Updated on 09/17/2011 9:48AM

Hypnotist narrowly best in contentious Dave Feldman

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Hypnotist (inside) slips past White Cat to win by a neck in Sunday's $75,000 Dave Feldman Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Only two lengths separated the top eight finishers in Sunday's $75,000 and in a race that contentious it doesn't hurt to have Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey on one's side.

Bailey put up a Hall of Fame type ride aboard the lightly raced Hypnotist who slipped through near the inside to outfinish White Cat by a neck to win the Feldman in his grass debut. The winner paid $9.20 as the second choice in the evenly matched field of 12 3-year-olds. Final time for 1 & 1-16 miles over a firm course was 1:42.75 seconds.

"Jerry put up a great ride," said winning trainer Barclay Tagg. "That's why he's one of the best riders ever."

Bailey reserved Hypnotist behind pace setting pair of Millennium Storm and Sea Pleasure for the opening six furlongs of the Feldman. He angled out briefly to come around one rival while commencing his rally into the stretch, wore down the leader to take command inside the eighth pole then was all out to withstand the late bid of White Cat despite the fact Hypnotist was inadvertently struck in the face by the whip of jockey Manoel Cruz aboard Sea Pleasure near midstetch.

White Cat, never far back, finished willingly outside Hypnotist but was second best. Private Gold rallied belatedly from the extreme outside to finish third. He in turn was closely followed by Super Frolic, Sea Pleasure, King Cassia, Unbridles King and the tepid 3-1 favorite Strizzi.

"I had to give him a lot of time off because of a bad quarter crack he came down with following his previous race in New York," said Tagg. "He's trained very well for the race but you never know how a young horse will do after that long of a layoff.

Tagg said the $75,000 Palm Beach Stakes on Feb. 21 would be the next logical place to run Hypnotist.