10/04/2014 6:42PM

Sing Praises up by a nose in In Reality

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Kenny Martin
Sing Praises (right), under Ramsey Zimmerman outfights Royal Squeeze to win the In Reality for 2-year-olds.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Sing Praises, who lost a heart-breaking neck decision to his stable mate Twotwentyfive A last month in the Affirmed Stakes, came out on the right end of an even closer photo to defeat the hard-luck Royal Squeeze by a nose in Saturday’s $350,000 In Reality Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Sing Praises, who also won the six-furlong Dr. Fager here earlier this summer, gave trainer Stanley Gold and owner-breeder Fred Brei their fourth sweep of the Florida Sire Series. It was the first time the potent team did so with two different horses.  The first three sweeps came at Calder in consecutive years with Jackson Bend (2009), Awesome Feather (2010), and Fort Loudon (2011). Both Gold and Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm, have now won 16 Sire Series races.

Sing Praises lost a big lead after setting the pace in the seven-furlong Affirmed, so regular rider Ramsey Zimmerman employed a different tactic in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality. Zimmerman rated Sing Praises off the swiftly contested early pace set by his stablemate Hear That Tune and longshot Boozin Time. Sing Praises saved ground to the stretch, fanned four-wide to wrest control from Royal Squeeze, edged clear, and then withstood a final surge from the runner-up to win the nose bob.

Royal Squeeze, who broke from the disadvantageous 12 post, raced well-placed, gained a brief advantage three-wide into the stretch, relinquished control to the winner at the head of the lane, and then reasserted himself approaching the wire to narrowly miss.  Honor Earned outfinished the favored Twotwentyfive A. by a head for third.

Sing Praises is a homebred son of Hear No Evil by Sacred Psalm.  He completed the distance in 1:45.79 over a racetrack downgraded from fast to good late in the day and paid $13.80 The win was the second stakes victory on the card for Zimmerman, who earlier guided Red Sashay to a narrow decision in the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy Stakes.

“Last time he [Zimmerman)] thought he had it, but he rode him smart today,” said Gold. “I left Ramsey alone. I told him just to ride it as he saw it. I couldn’t tell [who won the photo]. I’m always doom and gloom in those situations, unless it’s obvious. So I was happily surprised.”

Gold described pulling off another Sire Series sweep as being “nice, but it’s usually short lived. We’ll enjoy it while we can.”

Gold said Sing Praises would not run in the Breeders’ Cup.

“There is the Delta Jackpot to consider, although the main objective is to try the good ones here,” said Gold, referring to the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth, among other races, for 3-year-olds next winter at Gulfstream.

Hubba Shake scores in Armed Forces

Hubba Shake overcame a rough trip, rallying down the center of the course to a well-earned half length triumph over The Big Mystery in the $75,000 Armed Forces Stakes. Touchdown Kitten finished third as the 8-5 favorite.

Hubba Shake, a 2-year-old son of Street Sense owned by Miller Racing, was ridden to victory by Jonathan Gonzales for trainer Marty Wolfson. He completed a mile over a firm course in 1:38.61 and paid $11.80.

Red Sashay takes Our Dear Peggy

Red Sashay also used a strong, closing surge out in the middle of the track under Zimmerman to outfinish Like a Queen by a neck to capture the Our Dear Peggy Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on grass. Fearless Prince finished another half-length back in third.

Red Sashay, trained by Jane Cibelli for Goodwood Racing V, ran a mile over the downgraded good turf course in 1:38.85 and returned $8.