Saturday’s Florida Derby (G1) undercard included a pair of main track stakes, as well as pair of turf events for three-year-olds.
Sir Shackleton S.
Unraced since August, multiple Grade 1 winner Basin opened his four-year-old campaign with a half-length victory in the Sir Shackleton S., rallying determinedly to get past front-running Frosted Grace. Jose Ortiz was up on the 3-2 favorite, and the Todd Pletcher-trained colt completed seven furlongs in 1:23.19 on the fast track.
Owned by Jackpot Farm, Basin recorded his first stakes triumph in the 2019 Hopeful S. (G1) at Saratoga. The son of Liam’s Map entered last year on the Kentucky Derby trail, and after finishing second in the first division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), he was named the winner due to a post-race drug violation.
However, Basin made only two more starts last season, recording an unplaced effort in the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland and a runner-up in the six-furlong Amsterdam S. (G2) at Saratoga, before heading to the sidelines.
The bay colt returned from the 210-day layoff Saturday with a game tally, prevailing as the 3-2 favorite, and Basin completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:23.19.
Bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables, Basin boosted his bankroll to $763,260 from a 9-4-2-1 career record.
Ghostzapper S. (G3)
Eye of a Jedi came rolling into the stretch of the $100,000 Ghostzapper S. (G3), overtaking 6-5 pacesetter Last Judgment and drawing away to a 5 1/2-length score. Runner-up in the Fred Hopper S. (G3) and Harlan’s Holiday S. (G3) this winter, the Florida-based gelding earned his first graded win for owner/trainer Steve Budhoo.
It marked the third overall stakes tally for the six-year-old, who exiting a fourth in the Feb. 27 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), and Eye of a Jedi left the starting gate as 4-1 third choice. He finished the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:48.83 with Javier Castellano.
The Kentucky-bred has earned $355,778 from a 32-6-6-6 ledger.
Cutler Bay S.
After rallying from well off the pace in his first two wins, Annex utilized stalking tactics to win the $100,000 Cutler Bay S. The Bill Mott-trained Constitution colt rallied from just off the pace to prevail by a neck in the one-mile turf affair.
The 11-10 favorite got up late to prove best in a tight three-horse finish. Runner-up Fulmini was a nose better than It Can Be Done in third.
Annex was timed in 1:34.33. Bred in Kentucky by William Harrigan and Mike Pietrangelo, the chestnut three-year-old was ridden by Junior Alvarado.
LNJ Foxwoods and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners campaign unbeaten Annex, who won at first asking in mid-January, taking a mile turf maiden special weight. He followed with a head decision in the Feb. 27 Pam Beach S.
Sanibel Island S.
Gary Barber’s I Get It rallied widest of all to edge World Tour by a half-length in the $100,000 Sanibel Island S. for three-year-old fillies. Elevated to third via disqualification after a troubled trip in the Feb. 27 Herecomesthebride S. (G3), the Ronald Spatz-trained filly recorded her first stakes win in the one-mile turf affair.
Jose Ortiz was up on the I Get It, who bred in Maryland by Flying H Stables. The Get Stormy filly stopped the teletimer in 1:36.11 as the 5-2 second choice, and the bay has now earned $156,278 from a 9-5-0-1 scorecard.