03/29/2014 6:01PM

Gulfstream Park: Newsdad goes from last to first in Pan American

Tom Keyser
Newsdad, making his second start following a year's layoff, wins the Pan American for a second time under Joel Rosario.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For the second time in three years, Newsdad rallied from last to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The circumstances surrounding Saturday’s victory were far different than they were in 2012.

That year, Newsdad was in excellent form and there were only four horses in the Pan Am.

Saturday, Newsdad was making his second start off a year layoff and facing 10 rivals that included his more highly regarded stablemate Slumber, who finished third as the 2-1 favorite.

Last of 10 under Joel Rosario early, Newsdad rallied wide down the backside and was widest of all again in the stretch to outfinish Veritformer - who was rallying along the rail - to win the Pan Am by a neck. Vertiformer was second by a half-length over Slumber.

Trainer Bill Mott said that after Newsdad finished third in this race last year, he was sidelined due to a tendon injury. He returned four weeks ago in an allowance race, where he finished seventh, beaten 3 3/4 lengths, a race one might suspect the horse needed to move forward.

 “I thought he might need this race,” Mott quipped afterward.

Mott said he thought Newsdad would be more forwardly placed than he turned out to be early on. But the combination of a quick early pace, a slow start by Newsdad,  and the fact Mott removed the blinkers from Newsdad’s equipment may have been factors in him being last early on.

Rosario said he was content to lay well off the pace because it appeared the horses in front of him were going a rapid pace. The early fractions were 24.03 seconds for the quarter, 47.50 for the half-mile,  and 1:12.29 for six furlongs.

“He was traveling very nice and I thought for the distance they might be going a little quick,” Rosario said. “Hopefully, I’m right and hopefully I’ll have something left turning for home and he did.”

Newsdad ($12,60)  owned and bred by James Karp, covered the 1 1/2-miles in 2:22.77, just .14 of a second off the course, stakes, and world record  set by Twilight Eclipse last year in this race..

Mott said he thought turning for home that Slumber, under John Velazquez, “had a very good chance t win. It was a good race for both horses.”