Big Invasion Becomes Stakes Winner in 75k Texas Glitter
Sophomore Scores By Three Lengths in Co-Featured Turf Sprint
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Big Invasion, exiting an impressive maiden triumph over the same course last month, duplicated that effort in his stakes debut with a popular three-length victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Texas Glitter at Gulfstream Park.
The eighth running of the Texas Glitter for 3-year-olds served as the co-headliner on an 11-race program along with the seventh renewal of the $75,000 Melody of Colors for 3-year-old fillies, both sprinting five furlongs on the grass.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano for trainer Christophe Clement, Big Invasion ($3.60) covered the firm turf course in 56.03 seconds for his second straight win after graduating by 4 ½ lengths in a five-furlong maiden special weight Feb. 19.
Unraced at 2, Big Invasion ran second as the favorite in his Jan. 7 unveiling at Gulfstream, beaten two lengths by American Starlet, who ran second behind multiple stakes winner Last Leaf in the Melody of Colors.
“He’s very special. He’s always showed a tremendous amount of ability,” Clement’s son and assistant Miguel Clement said. “We were disappointed he got beat first time out but in hindsight, the filly that beat him just ran second today in a stakes. His next start was impressive, and I think today he dazzled us once again.”
Lucci, fifth by a length in last summer’s Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot, entered the Texas Glitter unbeaten in his two North American starts including a front-running optional claiming allowance triumph Jan. 19 at Gulfstream, also going five furlongs on the grass.
Jockey Emisael Jaramillo and Lucci broke sharply and raced in front into the far turn, pressed on his right hip by Big Invasion, who broke from the far outside post in a field of six. Big Invasion forged a short lead straightening for home and opened up once set down in the stretch.
“I liked my post position. He was outside the speed,” Castellano said. “They both broke sharp and the other horse took the lead. I just kept pace and followed them, and I had so much horse turning for home. I liked the way he responded and I loved the way he galloped out after the wire. When I ask him, he took off and he opened up with quick acceleration. At the same time, he galloped out another furlong and it seemed to me that if he stretched out a little bit it would not be a problem at all.”
Lucci stayed up for second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Brit’s Candyman, followed by Trikitraki, Bueno Bueno and Barone Cesco. High Front was scratched.
“[Castellano] is a top-class jockey. You don’t have to tell him anything, just break well and be comfortable and the horse will take care of the rest,” Clement said. “This was very rewarding.”