Mihos made the successful jump from maiden winner to stakes victor when catching Trophy Chaser in the final strides of the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Under Jose Ortiz, the 5-2 second choice completed the one-mile, fast main track test in 1:37.56 for owner Centennial Farms and trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Trophy Chaser finished 2 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Garter and Tie.
The disappointment of the race was 4-5 Code of Honor, who finished nearly eight lengths adrift of the winner in fourth. The Champagne (G1) runner-up had missed intended starts in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Remsen (G2) prior to this season bow.
“He was going easy, but at the quarter pole he took a deep breath and let the bridle go,” said jockey John Velazquez.
This was the third start and second win for Mihos, a son of Cairo Prince who finished third to eventual Nashua (G3) winner Vekoma in his September 23 debut at Belmont Park. He rebounded to graduate at Aqueduct by 1 1/4 lengths on November 24. Both races were over six furlongs. He’s earned $108,800.
“I don’t have a schedule really in my head as far as dates and things like that, but we’ll certainly look at all the usual spots down here,” Jerkens said. “I wanted to get by this first and then figure it out.”
Bred in Kentucky by Wayne Lyster, Gray Lyster, and Bryan Lyster, Mihos was a $230,000 Keeneland September purchase. He’s out of the Lion Heart mare Feline Flatline, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sharla Rae.
Another odds-on favorite was beaten in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy when Henley’s Joy fell short of catching 12-1 shot Casa Creed by a neck. Making his turf debut for LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable, the three-year-old son of Jimmy Creed tracked in second most of the way and got the jump on the wide-rallying favorite.
Ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Bill Mott, Casa Creed covered 7 1/2 furlongs on a firm turf in 1:30.64.
Graduating in his second start in an off-the-turf maiden at Saratoga last August, Casa Creed subsequently finished seventh in the Champagne (G1) and sixth in the $150,000 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion at Churchill Downs. He’s now earned $111,138.
In the $100,000 Ginger Brew for three-year-old fillies, pacesetter Boxwood held off a late rally from favored Pivottina to win by a neck under Brian Hernandez Jr.
A homebred racing for William Pape and trained by Eddie Kenneally, Boxwood covered 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf in 1:30.53. She paid $7.
This was the third win in five starts for the daughter of English Channel, who previously broke her maiden on the turf at Kentucky Downs and won an off-the-turf allowance at Churchill Downs. She’s now earned $202,140.