Updated on 09/17/2011 10:56AM

Man From Wicklow wins at Gulfstream Park

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Man From Wicklow ($5.20) rallies to a 4 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - An uneventful trip for Man From Wicklow led to a big event in the career of trainer Rick Violette.

Under a perfect trip from Jerry Bailey, Man From Wicklow rallied powerfully through the stretch to a 4 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $200,000 before 13,999 at Gulfstream Park.

The victory was the first Grade 1 stakes win for Violette, 50, who has been training horses for 25 years.

``It's my first Grade 1 and with a horse I own, which is great,' Violette said. ``The breeder [J.R. Cavanaugh] is a very, very good friend of mine.'

It was the second consecutive graded stakes win for Man From Wicklow, a 6-year-old gelded son of Turkoman who twice came within two lengths of winning a Grade 1 race last year. Man From Wicklow had previously won the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder on Dec. 28.

Unlike that day, when Man From Wicklow had to overcome several pratfalls, Man From Wicklow enjoyed smooth sailing Sunday. After breaking alertly, Man From Wicklow cruised into fifth position and was in the clear while Riddlesdown set fractions of 24.49 seconds, 48.37, 1:12.30 and 1:35.68.

Man From Wicklow moved into fourth position around the turn and he took the lead approaching the eighth pole. Just Listen, a 30-1 shot, rallied along the hedge for second, one-half length of the hard-charging Sardaukar.

Man From Wicklow covered the 1 3-8 miles in 2:11.62 and returned $5.20 as the 8-5 favorite.

``Because he broke well and didn't get shuffled back he was close enough where I could wait a little longer to make my move,' said Bailey, who won his seventh Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap. ``I only had four or five [lengths] to make up instead of six or seven. He's better than anybody else around here right now.'

Violette said Man From Wicklow would most likely be pointed to the $200,000 Pan American Handicap on March 22.

* Earlier on the card, Mark Shuman tied Bill Mott's record for most wins by a trainer at a Gulfstream meet when Highway Prospector ($14) rallied up the rail to win the ninth race. It was Shuman's 39th win at the meet, which is only 36 days old.

Shuman won his 38th of the meet with Alicia ($3.40) in the third, which broke in 0-for-19 skid for the young trainer.

Mott set the record in 1996 when Gulfstream ran a 64-day meet.