Awesome Strong Pays Dividends in $100,000 Dr. Fager
$500,000 Purchase Romps in 1st Leg of Florida Sire Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Awesome Strong paid immediate dividends for CSLR Ranch Partners Saturday at Gulfstream Park, capturing the $100,000 Dr. Fager in his first start since being privately purchased for $500,000.
The six-furlong Dr. Fager co-headlined Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Desert Vixen, a six-furlong stakes for fillies, while kicking off the 2022 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida.
Awesome Strong, who was sold after capturing his May 9 debut by six lengths while running 4 ½ furlongs in 51 3/5 seconds, was in complete control from the very start of the Dr. Fager, setting an uncontested pace and drawing away to a commanding 4 ¾-length victory.
“I’m pleased he fulfilled my expectations,” trainer Jorge Delgado said. “When you have a long layoff, you have a lot of doubts in your mind, but thank God he brought his ‘A’ Game. I’m happy with the outcome.”
Delgado, who saddled the son of Awesome Slew for his debut score, was retained by the new owners following the sale and prepared Awesome Strong for the Dr. Fager while trying not to focus on the high price tag.
“I try to put that away from my mind and not have that pressure,” Delgado said. “I know it was big money. I’m trying to build my stable, and $500,000 is good money for any horse, I’m happy for them. They’re new in the game. They want to invest in the game. They’re off to a good start.”
CSLR Ranch Partners is headed by Bill Childs and his son Alex Childs.
“My dad and I got a couple quarter horses and a Thoroughbred, but this horse is kind of a different animal than we usual have,” Alex Childs said. “There’s about 10, 12 people in the group.”
Awesome Slew, the 5-2 second choice, ran six furlongs in 1:11 under Miguel Vasquez after setting fractions of 22:05 and 45.13 seconds for the first half-mile.
“He broke very well. The plan wasn’t to go to the front,” Vasquez said. “The plan was to stalk the pace, but he took the lead immediately.”
Turbo, who chased the pacesetter while saving ground under Edgard Zayas, finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of late-rallying Cajun Hope. This Run’s for You, the 2-1 favorite, tired to fifth after stalking the early pace.
The Florida Sire Stakes series will continue on Sept. 3 with the $200,000 Affirmed at seven furlongs and on Oct. 1 with the $400,000 In Reality at 1 1/16 miles.
“From the beginning, we’ve felt like he’s gong to be a long-distance horse,” Delgado said.