09/06/2014 5:46PM

Twotwentyfive A gives Gold record Sire Series win in Affirmed Stakes

Leslie Martin
Twotwentyfive A gave trainer Stanley Gold a record by winning the second leg of the Florida Sire Series on Saturday, the Affirmed Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Owner Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm and trainer Stanley Gold continued their dominance of the 2014 Florida Sire Stakes after their undefeated Twotwentyfive A surged late to catch stablemate and 1-5 favorite Sing Praises in the final strides to register a neck victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Affirmed Stakes.

The win was the 15th in the Sire Stakes for both Jacks or Better and Gold, who surpassed the legendary Frank Gomez for most victories by a trainer in series history.

Twotwentyfive A, a homebred son of Awesome of Course, won his only previous start five weeks earlier. Sing Praises, on the other hand, entered the seven-furlong Affirmed off a pair of stakes wins, including the opening division of the series, the six-furlong Dr. Fager on Aug. 9.

As expected, Sing Praises immediately sprinted to the lead along the rail and was rated along on the front end by jockey Ramsey Zimmerman. Twotwentyfive A broke alertly but quickly dropped back and rated several lengths off the pace under Abdiel Jaen.

Sing Praises settled into the stretch with a seemingly comfortable advantage as Jaen angled Twotwentyfive A a bit wide with his bid coming off the turn. Sing Praises appeared on his way to victory leaving the sixteenth pole when he began to shorten stride suddenly, opening the door for the determined Twotwentyfive A, who continued his rally outside the odds-on favorite to be along in the shadow of the wire. Jaiden’s Best rallied mildly to finish another 1 3/4 lengths farther back in third despite failing to change leads through the stretch.

Jacks or Better and Gold missed a sweep of the top three positions when Of Course weakened through the final furlong and finished fifth in a scratch-reduced field of eight Florida-bred 2-year-olds.

Twotwentyfive A paid $11.60 after completing seven furlongs over a fast but cuppy racetrack in 1:26.69.

“When he won his first start, he showed good speed and was between horses that day, and Abdiel took him back, and he did everything real professional,” Gold said of Twotwentyfive A. “He circled the field and finished strong, just like he did today. He showed he was going to go further. He’s well seasoned, he was prepared for it, and he didn’t disappoint us.”

Gold said he didn’t think seven furlongs would be a problem for the heavy favorite, Sing Praises.

“The track was unusually slow today, and I wasn’t sure that would be the best for us, but we were all in on the same surface,” said Gold. “We had some versatile options there. If the speed wasn’t holding or the rail was bad, at least we had a second or third option.”

As for breaking Gomez’s record for Sire Stakes wins, Gold said, “Sports is about statistics, and everybody wants records, and it’s nice and notable, and we beat a good man. Maybe someday, somebody will get me, but I hope I’m not done yet.”