01/03/2015 4:02PM

Night Prowler finishes fast to take Dania Beach

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Barbara D. Livingston
Night Prowler, the 5-2 second choice under Javier Castellano, scores by a half-length in the Dania Beach for 3-year-olds.

Night Prowler, who rallied from far back to just miss in his stakes debut a little more than a month ago, got the job done Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

Reunited with Javier Castellano, who was aboard for the son of Giant’s Causeway in his maiden win at Belmont Park in October, Night Prowler ($7) rallied from fourth in the stretch to run down A Lot to score by a half-length. The winning time for 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf was 1:30.43.

New York shipper A Lot, making his first start since finishing fourth in the Awad at Belmont in late October, had moved from fifth after the first half-mile to take a half-length lead with a furlong remaining, but could not hold off Night Prowler. It was another three-quarters of a length back to another closer, Croninthebarbarian. Smokem Kitten, who contested the early pace and had a clear lead entering the stretch, faded to sixth in the final furlong as the 9-5 favorite.

Night Prowler did not break alertly, but that may have been a blessing in disguise, according to Castellano.

"He missed the break a little bit," Castellano said. "I saved all the ground around the first turn. I think that’s one of the keys, because if he would have broken good, he might have been five or six wide on the first turn and it could have cost me the race."

Night Prowler, trained by Chad Brown for Paul Pompa Jr. is now 2 for 4 racing exclusively on turf. In his previous start on Nov. 29 at Gulfstream West, Night Prowler came from ninth, 10 lengths behind after the first half-mile, to lose by a head in a three-horse photo for win. His uncoupled stablemate, Chief Kitten, got up by a nose to win the race.

"He was real unlucky last time," Brown said of Night Prowler. "We ran two horses in that race and luckily the other barnmate of his won the race for me. To be fair, this horse actually ran the better race. It was a nightmare of a trip, just in traffic and really wide and didn’t go his way. He was lucky really to be third that day. We thought with a cleaner trip against similar competition, he would be the boss in here."