Octaine wins the Affirmed Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Octane set a quick early pace, but the Arindel homebred had plenty left in the tank for the stretch on his way to a commanding 3 ¼ -length victory in the $200,000 Affirmed at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
The Affirmed, a seven-furlong open-division sprint, and the $200,000 Affirmed, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies, co-headlined Saturday’s second leg of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes for juveniles sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida.
Octane, one of four Arindel homebred sons of Brethren in an 11-horse field, broke alertly from his rail position and rushed up to lead along the backstretch, pressed by Lightning Larry and stalked by Big and Classy, $100,000 FSS Dr. Fager winner Cajun’s Magic, and King Cab. Octane set fractions of :22.50 and :45.24 for the first half-mile with Cajun’s Magic looming prominently in pursuit turning into the stretch. The Dr. Fager winner gave it his best shot, but Octane kicked clear through the stretch under Emisael Jaramillo to complete the seven furlongs in 1:25.16.
Cajun’s Magic, the 7-5 favorite, finished second under Jesus Rios, three lengths ahead of Big and Classy and jockey Edwin Gonzalez.
Octane, who finished second in his June 18 debut, was coming off a July 17 maiden victory in which he overcame traffic and fractious behavior at the starting gate.
“I love this little horse. He’s small but he has a ton of heart,” trainer Carlos David said. “He was a little bit nervous prior to his second start. He was a little wild behind the gate. I had to put a lot of gate work into him and teach him to stand right. He’s got some growing up to do, but I think he’s going to be all right.”
Octane, who was sent to post at 10-1, was stretching out two furlongs from his five-furlong maiden score.
“I think the workout he had about a week ago was key. It was five furlongs, galloping out three-quarters in 1:13. That told me that he can definitely get the distance. I was very confident coming into this race,” David said.
The 2021 Florida Sire Stakes series will conclude Sept. 25 at Gulfstream with the open-division $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies. Both races will be run around two turns at 1 1/16 miles.
“I know the next leg is a mile-and-sixteenth, so it is challenging. I’ll have to talk to the connections. Arindel has been great. They’ve given me the opportunity to train for them,” David said. “We have great communication. We’ll talk about it and make a plan.”
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