Updated on 09/16/2011 6:46AM

Cellars Shiraz wins Herecomesthebride

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Cellars Shiraz wins the $100,000, Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on Sunday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - It was only fitting that on Super Bowl Sunday, a football player-turned-horse trainer saddled the winner of a turf stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Bill Cesare, who played professional football for the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL and the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL, sent out Cellars Shiraz to 1 1/4-length upset victory in the $100,000, Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes* before 10,492 at Gulfstream Park. August Storm, the tepid 3-1 favorite who set the pace under Jose Ferrer before giving way inside the sixteenth pole, held second, two lengths ahead of She's Vested, the longest shot on the board at 27-1.

Under Cornelio Velasquez, Cellars Shiraz stalked August Storm through moderate splits, before kicking past through the stretch. Cellars Shiraz, a 3-year-old daughter of Kissin Kris bred and owned by Robert Walker's Bitterroot Investments Inc., covered the 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.21 over a turf course labeled good. Dismissed at 18-1, the second-longest shot in the field, Cellars Shiraz returned $39.40 to win and keyed an exacta payoff of $206.40 and a $2,851 trifecta.

"I had a lot of horse under me the last eighth," said Velasquez, who notched his 27th win of the meet, tying him with Pat Day for top honors.

Cesare on Tuesday returned from a 60-day suspension incurred for allegedly threatening a groom with a firearm. He spent the last two months following his horses' progress from the Holiday Inn behind the three-eighths pole at Calder Race Course. His horses ran in the name of assistant trainer Moises Alvarado until Thursday.

Cesare would not talk with reporters following the race.


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