12/17/2011 5:54PM

Gulfstream: Trickmeister completes five-win day for Castellano in Harlan's Holiday

Bob Coglianese
Javier Castellano collects one of five wins on Saturday's card by guiding Trickmeister to an easy victory in the Harlan's Holiday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Trickmeister may have been out of sight but he’s no longer out of mind in the handicap division after returning from a 16-month hiatus to dominate Saturday’s $60,000 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park by  5 1/4 lengths over Our Dark Knight. Trickmeister was ridden to victory by Javier Castellano, who posted his fifth win on the card.

Trickmeister, who entered the1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday undefeated in four previous starts, had not raced since beating the same Our Dark Knight by nearly a dozen lengths in Saratoga’s Pleasant Colony Stakes in August 2010.  But Trickmeister, a son of Proud Citizen, gave every indication he will be a major player in the handicap division in 2012 after controlling all the pace in the Harlan’s Holiday before drawing away with complete authority when set down by Castellano at the top of the stretch.

Our Dark Knight saved ground while tracking the pace before outfinishing Sky Venture by a half- length to finish second while again proving no match for Trickmeister. Duke of Mischief, making his first start since the Grade 1 Whitney, made a nice run outside horses leaving the backstretch but flattened out approaching the quarter pole and finished in front of only I’m Steppin Out, the lone 3-year-old in the scratch reduced field of six.

Trickmeister, who was purchased privately by IEAH Stables after winning Delaware Park’s Barbaro Stakes in July 2010, completed the distance in 1:42.63 and paid $3.40.

“It was just what we were kind of hoping to see,” said trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.  “He didn’t break a sweat today. This horse has changed a lot and become a real cool customer since we last ran him. The jock said he was keen early on then settled into the race. He galloped out good and did everything right. I’d love to point him to the Donn. As long as it’s all right with him it’s all right with me.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Trickmeister's sire. He is a son of Proud Citizen, not Graeme Hall.