02/27/2011 7:21PM

Little Mike runs 'em off their feet in Canadian Turf at Gulfstream

Ashley Blum
Little Mike holds off Society's Chairman for a wire-to-wire victory under Joe Bravo in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  As each successive split was posted on the timer during the running of Sunday’s $150,000 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park, it seemed the chances of pacesetter Little Mike winning the race was getting increasing smaller. But despite setting a lightning fast pace, Little Mike had more than enough left in the tank to register a 1 1/2-length victory over Society’s Chairman in the Grade 3 grass fixture.

With jockey Joe Bravo aboard, Little Mike ripped off fractions of 22.70 seconds for the first quarter, 45.42 for a half, and 1:08.65 for the opening six furlongs of the one-mile Canadian. The rapid pace cooked his early pursuers and left only the late-striding Society’s Chairman with an opportunity to run down the leader as the field entered the stretch. But Little Mike proved resolute, easily withstanding the challenge to add the Canadian Turf to his victory here earlier in the meeting in the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale.

“I thought they were going really fast but he still finished up strong,” said Dale Romans who took over Little Mike’s training shortly after his win in the Ft. Lauderdale. “Even though he went fast, he got the lead on his own, and when he opened up coming off the turn I didn’t think anyone would pass him.”

Society’s Chairman made a strong run leaving the backstretch to reach close contention entering the stretch but could not seriously impact Little Mike’s advantage through the final furlong. He was easily second best, finishing 2 3/4 lengths in front of the 5-2 favorite Yankee Fourtune, who finished a tiring third.

Little Mike completed the distance in 1:32.37, less than one second off the course standard set by Mr. Light on opening day in 2005. He paid $12.80.

Romans said Little Mike’s main goal would likely be the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 15.