When the overnight came out for Saturday’s Donn Day program, trainer
Steve Towne was not overly concerned with where Samuel H. Rogers,
Jr.’s 5-year-old Florida homebred gelding Close It Out drew in the
$150,000 Gulfstream Sprint Championship (G2) at seven furlongs.
“He’s going to drop back to last after the start anyhow,” said
Towne. “That’s his style and I’m fine with it, although you are at the
mercy of the pace. But he’s very reliable and just about always comes
back with a piece of it.
“Even last time out in the Sunshine Millions (Sprint) when he
finished fourth, it was the first time in quite a while that he hadn’t
finished one-two-three, but he was only beaten a
length-and-three-quarters. I got excited at one point in the stretch
because it looked like he had a chance to win it all inside the eighth
A son of Closing Argument, Close It Out scored his last victory in
the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint at Calder on Nov. 10 with Bahamian
Squall second at six furlongs.
“I don’t think it’s any advantage for Close It Out to go seven
furlongs rather than six just because he’s a closer. It’s more a matter
of what kind of pace he has to run into like he did when he beat
Bahamian Squall at Calder (half-mile in 44 4/5).”
In two starts since then at Gulfstream, Close It Out finished third
to Bahamian Squall and Fort Loudon in the Sunshine State Stakes on Dec. 2
and rallied from 10th of 11 in his good fourth-place try in the
$150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 19 won by upset winner Off the
Jack with Bahamian Squall second and Little Drama third.