02/25/2017 4:18PM

Derek's Smile leads all the way in winning Texas Glitter

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Derek's Smile is now 2 for 2 on grass.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The gate-to-wire victory Saturday by Derek’s Smile in the Texas Glitter made his prior race even more puzzling to trainer Kelly Breen.

“I’m still shocked he was eased,” Breen said moments after Derek’s Smile finished three-quarters of a length clear of Uncle B in winning the third running of the $75,000 Texas Glitter at Gulfstream Park, reversing his dismaying performance here Feb. 4 in the Swale Stakes.

Under Paco Lopez, Derek’s Smile sped to the lead in the five-furlong turf race and never looked back, returning $4.20 as favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds after finishing in 55.77 seconds over a firm course. Apache Brave was third, another three-quarters of a length back in third.

Owned by George Hall, who was watching on television from his home in West Palm Beach, Derek’s Smile now has won three of four overall starts and is 2 for 2 over grass. Two starts back, the Brother Derek colt won a first-level allowance at five furlongs on the Gulfstream turf.

“He jumped a shadow that day, so today we put a big ol’ shadow roll on him and told Paco just to go,” Breen said. “I’d hate to say he’s only going to be a grass horse, because he trains really well over the dirt (at Palm Meadows). But for now, yes, you’d have to say he might be pretty tough to beat going short on the grass.”

The $2 exacta (6-3) paid $14, the $1 trifecta (6-3-5) returned $55.50, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-3-5-2) was worth $15.94.