Spot rallies to win Swale Stakes at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Spot rallied from fifth place to beat favorite No Nay Never by 2-1/2 lengths Saturday in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Racing for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, Spot, ridden by Jose Lezcano, ran seven furlongs in 1:22.44 on the track listed as fast. He earned $120,000 of the $200,000 purse and paid $21 to win.
Brothersofthetime finished third in the six-horse field.
Havana, a possible favorite, was scratched several hours before the race after trainer Todd Pletcher found a quarter crack in a hoof.
Zito took over the training of Spot in early February after Curtis Green sold the horse to Joseph Moss. James Diioto trained Spot in his first five races, winning once.
”I decided to run him in this race because I thought it might be a short field with Havana,” Zito said. ”I figured he would keep out of trouble, and it worked perfectly.”
In the Palm Beach Stakes, Gala Award beat Mr. Speaker by a half-length. Storming Inti finished third, a neck back in the 1-1/8 mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds.
Gala Award won in 1:46.19 under jockey John Velazquez. He paid $18 to win. Pletcher trains Gala Award, who won his first stakes and his second race in three overall starts.