It looked like a one-horse race early on as 2-1 second choice Gidu (by Frankel) shot out to a four-length advantage, but Speed Franco was up to the challenge and put his nose down first at the wire to win the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday. Off at 4-1, the Gustavo Delgado trainee is a 3-year-old son of Declaration of War. Speed Franco stopped the clock in 1:34.95 for one mile over the “good” turf under Emisael Jaramillo, earning his first graded stakes victory for ownership Grupo 7C Stable. The 6-5 favorite Untamed Domain finished third.
“I prefer the horse to be in the front or second [early],” Delgado said. “His last race I didn’t like, he was back. I told the jockey, ‘No more, no more, you put the horse in front or second.’”
Gidu was keen to be in front and opened up on the field through a quarter-mile in 22.66 seconds with Speed Franco leading the rest of the group in behind until closing the gap to a length after a half in 46.99. The two leaders straightened for home together and slugged it out through the lane before Speed Franco hit the wire in 1:34.95 over a good turf course.
Untamed Domain, the 6-5 favorite making his first start since rallying to be second by a length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) Nov. 3, was 2 ¾ lengths back in third.
“The trainer has run this horse how they thought they needed to, close to the lead,” Jaramillo said. “In the previous race, he ran from behind and that didn’t work so they decided to run him on the lead. The plan was to chase the lead and it worked today.”
Bred in Kentucky by Ice Wine Stables, Speed Franco was a $170,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. He was second on debut, then broke his maiden with a win in the listed Pulpit Stakes. The colt has a record of two wins from four starts, for earnings of over $110,000.
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