03/03/2012 7:34PM

Gulfstream: Doubles Partner returns with Canadian Turf victory

Doubles Partner/Canadian Turf
Doubles Partner, with Julien Leparoux up, wins the Canadian Turf.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Doubles Partner had never won a race at a mile and had not run a race at any distance for nearly 10 months. That's no problem for any horse coming from the Todd Pletcher stable.

Doubles Partner returned from his long layoff to outfinish 25-1 outsider Trend to register a three-quarter-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park. Little Mike, the defending Canadian Turf champ, succumbed after setting the pace through midstretch to finish fourth as the even money favorite.

Doubles Partner, making his first start since finishing third in the Grade 1 Turf Classic on the 2011 Kentucky Derby undercard, received a perfectly timed ride by jockey Julien Leparoux. Rated within easy striking distance of the leaders while saving ground for six furlongs, Doubles Partner angled out for the drive and finishing willingly to wear down Trend in late stretch. Trend prompted Little Mike's pace from the outset, overtook the favorite near the sixteenth pole, but could not resist the winner. Data Link rallied mildly to be third.

Beau Choix, Seruni, Mutual Trust, and Perfect Footprint rounded out the complete order of finish.

Doubles Partner is a 5-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten owned by WinStar Farm.  He completed the mile in 1:32.56 over a firm course and paid $9. The victory was the third on the card for Pletcher and his second graded stakes win on the day. He also sent out Calibrachoa to capture the Grade 3 Tom Fool at Aqueduct.

"The horse ran super off the layoff," said Pletcher by phone from New York. "The guys at WinStar did a super job. He really worked well Monday at Palm Meadows and came into this race in good shape. There was a little more speed than we anticipated and when Doubles Partner kicked and got clear he finished strong."

Pletcher said his options for Doubles Partner include the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 13 or the Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on May 5. Both are Grade 1 races.