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Red Crescent Peaks at Perfect Time in Millions Classic Preview

Nov 9, 2019
Galleon Mast Successfully Defends Title in Millions Turf Preview

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Equine Authority Inc.’s Red Crescent peaked at the perfect time for trainer John Vinson to capture Saturday’s $75,000 Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West

The 1 1/16-mile race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up, an early prep for the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park Jan. 18, was one of nine stakes worth $675,000 in purses on the Sunshine Millions Preview program.

Red Crescent, who followed up a distant seventh in the Benny The Bull Stakes at Gulfstream with a dominating 6 ½-length triumph in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park last time out, claimed his first career stakes victory with a 1 ¼-length score under Samy Camacho.

“It wasn’t until his last win [that the Classic Preview was targeted],” Vinson said. “We were debating about sending him home for the winter and giving him some time off.”

Sent to post as the even-money favorite on the strength of his sharp prep over the Gulfstream Park West surface, Red Crescent broke a bit slowly and rated while saving ground behind the pace set by Hy Riverside, so set comfortable fractions of 24.70 and 49.41 seconds while pressed by Richard the Great. Camacho found room to the outside in the far turn and the 5-year-old gelded son of Overdriven responded when asked to enter contention of the turn into the homestretch and drawing clear to the wire.

“He was the first horse in the gate, but when the last horse went in the gate my horse moved a lot and he broke very bad. After that I had to rush him to try and save my position. I put him in behind horses on the backside close to the lead and I just waited to go through,” said Camacho after his second of three winning stakes rides Saturday. “At the three-eighths pole I put him on the outside and I said, ‘Ok, I gotta go,’ and he won the race so good. And he kept strong after the wire, I had to call the pony to help me. This horse is doing really well.”

Red Crescent ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.01. Art G Is Back finished second, 4 ¼ lengths ahead of Hy Riverside. Mr. Jordan, who was seeking his fourth straight Classic Preview win, finished fourth after encountering trouble on the first turn.

Galleon Mast Successfully Defends Title in Millions Turf Preview

Anne D. Scott’s Galleon Mast successfully defended his title in the $75,000 Millions Turf Preview Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The 6-year-old gray gelding, who won the 2018 edition of the 1 1/16-mile turf race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up by a nose, once again had a fight on his hands Saturday, prevailing by just a head after a ground-saving trip under Paco Lopez.

“Naturally, he keeps you worried all the time. He doesn’t love the inside and he was inside the whole way, but Paco fits this horse so good. He knows the horse. He knows you have to wait, wait, wait on him,” trainer David Fawkes said.

Galleon Mast has demonstrated a distinct tendency to wait for competition after making the lead, surely costing him more than a few victories during his 33-race career, during which he has finished second 12 times and has won 10 times.

Lopez, who was aboard the son of Mizzen Mast for the first time since riding him to victory in last year’s Turf Preview, saved ground as Freedom Matters set comfortable fractions of 24.74 and 50.93 for the first half mile. Lopez remained patient aboard the 9-5 favorite while lacking room near the back of the seven-horse field on the far turn and on the turn into the homestretch. When room developed between horses nearing mid-stretch, Galleon Mast produced a strong late kick to overhaul Freedom Matters yards from the finish line.

“Paco will keep on riding him as long as I can keep him on him,” Fawkes said.

Galleon Mast ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.31. Freedom Matters finished a neck in front of late-charging Second Mate.

Galleon Mast is a multiple-stakes winner who has finished in the money in 27 of 33 starts and has earned more than $600,000.

“It’s going to take me another 20 years to get one like him again,” owner Hans Scott said. “We’re awful proud of him. We gave him a big break and he’s come back so good. He’s just one of those horses that needs time and patience. What a nice mind he has on him. He’s such a cool horse.”

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