10/06/2017 7:38AM

Gallardo closes meet with sweep of H.B.P.A. and Fitz Dixon Memorial

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Coady Photography/Presque Isle Downs
Cavalia wins the $100,000 H.B.P.A. Stakes under Antonio Gallardo on closing night Thursday at Presque Isle Downs.

Pennsylvania-bred Cavalia concluded her productive season at Presque Isle Downs with a victory in the $100,000 H.B.P.A. stakes for fillies and mares on Thursday night.

The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare gave jockey Antonio Gallardo a sweep of the closing-night stakes, as he also guided Driven by History to win the $100,000 Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes.

Gallardo tucked Cavalia, who was somewhat rank early, a length back of early leader Bitatude through a moderate opening half of 48.77 seconds for the mile and 70-yard race. Cavalia tugged her way up to assume a half-length lead approaching the top of the stretch, and stubbornly held on through the lane over multiple stakes winner Imply, the race favorite. Cavalia finished a neck ahead, stopping the clock in 1:40.59 on the all-weather track. She paid $6.80 to win.

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Imply finished just three-quarters of a length ahead of longshot Lady Oak, with Artesian a head back in fourth, and Midnight Crossing another head back.

Cavalia, who is trained by Gerald Brooks, won four of her first five outings at her home base of Presque Isle Downs this year before finishing third in the track's signature race, the Grade 2 Presque Isle Masters Stakes, behind Ami's Mesa and Bar of Gold. The H.B.P.A. was her first stakes win.

Two races earlier, Driven by History outdueled favored Shekky Shebaz to win the Dixon Memorial by a head.

Driven by History bumped I'm Corfu at the start, leaving him sixth of nine after the opening quarter. He rallied four wide to confront leader Shekky Shebaz entering the stretch, and the two raced heads apart through the final stages. Driven by History edged his way late and maintained his slim advantage at the wire despite taking an awkward step while changing leads late. He finished the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.04.

After the top two, it was a length back to stakes winner Oldzfourfortytwo in third.

Florida-bred Driven by History ($13), who is trained by Teresa Connelly, was making his stakes debut. He has won 4 of 7 starts, and has not finished worse than second.