Updated on 09/16/2011 6:39AM

Hook and Ladder wins Mr. Prospector


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Hook and Ladder kept his perfect record over Gulfstream Park's main track intact Sunday afternoon by rolling to a 3 1/4-length victory over Kipperscope in the $100,000, Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap*.

Red's Honor, who prompted the early pace, held on for third, a head in front of defending Mr. Prospector winner Istintaj. Silver Jet, Winnie's Pooh Bear, Tempered Appeal, and Brereton completed the order of finish.

Under John Velazquez, Hook and Ladder broke alertly and sat third behind Kipperscope and Red's Honor, who dueled through an opening quarter of 21.99 seconds. Hook and Ladder moved into second at the five-sixteenths pole and crept alongside Kipperscope approaching the eighth pole. Responding from six cracks of Velazquez's right-handed whip, Hook and Ladder drew clear down the lane. His final time of 1:09.69 marked the fastest of 37 six-furlong races run at the meet.

Hook and Ladder, a 5-year-old son of Dixieland Band owned by Chester and Mary Broman, returned $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

The win improved Hook and Ladder's record to 4 for 4 at Gulfstream, 6 for 13 lifetime. Hook and Ladder had lost five straight races since taking the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship last March.

"We know this horse, when he's right, can run very fast," said trainer John Kimmel, who captured his second stakes of the young meet. "It was a disappointing campaign after we left Florida last year. He did run okay in the Carter, but he did come up with the quarter crack. He pretty much fought that the rest of the season."

Kimmel said he would point Hook and Ladder to the Deputy Minister Handicap on Feb. 10 and the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship on March 9.

Istintaj, who was making his first start since a sixth-place finish in the Fall Highweight Handicap last November, wore front bandages for the first time and looked like a horse in need of a race.

Mr. Prospector Handicap*

* Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.