01/14/2012 6:56PM

Gulfstream Park: Silver Medallion uses late run to win Fort Lauderdale

Adam Coglianese/Gulfstream Park
Silver Medallion, Javier Castellano aboard, outgames Yummy With Butter to win the Grade 3 Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Todd Pletcher said he thought Silver Medallion would be close to or even on the lead in Saturday’s $100,000 Ft. Lauderdale. Instead, he watched as his steadily improving 4-year-old rallied from next to last to a neck victory over Yummy with Butter in the Grade 3 turf fixture at Gulfstream Park.

Silver Medallion was allowed to settle near the rear of the 12-horse field under jockey Javier Castellano as Yummy With Butter cut out a somewhat leisurely pace in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Yummy With Butter posted splits of 24.40 seconds, 49.24 and 1:13.64 for six furlongs, with the 9-5 favorite Mutual Trust in close pursuit. Silver Medallion unleashed his rally exiting the backstretch, steadily picked off rivals one by one while five wide around the final turn, then continued strongly despite being bumped near midstretch to wear down the leader and win going away.

Yummy With Butter held gamely to finish second but was disqualified and placed sixth for ducking out under left-handed pressure to bump Mutual Trust and force him into Silver Medallion at midstretch. Hollinger outfinished the others and was placed second, with Kindergarten Kid elevated to third as a result of the disqualification.

Silver Medallion, who won the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby at Calder in his previous start, is owned by the Black Rock Stables. He returned $9.80 after covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.04 over a firm course.

“I anticipated he’d be closer to the pace or maybe even on the lead since there wasn’t much speed in the field,” said Pletcher. “But he didn’t get away well and Javier had a decision to make, and he decided to take him back. He put in a big run, a three-eighths of a mile run. It was a big effort.”

Pletcher said Silver Medallion’s next start would come in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 11.