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Upset hands Joseph feature in hat-trick of stakes wins


Upset hands Joseph feature in hat-trick of stakes wins
Barbados-born trainer Saffie Joseph Jr (GP) - FP

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HALLANDALE BEACH – Saffie Joseph Jr produced an upset in the feature Crown Jewel Starter Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday when 10-1 shot Twelve Volt Man won the U.S. $125 000 claiming event, to lead a hat-trick of added-money victories for the young Barbadian trainer.

Joseph, 34, dominated the 11-race card at the south Florida oval, also registering successes in the U.S. $75 000 Crown Express Starter Stakes in race five with 4-1 choice Face of Victory and in the U.S. $95 000 Tiara Starter Stakes in race six with 3-1 bet Sugar Fix.

Joseph’s other entrant Girolamo’s Attack entered the Crown Jewel as the hot favourite, but finished a disappointing seventh, as stablemate Twelve Volt Man unexpectedly took the honours.

“It’s an amazing day,” Joseph said. “You come into these races, and you can have thirds and fourths and go home with no wins afterwards.

“After we got the first one, I was thankful. Then, the second one happened. Then, we got a hard beat and got the third one. All the horses showed up.”

Girolamo’s Attack, who won the Miami Beach Handicap two weeks ago at this track, bumped with 30-1 long-shot Hard Lightning at the start and was never really a factor, especially after finding himself starved for racing room on the backstretch.

Girolamo’s Attack got beat. He doesn’t like to be behind horses and dirt,” Joseph said.

Going 1 800 metres for the three-year-olds and upward, 38-1 longshot Mo Hawk stormed through the half, producing fractions of 23.83 seconds for the quarter and 47.58 for the half.

Ludington and Hanalei’s Houdini disputed second with Tune In fourth, as jockey Edwin Gonzalez sat Twelve Volt Man off the pace in mid-pack.

Hanalei’s Houdini led inside the last 200 metres, but Gonzalez drove his three-year-old chestnut gelding up the rails to win by three-quarters of a length in one minute, 49.92 seconds.

“I had a really good trip. I was saving ground around the first two turns. This is a really big horse,” Gonzalez said.

“After the first time I rode the horse when he broke his maiden, I said to Saffie that this horse wants to go long. At the half-mile, I followed the horse that finished second.

“At the quarter pole, when Paco [Lopez aboard Hanalei’s Houdini] moved, I moved with him. He drifted out with me and then I took my horse back inside and I think that won the race.”

Joseph, who won the Spring/Summer and Fall trainers’ titles this year at Gulfstream, earlier notched his first stakes success in the Crown Express when go-to rider Edgard Zayas paired with seven-year-old chestnut gelding Face of Victory to beat the three-year-old and upwards by 1 1/4 lengths in a six-furlong sprint.

Joseph also tasted success in the very next race when Zayas guided four-year-old bay filly Sugar Fix to another 1 1/4 length victory over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares going 1 700 metres.

Joseph agonisingly missed out on a fourth win when his 8-1 entrant Our Fantasy, with Zayas aboard, finished second by a head bob to 8-1 choice Sweet Willemina, in the U.S. $80 000 Crown Glass Slipper Stakes in race seven.