06/18/2016 5:20PM

Fuzzy Muzzle runs down favored Here's to Mike in Dan Horn

Email
Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo
Fuzzy Muzzle (inside), ridden by Antonio Gallardo, scores by a neck over 7-5 favorite Here's to Mike in the Dan Horn Handicap for New Jersey-breds.

Last year, at age 6, Fuzzy Muzzle won his first career stakes in the Charles Hesse Handicap, a dirt race for New Jersey-breds. On Saturday, Fuzzy Muzzle won the $61,200 Dan Horn Handicap at Monmouth Park, a one-mile turf race for statebreds.

Trained by Jason Servis and nicely handled by jockey Antonio Gallardo, Fuzzy Muzzle never left the inner rail in the Dan Horn. He was up in deep stretch to defeat 7-5 favorite Here's to Mike by a neck.

"I got a really good trip," Gallardo said. "I saved ground and had to be patient. When I saw the hole in the stretch, he took off."

Fuzzy Muzzle paid $11.20 as the third choice in the nine-horse field. He was timed in 1:34.65 over firm ground.

Lucky Balladier, a 17-1 longshot set fractions of 23.04 seconds, 46.48, and 1:09.86 while being tracked by Here's to Mike and Padre Graz. Here's to Mike took the lead from the outside in midstretch and just failed to hold on. Oak Bluffs, who raced outside the winner in mid-pack on the backstretch and far turn, finished willingly to be third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Here's to Mike. Lucky Balladier held on for fourth, three-quarters of a length behind Oak Bluffs.

Gallardo is having a big year. He won the Tampa Bay Downs riding title with 135 wins and currently is the leading rider at Presque Isle Downs. He rides at Monmouth Park on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Dan Horn was his third stakes win of the Monmouth meet.

Fuzzy Muzzle, a son of Closing Argument, is now 5 for 21 with earnings of $201,083 for Rock Talk Farm, his owner and breeder.

"Nice horse, great owners," Servis said. "They give him the winter off every year."