It must have been the weekend for dead heat finishes because just a day after Bahnah and Brazen Persuasion hit the wire together in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes, Backseat Memories and Grand Tito had to settle for a draw in the first running of the Showing Up Stakes at 8.5 furlongs over Gulfstream Park’s turf course.
Despite never before having tried the grass, Sr. Quisqueyano was sent to post as the favorite. Given that he was the obvious class of the field, the bettors’ confidence in him really came as no surprise. Under jockey Carlos Olivero, Sr. Quisqueyano looked well on his way to paying dividends to his backers until the field turned for home. Despite being allowed to get away with glacial fractions, the bay Elusive Quality colt was unable to continue to show the way on the new surface.
As Sr. Quisqueyano backpedaled, Grand Tito took over the lead and kicked on for home. Behind him, Backseat Memories ducked to the inside to find racing room and charged in hot pursuit after the leader. The green-blinkered Backseat Memories managed to head Grand Tito in deep stretch, but the Candy Ride colt was not giving up so easily. Showing enormous heart, Grand Tito battled back, and two noses, one in green blinkers and the other in blue blinkers, hit the wire simultaneously.
The drama did not end with the photo, however, as Backseat Memories then had to survive an inquiry in order for his share of the win to stand. Manoel Cruz, the jockey aboard third place finisher Starship Zorro, lodged a protest against Fernando Jara, Backseat Memories’ jockey for interference. When Backseat Memories shifted to the inside to make his move, Starship Zorro appeared to be pinched back as Backseat Memories drifted in and Dr. Chase drifted out. After reviewing the film, the stewards disallowed the protest. El Jefe Grande, Dr. Chase, Saturday Special, and Boy of Summer ran fourth through seventh. Sr. Quisqueyano, who set the pace, faded to finish eighth and last.
Today’s Showing Up victory was Backseat Memories’ second career stakes win and Grand Tito’s first. Back in May, Backseat Memories won the Mambo Meister Stakes at 8.5 furlongs over Calder’s turf course. Grand Tito, who had a late start to his career, just broke his maiden at third asking last out. The nicely bred Grand Tito finished 7th in his career debut on the dirt before losing his turf debut by a neck. Trainer Antonio Sano was quite pleased with his colt’s performance and stated that he could run in another stake in Florida or ship north to Saratoga.