Horse For The Course Carotari Scores Janus Win On Gulfstream Turf - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Horse For The Course Carotari Scores Janus Win On Gulfstream Turf

William A. Branch's multiple stakes winner Carotari made a triumphant return to his favorite course, cruising to a front-running 1 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Janus at Gulfstream Park to open Friday's New Year's Eve program at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track.

The Janus for 3-year-olds and up sprinting five furlongs on the grass was the first of three $100,000 stakes on the card, followed by a pair of turf events – the 1 3/8-mile Via Borghese and five-furlong Abundantia, both for fillies and mares 3 and older.

Sent off the even-money favorite in a field of eight that featured four other stakes winners including Group 1 winner Extravagant Kid, Carotari ($4) broke from outside each of his seven rivals but was outrun early by 45-1 longshot Breakthrough until taking over the top spot after a quarter-mile in 23.22 seconds.

Championship Meet-leading jockey Luis Saez was able to steer Carotari toward the rail leaving the turn and set him down for a drive through the stretch as Extravagant Kid launched his bid on the outside of Yes I Am Free, with Smokin' Jay rallying up the inside. After running a half in 47.38 seconds, Carotari finished up in 59.07 over a firm course.

Extravagant Kid held on for second by a head over Smokin' Jay, with Yes I Am Free another neck back in fourth and Laurel Dash winner Xy Speed fifth. Carotari came into the Janus having snapped a four-race losing streak with a three-quarter-length allowance triumph Oct. 22 at Keeneland.

“It's good to get him back down here. It's a track he really seems to do well over during the winter,” winning trainer Brian Lynch said. “It's nice to get him back rolling. He came out of a good race at Keeneland. This was an ideal distance for him, ideal timing, so it's just neat to have him back on track. Now we've got a loaded horse for the winter down here.”

In five career tries over the Gulfstream turf, Carotari now owns four wins including prior stakes victories in the 2020 and 2021 Silks Run and a second in the 2020 World of Trouble Turf Sprint, beaten a neck by Grade 2 winner Texas Wedge.

Overall, the gelded 5-year-old son of 2005 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) winner Artie Schiller has eight wins from 24 career starts and topped $500,000 in purse earnings with the Janus victory.

“I think as he's gotten older he's getting better and better,” Lynch said. “I think this year coming up could be his best year. We're pretty excited about him.”

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