Giant Oak had gone 14 consecutive starts without winning a race from the summer of 2009 to fall of 2010. In a span of a little more than two months, he has bagged a pair of grade I victories.
With Shaun Bridgmohan aboard for trainer Chris Block, the son of Giant's Causeway rallied from off the pace with a wide stretch run and passed a trio of horses late to post a two-length victory in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 5 at Gulfstream Park. The win validated his previous victory in the Nov. 27 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, which came via disqualification.
A 5-year-old homebred for Virginia H. Tarra Trust, Giant Oak was graded stakes placed five times during his winless streak, but had not posted a victory since the May, 2009 Arlington Classic before he was awarded the top prize in the Clark when Successful Dan was disqualified for interference. That losing streak is a distant memory now, as he proved that he is one of the best horses in the handicap division when defeating a stellar field in the Donn.