Life Imitates Art Takes Dania Beach With Determined Rally

HorseRacingNation.com
January 02, 2016 11:52am
Life Imitates Art wins 2016 Dania Beach
Photo: Lauren King, Gulfstream Park
Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Life Imitates Art ($9.00) shed his bridesmaid tendency with a determined rally to take the $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes (G3) today at Gulfstream Park.
 
After breaking from post four, the 3-year-old son of More Than Ready was guided to the rail by rider Joel Rosario, who settled his eager mount in seventh. Life Imitates Art advanced along the inside and pounced through an opening in midstretch to edge second-choice Isotherm by a head in a thrilling finish. They flashed under the wire in 1:30.42 for the 7 1/2-furlong Dania Beach. Urban Bourbon rallied five wide to claim third.
 
"It worked out perfect,” Rosario said. “I was trying to save some ground, we had a lot of horse. I was waiting and then hopefully the horse in the front would come in and then maybe I could go out, but he decided to stay outside and then I went outside the other horse. I was just looking for some room. He's a nice horse, trying really hard."
 
Copingaway, a 169-1 outsider, led through the opening half-mile of :49.40 while shadowed by fellow longshot Duffle Bag. Isotherm was always traveling strongly in fourth under jockey Luis Saez and looked a certain winner in midstretch, but Life Imitates Art made his way through in time and would not be denied in the final strides.
 
Life Imitates Art had crossed the line second in each of his four starts to date. After completing the exacta on July 25 at Saratoga, the $175,000 yearling purchase came up a neck short to Isotherm a month later at the same track. He was put up to first via disqualification at Belmont on October 18, and most recently was beaten a neck in the Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream Park West on November 28. Winning trainer Chad Brown gave Rosario a leg up on Life Imitates Art for the first time in the Dania Beach.
 
“He really put it together,” Brown said. “Joel fit the horse perfectly and gave him a great ground-saving trip. When he called on the horse, the horse really responded and I’m really proud of him. We’ve always thought he was one of our better horses. They’ve got a good turf series here (at Gulfstream) and we’ll take a look at what’s next. I’m really happy for the owners (Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence), they’ve allowed me to be patient with the horses.”
 
Life Imitates Art has now bankrolled $150,750 for his connections.
 
Brown also saddled favored Ray’s the Bar, who made a sweeping move on the second turn before flattening out to finish sixth.
 
“It was a tale of two trips,” Brown said. “He was stuck behind a slow pace and wide, not the ideal trip for him. He’s trained far better than that and we’ll draw a line through this, regroup to a different stakes next time.”
 
The $100,000 Kitten’s Joy on January 30 is the next stakes opportunity for 3-year-old males on the turf at Gulfstream Park, followed by the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) on February 27. 
 
Better Late Than Never for Lira in the Ginger Brew
 
Unbeaten Lira overcame traffic trouble to post a determined and popular victory in the $100,000 Ginger Brew Stakes today at Gulfstream Park.
 
Owned by Mathis Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, the 3-year-old filly had assumed what looked to be a perfect spot behind the leaders in the early stages, but found herself trapped with no running room turning for home. Jockey Javier Castellano patiently waited for a gap to open and Lira ($5.20) burst through at the first opportunity to hit the wire a half-length in front of the late-charging Pricedtoperfection. Module, who led between calls in deep stretch, rounded out the trifecta. The final time for the 7 1/2-furlong turf contest was 1:30.38.
 
“I thought we were getting a great trip until the top of the stretch,” Pletcher said. “I thought we were in big trouble; you could tell that Javier had horse, but I didn’t think we were going to find a place to go. Once Javier found a seam she was very impressive.”
 
After breaking from post three, Lira drafted in behind pacesetter Recognition through steady opening fractions of :24.40 and :48.50. Module loomed boldly on the outside approaching the stretch, and for a few strides Lira looked to be luckless. 
 
“It was a turf race; a lot of horses and the pace was slow,” Castellano said. “Unfortunately, I had nowhere to go turning for home and everybody was too close. I was lucky the last part of the race that when there was a seam she took off. I was impressed with the way she did it—you don’t see too many horses with a last kick like that.” 
 
“I thought we were going to be off the board and then she nearly won by a length,” Pletcher added.
 
Purchased for $170,000 as a yearling by the Oklahoma-based Bill and Terry Mathis, the daughter of Giant’s Causeway won at first asking at Gulfstream Park West on October 11. She came from off the pace to secure the Wait a While Stakes over that same turf course on November 28, and maintained her unblemished record in the Ginger Brew.
 
“She’s been perfect so far and handled everything we’ve thrown at her,” Pletcher said. “But she really has a nice turn of foot. That was an impressive run from her. They’ve got a good schedule here for turf fillies so we’ll take a look at it and see which races we’ll run in.” 
 
Gulfstream’s graded opportunities for sophomore fillies include the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3) on January 30 and the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) on February 27.

Source: Gulfstream Park

 

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