Early speed was very good on Gulfstream Park’s turf course on Saturday for a pair of older horses without much stakes experience. Churn N Burn, a four-year-old gelding making his stakes debut in the $200,000 Pan American S. (G2), was one of them.
Posting almost identical quarter-mile splits through the opening mile, Churn N Burn turned on the heat in the final half-mile to win by 2 1/2 lengths from Moon Over Miami, who was three parts of a length ahead of 17-10 favorite Cross Border.
Owned by Bob Lothenbach, trained by Ian Wilkes, and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Churn N Burn paid $13 after completing 1 1/2 miles on firm ground in 2:23.63.
Although a son of a Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner in Liam’s Map and out of a mare by 2005 champion turf male Leroidesanimeaux, who’s remembered as more of a miler type, Churn N Burn is two-for-two over 12 furlongs. In a start preceding the Pan American, he was a dominant winner against entry-level allowance foes at the distance on Feb. 11.
“He’s got a high cruising speed, and especially on this track, he can carry it a little and run a little quicker and keep on going,” Wilkes said.
“We may look at a race at Keeneland; if not, we’ll look at something else. First thing, we’ll check that he’s OK. Enjoy today and then we’ll have a look at it.”
Bred in Kentucky by Double K and sold as a $255,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, Churn N Burn was produced by Swirls, a daughter of the multiple Grade 2-winning turf mare Lady At Peace.
Churn N Burn’s record now stands at 10-3-2-2, $250,450.
Appleton S. (G3)
Unplaced in his only prior stakes attempt, Gray’s Fable nonetheless proved superior in the $100,000 Appleton S. (G3). The lightly-raced six-year-old son of Gio Ponti led throughout the one-mile event and won by two lengths as a 7-1 chance under Junior Alvarado.
Making his first start since Sept. 12, Gray’s Fable sped in a time of 1:32.64 over the turf and paid $16.20. Renaissance Frolic finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over Ever Dangerous, while 2-1 favorite Seismic Wave finished fifth in the field of eight.
Owned by Steve Goldfine, Kari Provost, and Jeff Zionis, Gray’s Fable is trained by Roger Attfield. Bred in Kentucky by Zionis, Gray’s Fable was produced by the stakes-placed Myrtle’s Gray, by Oratory.
Orchid S. (G3)
Relative inexperience didn’t stop War Like Goddess from displaying a powerful late kick to edge 11-10 favorite Always Shopping by a nose in the $100,000 Orchid S. (G3) over 1 3/8 miles on the grass.
Making just her fourth appearance on the track and her second in stakes company, the four-year-old English Channel filly won for the third time for owner George Krikorian and trainer Bill Mott. Julien Leparoux guided the filly to victory in 2:12.34. Sorrel finished three lengths adrift of Always Shopping in third.
A winner twice last fall at Churchill Downs in a belated start to her career, War Like Goddess returned to action in the Feb. 27 The Very One (G3), in which she finished fifth over 1 3/16 miles. The additional furlong and a half worked to her advantage Saturday as she increased her career earnings to $156,184.
Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm and most recently sold for $30,000 as an OBS juvenile, War Like Goddess was produced by the North Light mare Misty North.
Sand Springs S.
Sweet Bye and Bye proved much the best in the $100,000 Sand Springs S. for fillies and mares, winning by a widening 2 1/2 lengths under Irad Ortiz Jr. as the even-money favorite. Feel Glorious edged Abscond for second by three parts of a length.
Owned and bred by Joseph Imbesi and trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Sweet Bye and Bye covered 1 1/16 miles on the turf in a brisk 1:39.49 and paid $4.
Now a multiple stakes winner and three times Grade 3-placed, the Pennsylvania-bred six-year-old is by Sky Mesa and out of Twiggles, by Maria’s Mon.