All Squared Away ridden by Julio Garcia came from off the pace to pull the huge upset at 70-1 odds on his way to winning the $200,000 Grade III Coolmore Lexington Stakes.
Race favorite Summer Front came from the pack in the back to finish second at the wire over Hammers Terror.
The morning line favorite Castaway was surprisingly the fourth betting choice at 6/1 and finished ninth. He acted up in the starting gate moving his head and hitting the sides of the gate. They had to grab his ear and probably cost him the break.
As expected on the race, Johannesbourbon (6/1) took the early lead from the inside and was met by Castaway and Hammers Terror (18/1) as they made the first turn and got the first-quarter mile in :23.21.
All Squared Away was easily placed in a pace-tracking fourth place by Garcia four lengths behind the pace setting trio.
The pace quickened as they started rounding the far turn with All Squared Away leading the pack closing on the leaders.
As they turned for home it was a battle between Johanesbourbon on the inside and Hammers Terror on the outside with All Squared Away slowly getting to them on the fifth lane.
But on the final half furlong it was All Squared Away who dashed to the lead passing Hammers Terror and drawing away to win by 1.5 lengths.
Summer Front closed fast and just nosed-out Hammers Terror for second place. Gold Megillah and Golden Ticket rallied to finish fourth and fifth ahead of Holiday Promise.
Morgan's Guerrilla, the second betting choice at 5/1, was seventh early but started to fade slowly after the half-mile. He finished dead last just over 34 lengths behind the winner.
News Pending was the morning line second betting choice but closed today at 10/1. He finished second-to-last 13.5 lengths behind and was never a factor in the race.
All Squared Away had been just a few weeks with his new trainer Wesley Ward and made the race of his life under Julio Garcia. Ward is one of the hottest trainers in the nation and had a profitable trainer angle here by winning 27-percent of his synthetic track races.
All Squared Away and had never placed in two graded stakes before, so the $120,000 are the first graded earnings in his career. That puts him in 29th place on the Kentucky Derby graded earnings list and unlikely he is able to make the starting gate on May 5th.
Either way it would be tough to wheel back in two weeks for the Kentucky Derby and maybe they could point him now to the Preakness Stakes.
All Squared Away is a son of Bellamy Road out of the mare Squared now has a record of 9-2-2-2 with lifetime earnings of $164,180.
His lone win came back on Jan. 22 in a Maiden Special Weight race at Golden Gate Fields. He wired the field on that race and his time for the 8.5 furlongs was 1:47.26. He bettered that time by almost five seconds.
Is this a one-race wonder horse? For now it will be interesting to see which will be the strategy for his connections going forward, but as for today, he certainly made an impression.
|9||All Squared Away||Julio A. Garcia||143.20||45.80||17.00|
|2||Summer Front||Ramon A. Dominguez||5.20||4.00|
|8||Hammers Terror||Robby Albarado||9.40|
Also ran: 11 - Gold Megillah , 5 - Golden Ticket , 6 - Holiday Promise , 3 - Johannesbourbon , 4 - Skyring , 7 - Castaway , 10 - News Pending , 1 - Morgan's Guerrilla
Winning Owner: Altamira Racing Stable and Wire to Wire Racing, Inc.
Winning Trainer: Wesley A. Ward
Fractions: :23.21, :46.54, 1:10.83, 1:36.02
Final Time: 1:42.55