02/26/2011 6:59PM

Flashpoint runs away with Hutcheson

Email
Bob Coglianese
Flashpoint, Cornelio Velasquez up, wins the Hutcheson.

Flashpoint ran himself out of winter racing in New York with a powerful debut victory on Jan. 15. Who knows where, and how high, the colt might be headed now. Flashpoint dueled 3-5 favorite Travelin Man into submission around the far turn and ran off to a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2, $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Flashpoint, a hulking gray colt owned by Peachtree Stable and trained by Rick Dutrow, made only a modest impression on his connections before starting for the first time, Dutrow said earlier this week. But once in a race environment, Flashpoint shined. He showed great speed and a good stretch punch winning his career debut by more than six lengths, and a few weeks later was shipped from Aqueduct to Gulfstream, where he worked twice prepping for the Hutcheson.

KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail

Breaking on top under Cornelio Velasquez, Flashpoint ($15.80) took up a pressing position as Travelin Man came through along the inside to assume command after a half-furlong. The opening quarter-mile was swift, 22.16 seconds, and the half a testing 44.53 seconds. But Flashpoint bounded into the stretch with plenty of run, leaving Travelin Man behind before the eighth pole and streaking alone to the finish. His final time was a strong 1:22.03 for seven furlongs on a fast track. A Little Drama rallied mildly for third, three lengths behind Travelin Man.

"I thought he would be on the lead but I'm happy it worked out this way," Dutrow said. "Now we know he can lay off a horse."

Flashpoint, by Pomeroy and out of the Two Punch mare Two Punch Lil, fetched $100,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale of 2009. While bred more along the lines of a one-turn horse, he finished well Saturday, and Dutrow said he would consider the Florida Derby, if not another race at Gulfstream, for Flashpoint's next start.

"He kind of took your breath away in both starts," said Dutrow. "He won today like he wants to go long. Right now at least we can think and dream about the [Kentucky] Derby."

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch