09/24/2016 4:48PM

Noholdingback Bear regroups, rallies in Gallant Bob Stakes

Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO
Noholdingback Bear, with Eurico Rosa Da Silva aboard, wins the Gallant Bob Stakes on Saturday.

BENSALEM, Pa. - Noholdingback Bear ran into traffic entering the far turn of the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing on Saturday, but jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva kept cool, regrouped, and then rallied in the stretch to score by 1 1/4 lengths in the six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds.

The $300,000 Gallant Bob was the third stakes win of the year for Noholdingback Bear, who will now be pointed to the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5, according to his Woodbine-based trainer, Michael DePaulo.

Noholdingback Bear is owned by the Bear Stables of Danny Dion, who was thrilled in the winner's circle after the race, congratulating Da Silva, appropriately, with a bear hug.

When the gates opened for the $300,000 Gallant Bob, Threefiveindia stumbled badly but quickly recovered as Awesome Speed and Navy Hymn went for the early lead. Noholdingback Bear settled just off the top pair.

Things tightened for Noholdingback Bear entering the far turn, and Da Silva eased him back. He moved up between horses on the turn, then took the lead in midstretch and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths while only feeling Da Silva's whip late.

"We got squeezed back a little, but it wasn't that bad," Da Silva said. "My horse was very relaxed and I just waited for the stretch. I always had a lot of horse."

Noholdingback Bear paid $8.20 to win as a slight favorite over Threefiveindia, who, after his stumble, took up a stalking position along the inner rail and then finished third, beaten a half-length for second by late-running Mind Your Biscuits. Awesome Speed was fourth.

Noholdingback Bear was timed in 1:09.61. The fractions were 22.14 and 45.29.

Noholdingback Bear raced at Gulfstream Park early this year, finishing second in the Grade 3 Hutcheson, fourth in the Grade 2 Swale, and second in the Texas Glitter.

"I think the difference is now he's a better, stronger horse, DePaulo said.

Noholdingback Bear came into the Gallant Bob off a third-place finish in the seven-furlong King's Bishop at Saratoga.

"Seven-eighths may be a little far for him," DePaulo said.

The Breeders' Cup Sprint, like the Gallant Bob, will be run at six furlongs.

Alphabet Soup: Granny's Kitten by a neck
Jockey Florent Geroux, aboard Granny's Kitten, cut the corner into the stretch of the Alphabet Soup Handicap at Parx Racing on Saturday, then outfought determined pacesetter I'll Call to win the $100,000 turf stakes for Pennsylvania-breds by a neck.

Sent off favored in the 10-horse field, Granny's Kitten paid $4.80 and was timed in 1:43.21 for 1 1/16 miles. The Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey-owned 4-year-old is now 4 for 14 in his career. He is trained by Mike Maker.

I'll Call set a steady pace of 24.27, 48.94, and 1:12.75 while being stalked by 7-2 Uncle Dave. I'll Call fought back when the winner came up inside of him entering the stretch and was still trying hard at the finish. Uncle Dave finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind I'll Call. It was another two lengths back to 9-2 Edge of Reality in fourth.

The Alphabet Soup was the first stakes win for Granny's Kitten, who in his prior three starts had finished third in the Robellino Stakes at Penn National, second in the Leemat at Presque Isle, and second in the Mystic Lake Mile at Canterbury Park.

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