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Teaks North Back in Winners' Circle at GP

Teaks North takes the 2011 United Nations

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 Florida-breds.

"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.

 

 

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