04/30/2017 5:42PM

Royal Squeeze fires fresh in Jeblar Stakes

Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Tyler Gaffalione guides Royal Squeeze to a 1 3/4-length victory in the Jeblar.

Royal Squeeze won in his first start since September on Sunday, when he overtook pacesetter Tiger Blood for a 1 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Jeblar Stakes at Gulfstream Park. It was another half-length back in third to Mylute.

Zulu, who was the 4-5 favorite off his runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream, did not get a good start and finished fifth.

The Jeblar was an overnight stakes for 3-year-olds and up. It was run over seven furlongs.

Royal Squeeze ($16.40) broke well and was willing to settle back off Tiger Blood, who moved to a clear lead through fractions of 22.94 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.10 for the half-mile mark. Royal Squeeze engaged the leader into the stretch, moved past that rival, and went on to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:22.10.

Tyler Gaffalione was aboard the winner for trainer Ralph Nicks.

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Royal Squeeze was making his first start for Nicks and his first since the Saratoga meet, when he finished ninth in an optional $80,000 claiming sprint Sept. 4. Prior to that start, he had won an optional $62,500 claiming sprint at Belmont Park.

Royal Squeeze is a son of Wildcat Heir who races for Newton Anner Stud. He earned $46,500 for his win in the Jeblar to push his career bankroll to $251,113 . Overall, the horse is 4 for 15.