Spooky Channel shows he's a Gulfstream 'fit' with McKnight upset

Gulfstream Park Communications
January 25, 2020 08:02pm

Terry Hamilton’s Spooky Channel completed a well-timed ride by Julien Leparoux, to win Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 W.L. McKnight by a neck in a 36-1 Gulfstream Park upset.

Never more than about six lengths off the pace in the early stages of the 1½-miles turf fixture from an outside starting position, Brian Lynch-trained Spooky Channel moved closer to contention in the third turn and continued to quicken in the stretch. He collared Cross Border in the final strides, stopped the timer in 2:26.16 and paid $74.60. Apreciado finished third and Red Knight, the 4-5 favorite, was fourth.

"He broke pretty good from the outside and got covered up on the first turn," Leparoux said. "I decided to make a move early on because the way the track is playing and he kept going all the way to the wire.”

Dubby Dubbie assumed the early lead and carried the field of 11 through split times of 24.66 seconds, :49.28, 1:13.93 and 1:38.43. Cross Border, who had been on the pace throughout, assumed the lead, but could not hold off the late surge by Spooky Channel.

Hamilton’s 5-year-old English Channel gelding had dominated at Turf Paradise, but was winless in three starts since he was moved east for stakes races at Canterbury Downs, Arlington Park and Gulfstream. 

"He's a marathon horse," Lynch said, "and it's nice to get him out of Turf Paradise and let him show he can fit with these horses out here, because that was a field of good field of stayers right there."


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