03/27/2015 1:30PM

Competitive Edge blitzes ‘em in return

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Barbara D. Livingston
Making his first start since winning the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 1, Competitive Edge runs off to an 8 1/4-length win under John Velazquez in the Tamarac Stakes on Friday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Competitive Edge made a stylish return to the races Friday at Gulfstream Park, striking the front soon after the start and galloping to an 8 1/4-length victory over the previously undefeated Mr. Jordan in the $58,200 Tamarac Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Making his first start since his victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful last Sept. 1 at Saratoga, Competitive Edge “hopped out of the gate,” according to jockey John Velazquez, but soon made the lead over Mr. Jordan. Competitive Edge ran fractions of 22.90 seconds for the quarter-mile, 45.44 for the half, 1:10.43 for six furlongs, and covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.20. He returned $3.40 as the 3-5 favorite.

“I thought the other horse would go to the lead, and when he took back, I took advantage of it,” Velazquez said. “I kind of held him in there for a little while and tried to save him for the end. Obviously, he hadn’t run in a long time. When I asked him, he responded.”

Competitive Edge, a son of Super Saver owned by Nancy Favreau, Kathy Posinos, and Michael Tabor, is now undefeated in three starts. He was away from the races for nearly seven months due to a hairline fracture of a hind leg.

“It was the kind of effort we were hoping for,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I wasn’t sure tactically how it was going to play out. It looked like a match race on paper. We didn’t want to do anything foolish. When he put himself in the right spot, it looked like Gabriel Saez [on Mr. Jordan] was thinking of easing back off him a little bit.

“It worked out well, and I think he ran well and beat a quality horse. Hopefully, it served its purpose.”

Pletcher said he likely will point Competitive Edge to the Grade 3, $200,000 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. The race was formerly the Derby Trial, run a week before the Derby.

“I still think he’s a horse that will run further,” Pletcher said. “He’s just a laid-back horse.”

Mr. Jordan suffered his first defeat in four career starts. He finished 8 1/2 lengths clear of third-place Renombre. Social Request was last in the four-horse field. Chipit and Cool Man Walkin scratched.

“Todd’s horse was far superior to him today,” said Eddie Plesa Jr., the trainer of Mr. Jordan. “I thought Todd’s horse ran fantastic. My horse ran his race and just wasn’t good enough. I don’t have any excuses right now.”