Updated on 09/17/2011 10:26AM

Delaware: Gimmeawink cuts back


Horses without much early speed are rarely successful when they try to cut back from a route to a sprint. Gimmeawink is an exception to that rule of thumb.

A non factor in his two most recent starts going two turns, Gimmeawink ($11) made the difficult transition from 1 1/8 miles to six furlongs in the $75,000 Francis "Jock" LaBelle Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park.

Ridden by Clinton Potts for trainer Tim Ritchey, Gimmeawink was sprinting for the first time since New Year's Day and he had not won at six furlongs since last November.

"He had won going short before, so the cut back in distance was not a problem," Potts said. "Tim made the choice to go in this spot and he really had him ready to go. I got stuck in behind a wall of horses and could not make my move until about the three-sixteenths pole."

Gimmeawink, the only Triple Crown nominee in a field reduced to six by four scratches, rated in fourth as Southern California invader Only the Best set pressured fractions of 22.30 and 45.40 seconds for the first half-mile. Only the Best increased his advantage to 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, but Gimmeawink was moving fastest in deep stretch and drew off to win by a length in 1:11.22.