02/23/2013 7:15PM

Gulfstream Park: Class advantage helps Data Link get job done in Canadian Turf

Tom Keyser
Data Link proved fastest in the stretch of the Canadian Turf. He has won four of his five starts over the Gulfstream turf course.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Data Link made amends for the only blemish on his local record when he rallied  to a hard fought one-length victory over a game Joes Blazing Aaron in Saturday’s $150,000 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park.

Data Link entered his 2013 debut with 3 wins in 4 starts over the Gulfstream Park turf course, his only setback a third-place finish in the 2012 edition of the Grade 3 Canadian.

Global Power set the early pace in the one-mile Canadian with Data Link reserved in midpack under jockey Javier Castellano.  Data Link was forced to swing five wide to find clearance when launching his bid on the final turn, and lugged in briefly through midstretch before wearing down Joes Blazing  Aaron nearing the wire.

Beau Choix rallied mildly near the inside to finish third, another half-length in front of Za Approval, who steadied briefly behind the leaders in late stretch.

Data Link, who is owned by his breeder Stuart Janney III, completed the distance in 1:33.01 over a firm course and paid $4.20.

“He’s a good horse, this horse. He’s just better than these,” said trainer Shug McGaughey. “It’s going to get tougher as we go along but I think he can show up some more. He’s that kind. He’s trained really well all winter. We gave him a little break. I expected him to run well but you never know.”

McGaughey said Data Link would likely make his next start in defense of his title in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile.

“If he continues to improve I’d like to have him for the Breeders’ Cup Mile,” said McGaughey. “Just because I think he can be that kind of horse.”