03/04/2017 5:56PM

Heart to Heart repeats the feat in Canadian Turf

Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Julien Leparoux collects his third graded stakes win of the day aboard Heart to Heart in the Canadian Turf.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Heart to Heart proved once again Saturday that when he’s on top of his game, he’s one of the best turf milers in the country after leading throughout to successfully defend his title in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Canadian Turf with a three-quarter length triumph over Bondurant.

With the red-hot Julien Leparoux aboard, Hear to Heart, as expected, controlled the pace, scooted away from his pursuers when roused at the top of the stretch, and then withstood a final surge from Bondurant. Bondurant saved ground while well placed throughout and was gaining gradually on the winner at the end. Conquest Panthera finished another three parts of a length back in third.

The victory was the 12th in 27 career starts for Heart to Heart and his fourth in five tries at Gulfstream Park. He suffered his lone local setback here in his 2017 debut when fourth in the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale.

Heart to Heart, a son of English Channel, is trained by Brian Lynch for Terry Hamilton. He completed the distance in 1:32.63 and paid $4.40. The win was the fourth on the day for Leparoux and third in a graded stakes.

“I think we ran him back more than we wanted to since the Knickerbocker, and as a result he was a little flat in the Fort Lauderdale,” said Lynch. “But I said if we gave him the time, we would have him right for the Canadian and I don’t think we’ve ever had him as good as we had him right now.”

Lynch said the way Heart to Heart quickens on the turns is the key to his success.    

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“I always said he runs the turns like a rat in a barrel,” said Lynch. “And when you leave him alone like that, and let him take a breather, he’s tough to catch.”

Lynch also was quick to praise Leparoux for his success with Heart to Heart.     
“Nobody fits him better than Julien,” said Lynch. “I think Julien has a ton of confidence in him, and he has a ton of confidence in Julien.”

Lynch said the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland would likely be next for Heart to Heart.