stakes

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Sweet Victory, with jockey Eddie Castro up, wins the $75,000 Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Jockey Eddie Castro completed a stakes double Saturday at Gulfstream with a flawless ride on longshot Copingaway in the $75,000 English Channel.

Two races earlier, Castro had booted home Sweet Victory in the $75,000 Honey Ryder, the sister race to the English Channel.

Copingaway ($27) and Castro saved ground most of the 1 1/16-mile English Channel while stalking the pace, and the pace had everything to do with the race’s outcome. Odds-on favorite Giant Run set out for the lead but was dogged through demanding fractions of 22.74 seconds, 46.92, and 1:10.69 by 70-1 shot Warrior A.P., and by the time Giant Run shook off the pace-presser, the damage was done. Castro asked Copingaway for run as he came into the homestretch and off the fence, and Copingaway mowed down the favorite to win going away.

Copingaway is trained by Jaime Mejia for Thoroughbred Champions Training Center and ran 1 1/16 miles on a firm course in 1:39.76. The son of Brother Derek and the Copelan mare Copeaway won for just the second time in 19 starts.

Sweet Victory ($13) also stalked the pace in the Honey Ryder, but Castro was forced to go wide on the far turn with her. It didn’t matter. Sweet Victory made a solid sustained run, the best of her career, and held off a late outside bid from mild favorite Noble Beauty to win by three-quarters of a length. It was another three-quarters back to pacesetting Rontos Lily in third.

Sweet Victory, timed in 1:40.77 for 1 1/16 miles on firm turf, won her second in a row and third from five starts. She’s a daughter of Blame and My Mammy, by Came Home, trained by Todd Pletcher for George Bolton and Peter Leidel.