01/18/2014 5:45PM

Gulfstream Park: Star Channel gives Lezcano third stakes win of day in Sunshine Millions Turf

Barbara D. Livingston
Jose Lezcano, aboard Star Channel (5), collects his third straight stakes win of the Sunshine Millions card when his mount outfights Old Time Hockey in the Turf.

HALLENDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Trainer  Eddie Kenneally had to sweat out a close photo and then a stewards’ inquiry before putting the exclamation mark on a big day with Star Channel’s narrow victory over Old Time Hockey in Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park. Kenneally also won the Sunshine Filly and Mare Sprint earlier in the afternoon with Ullapool.

It was also the third straight stakes win on the card for jockey Jose Lezcano.

Star Channel proved gamest in the Turf after a long and eventful stretch run, winning the head bob from Old Time Hockey despite bumping several times with that rival from midstretch to the wire. The stewards ultimately decided Old Time Hockey had precipitated the contact by coming out slightly under a left hand stick from jockey Gary Stevens, allowing the original result to stand .

Bad Debt, the 7-5 favorite, rallied belatedly to finish another half-length back in third.

Star Channel, owned by Alastar Thoroughbred Company LLC, was making his first start for Kenneally, who took the horse for the winter from his regular trainer Gerry Carwood. Star Channel covered  1 1/8 miles  over a firm course in 1:47.64 and paid $19.20.

“That was close. There was not much between them in the photo and the fact there was plenty of contact.  I wasn’t sure what way it was going to go,” said Kenneally. “It looked like it was 50-50 and luckily it went our way. He showed up today and ran a big race. The distance is exactly what he wants to do. It’s been a big day.”