12/12/2015 5:46PM

Reporting Star takes tight photo, survives inquiry in El Prado

Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Reporting Star (10), ridden by Miguel Vazquez, noses out Aztec Brave in the El Prado.

A pair of 9-5 shots went nose-to-nose in a thrilling stretch drive Saturday in the $100,000 El Prado Stakes at Gulfstream Park, with Reporting Star out-nodding Aztec Brave on the wire.

Beyond the tight photo, the connections of Reporting Star had to wait out a stewards’ inquiry and an objection by Corey Lanerie, the rider of Aztec Brave, before the original result was allowed to stand.

Reporting Star, owned by Copper Water Thoroughbred Company and trained by Pat Parente, returned $5.80 as second choice in a scratch-laden field reduced to seven older horses. The winner, a 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Circular Quay, completed the 7 1/2-furlong distance in 1:31.29 over “good” turf.

War Correspondent and Tower of Texas, the respective top two morning-line favorites for the El Prado, were foremost among five scratches from an original field of 12.

Ridden by Miguel Vasquez, Reporting Star stalked the early pace from a clear outside position, while Aztec Brave saved ground in close proximity. Leaving the quarter pole, Aztec Brave had to split horses to keep up, after which he and Reporting Star pulled away from the others, racing virtually lapped onto each other to the wire. Macagone finished third.

Reporting Star now has won 6 of 26 starts and $587,686. He was a nose winner of the Grade 2 Play the King at Woodbine in August for his only other victory in 2015.

The $2 exacta (10-1) paid $14, the $1 trifecta (10-1-9) returned $34.40, and the 10-cent superfecta (10-1-9-3) was worth $9.33.

There were no perfect tickets in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 sequence (races 6-11), leaving a carryover of $26,757 for Sunday.