12/16/2012 6:56PM

Gulfstream Park: Csaba proves he can win away from Calder by capturing Harlan's Holiday

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Leslie Martin
Csaba, whose previous six victories all came at Calder, proves much the best under Luis Saez in the Harlan's Holiday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Csaba proved he was more than just a Calder horse for the course when he rallied to a convincing 3 3/4-length victory over Delegation in Sunday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday at Gulfstream Park.

Csaba, who had registered each of his six previous wins over his home base at Calder, benefitted from a perfectly judged ride by jockey Luis Saez. Rating off a rapid early pace set by I’m Steppin It Up, Csaba slipped inside the leader to take command midway on the second turn, edged clear in early stretch, and gradually extended his advantage to the wire.

Delegation, third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his previous start, raced well-placed throughout but proved no match for the winner. Cash Rules finished another 3 1/2 lengths farther back in third. 

Scatman, sent off the surprising 8-5 favorite in the field of eight older horses, raced close up for six furlongs before tiring badly, finishing a well-beaten fifth in the field of eight older horses.

Duke of Mischief, who entered the race with more than $1.9 million in earnings but without a start in eight months, was eased to the wire after losing contact with the field.

Csaba, a 3-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy, covered 1 1/16 miles  in 1:43.51 over a fast track and paid $11.20.

“There was a decent pace, I guess, the only thing was he didn’t change leads again through the stretch again,” said Gleaves. “I’ll have to work on that. But he ran a good race. I was a little bit concerned about shipping him over here. He was a little bit nervous back in the receiving barn. He was a little bit nervous in the paddock as well, but it didn’t seem to bother him that much.”

Gleaves said he will consider turning Csaba back to a one turn mile for his next start in the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope on Jan. 13.