04/01/2017 4:19PM

The Truth or Else comes from far back to win Sir Shackleton

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Barbara D. Livingston
The Truth or Else paid $16.40 in winning the Sir Shackleton Stakes at Gulfstream.

HALLANDLAE BEACH, Fla. - The Truth or Else, multiple graded stakes-placed at 2, finally got his first stakes victory in his 28th start when he rallied from far back to a convincing 2 1/4-length triumph over Hammers Vision in Saturday’s $100,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Reuniting with jockey Joel Rosario, who rode him to two wins early in his career, The Truth or Else lagged more than a dozen lengths off the early pace set by Grand Bili and prompted by both French Quarter and Bluegrass Singer in the six-furlong race. The Truth or Else commenced his rally upon leaving the backstretch, fanned extremely wide and continuing his run entering the stretch before running down the leaders to win going away.

Hammers Vision also rallied from off the pace, but was no match for the winner, finishing 1 3/4 lengths in front of the tiring French Quarter. Bluegrass Singer held a short advantage into the stretch but had little left thereafter, weakening to finish a disappointing fourth in a field of nine older horses.

The Truth or Else, idle since Dec. 17, was prepared for his return this winter at Payson Park. He is trained by Ken McPeek for Harold Lerner LLC.

The Truth or Else completed seven furlongs in 1:22.91 and paid $16.40.

“Initially I kept saying where is he, where is he, when I didn’t see him in the picture,” said McPeek, who watched the race from the Fair Grounds where he ran Senior Investment later in the afternoon in the Louisiana Derby.

“But it worked out great. Joel knows him really well. This horse so deserves to be a stakes winner. He’s been knocking and knocking. The freshening made all the difference because he’d been running really hard. Hats off to my staff at Payson, they prepped him well.”