10/12/2014 7:56PM

Downtown C.T. proves uncatchable in Bull Dog Handicap

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Downtown C.T. controlled the pace as he won his stakes debut in the $75,000 Bull Dog Handicap at the Big Fresno Fair on Sunday.

Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez had Downtown C.T. ($8.40) on the lead as the field of seven passed the finish line for the first time in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Gonzalez guided the 5-year-old Downtown C.T. through even fractions and had enough left to hold off Terrys Tom Cat through the lane, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.62. The favored Salah Champ was another four lengths back.

Trainer O.J. Jauregui claimed Downtown C.T. for his wife, Carla, and Stuart Kesselman for $12,500 on March 27. Downtown C.T. has 3 wins, a second, and 2 thirds in seven starts since the claim, winning three of his past four starts.

“[Gonzalez] gave him a great ride,” said Jauregui. “Things we exactly as they were supposed to.”

Jauregui had previously trained the gelding.

I always liked him, but I never thought he was this type of horse. I thought he would be a $25,000 claimer,” said Jauregui.

“I think he’s a little more mature. Before he had his own ideas and would run off. He’s showing his ability. He’s a gamer. This horse tries hard, and he’s focused.”

Jauregui noted that he had brought Downtown C.T. to Fresno early and gave him a 59.20 five-furlong bullet work to get him used to the track.

Downtown C.T. earned $45,050 to increase his lifetime bankroll to $187,371 with 6 victories in 26 starts.