Following the Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park, trainer Graham Motion had a lot to celebrate. Motion, the trainer of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, saddled two colts for today's stakes race on turf: Howe Great and Lucky Chappy. The pair was sent off as the third and first choices respectively. At the end of the race, they confirmed the bettors' confidence in them, scoring the exacta for Team Valor.
Lucky Chappy, both the morning line and post time favorite, stuck to his U.S. trend running a good race but failing to get up for the win. The colt broke from the gate slowly and jockey Javier Castellano guided his mount inside to the rail to run in the fifth position early. At the turn, Lucky Chappy made a three wide move but could not catch his speedy stablemate. Howe Great broke sharply and went straight to the lead. From there, he cruised along in command of the race, reeling off comfortable fractions of 24.64 and 48.01. As the field turned for home, the question was not who was going to win but by how much Howe Great was going to win. The Hat Trick colt with Edgar Prado aboard cruised under the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front of Irish bred Lucky Chappy. Empire Builder, a Kitten's Joy colt, briefly menaced but could not sustain his drive and finished third. Cozzetti, Scorcher, Italo, and El Romano finished up the field.
Today's win is Howe Great's third from four attempts and confirmed the colt's affinity for the Gulfstream track surface. In a post-race interview with Ed Gray, jockey Edgar Prado said, "We saw the race just like everybody else did. There was no speed on paper. We went to the front, slowed it down, and the rest was history. He had plenty left. In regards to future plans for his two stars of the day, Motion said to Gray, "It's possible we'll consider one of them to go to Dubai (for the UAE Derby). We'll also look at the Palm Beach here later in the meet. We haven't ruled out anything for either of them at this point."