01/09/2010 12:00AM

Custom for Carlos shows class in slop

Bob Coglianese
Custom for Carlos defeats Past the Point in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Custom for Carlos, who has shown flashes of brilliance at times during his still-young career, turned in another of his top efforts on Saturday, posting a three-quarter-length victory over a determined Past the Point in the at Gulfstream Park.

The Grade 3 Mr. Prospector lost some of its luster after trainer Todd Pletcher scratched Munnings earlier in the afternoon because of the sloppy racetrack. Munnings was one of four horses scratched from the race, along with Prince Joshua, Gentleman James, and Peace Chant.

Custom for Carlos, who closed out his successful 3-year-old campaign with an easy 3 3/4-length triumph in Churchill Downs' Bet on Sunshine Handicap, was confidently ridden throughout the six-furlong Mr. Prospector by jockey Julien Leparoux. Custom for Carlos broke alertly, then was allowed to settle just off Past the Point, who rushed up along the rail to control the pace. Leparoux had Custom for Carlos well in hand while ranging up between horses to engage the leader into the stretch, then maintained a safe advantage when put to pressure at the end.

Custom for Carlos covered the distance in 1:10.07 and returned $4 as the favorite in the scratch reduced field.

"He trained well preparing for this race," said trainer Eddie Kenneally. "We were fortunate some horses scratched out of this race, but he's just our lucky horse. I didn't know how he'd handle the slop. You don't know until they run on it, but he's got a lot of class, so maybe he really didn't handle it but was just good enough to overcome it."

Kenneally said he has nothing specifically picked out for Custom for Carlos's next start but did not rule out a possible trip to Dubai for the Golden Shaheen. Kenneally took a similar path with Kelly's Landing, who won both the Mr. Prospector and Golden Shaheen in 2008.