11/08/2014 6:01PM

Hangover Saturday in control the whole way to win Juvenile Filly Turf

Lauren King
Hangover Saturday controlled the pace the whole way Saturday to win the Juvenile Filly Turf at Gulfstream Park West.

MIAMI, Fla. – When asked at what point he felt comfortable his 2-year-old turf specialist, Hangover Saturday, could win the $100,000 Juvenile Filly Turf at Gulfstream Park West, trainer David Fawkes didn’t hesitate to answer.

“As soon as they posted the split for the opening quarter,” said Fawkes, referring to the 25.09 seconds it took for the pace-setting Hangover Saturday to complete the first quarter-mile of the one-mile Juvenile Filly Turf.

Things got even better from there for Hangover Saturday and jockey Abdiel Jaen, who managed to slow the pace to a 51.25 crawl for the half while still maintaining a comfortable advantage on the front end. With that kind of breather, Hangover Saturday had plenty left in reserve. She readily repulsed a bid from Gorgeous Dream on the far turn, settled into the stretch with a commanding advantage, and never was menaced thereafter, ultimately posting a 2 1/4-length triumph over Miss Margaret. 

Like a Queen, the even-money favorite, never was a serious factor, finishing seventh in a field of eight juvenile fillies.

Hangover Saturday, a daughter of Pomeroy, paid $7.40.

“They were so nice to let us go slow like that on the front end,” said Fawkes. “That was the plan from the outset. I told Abdiel to go to the lead and try to slow it down as much as he could, and it worked.”

Firespike rallies to win Juvenile Turf

The pace was decidedly swifter and the tactics quite different for Firespike, who rallied from mid-pack to a 3 1/2-length victory over I’m Venezuelan as the 8-5 favorite in the Juvenile Turf Stakes. Less Than Perfect finished another length farther back in third.

Firespike met Grade 1 company over the main track when finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Futurity five weeks earlier at Keeneland, but he found getting back on grass – and the much easier statebred company he faced in the restricted Juvenile Turf – much more to his liking.

With Edgar Prado riding a patient race, Firespike relaxed off the pace of Platinum Prince, who went 23.25 seconds to the quarter and 47.24 for a half-mile over the firm course. Firespike was full of run exiting the backstretch, rallying five wide turning for home before easily racing by the tiring leaders to win going away. I’m Venezuelan had to steady along behind horses at the top of the stretch but ran on willingly once in the clear, finishing a promising second in his turf debut.

Trained by Mike Maker, Firespike paid $5.20.