Sibelius Makes the Grade in G3 Mr. Prospector
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jun Park and Delia’s Nash’s Sibelius closely stalked the early pace and drew away from his 10 rivals in the stretch to capture Saturday’s $125,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, collecting his first graded-stakes success.
The late-developing 4-year-old gelding ran seven furlongs in 1:23/04 under Junior Alvarado to score by 2 ¼ lengths in the seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up – one of five stakes on a card co-headlined by the $150,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G2), a prep for the Jan. 28 $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), and the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), a prep for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).
Alvarado, who guided Stolen Holiday to victory in the Rampart in the previous race on Gulfstream’s New Year’s Eve card, moved to within five wins of the 2000-win milestone aboard Sibelius ($11).
Uncle Ernie set the pace along the backstretch and on the far turn while setting fractions of 22.09 and 44.07 seconds for the first half-mile, monitored closely by Sibelius. Turning into the stretch, the Jeremiah O’Dwyer-trained son of Not This Time took over the lead and was never threatened thereafter.
Dean Delivers closed for second, two lengths.ahead of Steal Sunshine.
Mr. Prospector (G3) Quotes
Winning trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer (Sibelius): “I felt great going in. He had been training fabulous. He was really sharp and honest at home. After we ran at Churchill, we backed off him for a couple of weeks –, easy time, round pen, hand-walking – then all of a sudden, he’s turning inside out in his stall and we have to take him back into training. He’s a very special horse to me and to the owners, and it’s a very emotional win.”
“When you get a speed horse like that dropping over in front of you, you don’t want to get bottled up and boxed in and get taken out of your comfort zone. But [jockey] Junior [Alvarado], fabulous job. He knows the horse so well and he just eased the horse around when he wanted and got the job done for us.”
Winning jockey Junior Alvarado (Sibelius): "The horse broke very sharp, and we were able to save ground a little bit. When we turned for home, he was dragging me to the lead. After that, I just had to make sure he kept happy running for home. He was just much the best horse today.”