Joseph winner not enough to reel in leader

Barbadian Saffie Joseph Jr won once on Sunday but Todd Pletcher saddled two winners, to extend his lead at the top of the Gulfstream Park trainers standings.

The 33-year-old Joseph, one of the youngest conditioners at the southeastern Florida meet, captured the US$30 000 race three with favourite R U Lucky, the bay colt beating the three-year-olds by half-length over 6-½ furlongs in a time of one minute, 16:84 seconds.

Joseph now has 15 wins for the summer meet with Pletcher two clear on 17, following wins in the $45 000 race four with favourite Unrighteous and the $47 000 race seven with another favourite Sniper Shot.

Michael Maker lies third with 12 wins while fourth placed Antonio Sano with 11 wins is the only other trainer in double figures.

Going off at odds of 4-5 under Panamanian jockey Luis Saez, R U Lucky stalked from third early on as 6-1 bet Gran Casique produced sharp splits of 22.42 seconds for the quarter and 45.28 for the half to set the pace.

Two-to-one choice Like You was set down behind the leader while Sweet Temptations also looked in contention.

Gran Casique left the final turn with the lead but Saez challenged with R U Lucky on the outside to grab the lead with a furlong to run but then fended off the fast-finishing Like You, to take the wire first.

The Gulfstream Park season runs from April 2 to September 29.


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