04/01/2017 6:54PM

Sadler's Joy gives Albertrani another big Pan Am win

Barbara D. Livingston
Sadler's Joy gets up by a head under Julien Leparoux in the Pan American.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Tom Albertrani thought Sadler’s Joy would be his next graded stakes-winning turf marathoner, some day replacing the multiple graded stakes winner Twilight Eclipse.

He just didn’t know that day would come as soon as it did.

Two weeks ago, Twilight Eclipse was moved from his barn by the owners, West Point Thoroughbreds, and transferred to Graham Motion. In 2013, when trained by Albertrani, Twilight Eclipse won the Pan American in a world record time of 2:22.63 for 1 1/2 miles.

Saturday, Albertrani was in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle again following the Grade  2, $200,000 Pan American, as Sadler’s Joy rallied down the center of the Gulfstream turf course to get up in the final jump to win by a head over Designed for War. It was a neck back to Patterson Cross in third.

“I always thought that this horse would eventually replace Twilight when the day came but I didn’t know it would happen the way it did,” Albertrani said. “I always thought this horse would be my next big turf horse in the longer races.”

Sadler’s Joy reeled off three consecutive victories to end his 3-year-old season. He kicked off his 4-year-old season with head loss in the William McKnight Stakes on Jan. 28.

Saturday, the bob went Sadler’s Joy’s way as he rallied from next-to-last to nip a hard-luck Designed for War, who had taken the lead from Reporting Star midway on the far turn.

“He broke a little slower than I expected,” Albertrani said. “I was hoping that he might be a little more forwardly placed but this horse has got a tremendous kick and he used it every step of the way just to get there.”

Leparoux knew the Gulfstream Park course was rather speed favoring on Saturday, and he wanted to be closer, but Sadler’s Joy wasn’t cooperative.

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“He doesn’t break very sharp. It’s not like you don’t want to put him closer, but he broke a little bit slow then after that he just cruised along and had a nice kick at the end,” Leparoux said.

Sadler’s Joy, a son of Kitten’s Joy owned by Woodslane Farm, covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.89 and returned $9.40 to win.

Albertrani said Sadler’s Joy would be pointed to the Grade 1 Man o’ War at Belmont Park on May 13.