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Stirling Drive a Game Winner in 75k Showing Up

Nov 2, 2019
Ionic Wins $75,000 Cellars Shiraz

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – N T S Stable Inc.’s Stirling Drive, a 3-year-old gelded son of Verrazano trained by Milt Wolfson, shot to the lead around the final turn under jockey Samy Camacho and never relinquished it on his way to victory Saturday in the $75,000 Showing Up at Gulfstream Park West.

Earlier in the afternoon, Ionic won the $75,000 Cellars Shiraz.

Winner of the $122,000 Not Surprising in July, Stirling Drive was seventh entering the first turn some 10 lengths off Well Defined and Sovereign Warrior, who opened up seven lengths on the rest of the field down the backstretch while dueling through an opening fraction of :23.77 and a half in :46.42.

Approaching the 3/8th pole, jockey Camacho made a quick, three-wide move and drove Stirling Drive past the tiring pacesetters before hitting the stretch with a two-length advantage. He was able to hold off The Black Album closing on the inside the Scraps closing on the outside.

“I’ve been riding this horse and we won a stake together before,” Camacho said. “Today he didn’t break too sharp and I had to put him in the clear. From the five-eighths pole I had to move because I know him. If I don’t move like that, he won’t finish well.”

Said Wolfson: “Samy’s been riding him good and the horse has been training really good, so we kind of thought he’d run well.”

Stirling Drive returned $18.60.

In the $75,000 Cellars Shiraz, the 3-1 favorite Ionic, bred and owned by Dr. Catherine Wills and trained by Arnaud Delacour, drove past pacesetter Beautiful Ballad at the head of the stretch and held off Isla Road late to win her first stakes race.

A 3-year-old daughter of City Zip ridden by Edgard Zayas, Ionic had previously finished fifth in the Virginia Oaks and fourth in the Parx Falls Oaks. She is out of the French-bred mare Incredulous, who won one of seven races when racing in Europe.

While Beautiful Ballad cut fractions of :23.15, :46.73 and 1:10, Zayas rated Ionic third entering the backstretch and second entering the final turn before moving to the front at the head of the stretch. Despite a late rally by Isla Road, Ionic had plenty left while covering the distance in 1:37.55. Ionic returned $8.60.

“She broke good and got into a very good spot and she did everything from there,” Zayas said. “Coming to the stretch, I got her to the center of the track and she kicked on from there.”

The Cellars Shiraz is named after the graded-stakes winner trained by former National Football League player Bill Cesare who won the Herecomesthebride (G3), Calder Oaks, six other stakes and finished second in the Pucker Up (G3).

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