Resolute Group Stable’s 6-year-old gelding Teaks North scored the
first major victory of his career in the 2011 Gulfstream Park Turf
Handicap (G1) with a 25-to-1 upset and was back in the Gulfstream
winner’s circle Saturday after posting a wire-to-wire upset at 9-to-1 in
the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf.
The victory was an emotional one for the connections as trainer
Richard Dutrow, Jr. began serving his highly-publicized suspension this
week and his longtime top assistant Michelle Nevin took over as trainer
of the division of Dutrow’s horses currently campaigning at Gulfstream.
“I’m overwhelmed. It’s been a tough week,” said Nevin. “I’m very
happy for this horse. It’s been a long road back (layoff). When they get
older they usually need a race to shake the cobwebs off and he did
(10th in El Prado on Dec. 22).”
Jockey John Velazquez let Teaks North take command and appeared
plenty relaxed on the lead early in the 1 1/8 miles turf test and able
to set rather slow fractions with three-quarters in 1:16:76, He coasted
to the finish in the clear by 2 ½ lengths over WinStar Farms’ 1-to-2
favorite Double Partner. Shivmangal Racing Stable’s Shkspeare Shalaiyah
finished another 2 ¼ lengths back in third in the field of eight
"We wanted to be close to the lead and everyone began slowing down
in front,” said Velazquez. “It was perfect. I couldn't ask for a better
trip. They let me go slow and I took it."
Jockey Javier Catellano aboard Doubles Partner said, "We had bad
luck out of the gate. Usually he breaks great, although today he
hesitated after we broke and wasn't as sharp. Unfortunately the pace was
slow, we ended up too far back and it was too hard to catch up. Teaks
North and John Velazquez went to the lead wire to wire and we lost the
race out of the gate."
Teaks North is a son of Northern Afleet that was purchased by his
current connections privately after beginning his career at Calder. He
was trained by Justin Sallusto when he won the Gulfstream Turf Handicap
and the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park that summer. He continued
to race for Sallusto through an eighth-place finish in Sunshine Millions
Turf here last winter.
Teaks North was later transferred to Dutrow for whom he ran in the
El Prado. He paid $$19.80 For $2 to win and was timed the nine furlongs
on ‘yielding’ ground in 1:52:89 The victory was his eighth from 23
career start but first since the United Nations on July 2, 2011 and
extended his bankroll to nearly $1.1 million.