01/28/2017 4:55PM

Haul Anchor proves uncatchable in Gander

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Haul Anchor had more speed than Bavaro early and had more stamina than the odds-on favorite late as he recorded a front-running, 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Gander Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.

Breaking from the rail under Cornelio Velasquez, Haul Anchor took control right out of the gate, getting to the front in a quarter run in 23.47 seconds. Haul Anchor was stalked from second by 1-2 favorite Bavaro through a half-mile in 47.14 seconds and six furlongs in 1:12.07 before Bavaro began to fade.

Haul Anchor kept on going and, though he drifted out some in the final sixteenth, he easily held Carradine at bay. Haul Anchor covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:43.31 and returned $9.90 as the third choice in the field of four.

Carradine finished second by 3 1/4 lengths over Bourbon Empire, who was compromised by a terrible start as he hit the gate. Bavaro, who had won his first two races sprinting, finished last, beaten 22 lengths.

Caledonian scratched after pulling a hind-end muscle, according to trainer John Terranova.

Haul Anchor, a son of Bernardini owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman, won for the third time in seven starts. In his previous start, he won the Damon Runyon Stakes in front-running fashion.

Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Haul Anchor, said the instructions to Velasquez were “to break and go. We were going to be forwardly placed and see how it unfolded. It worked out well.”

Velasquez said Haul Anchor did more of the work early to put himself into the race.

“I didn’t send him, but he went out to the lead so I let him go,” Velasquez said. “He tries hard, but he likes to be out there.”

With two victories around two turns over the inner track under his belt, Haul Anchor could be given a chance to face open company in the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham Stakes on March 4, McLaughlin said.

“It’s a definite possibility,” McLaughlin said.