Double Crown Wins Stakes Debut In Gulfstream's Roar - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Double Crown Wins Stakes Debut In Gulfstream’s Roar

Double Crown and jockey Cristian Torres give trainer Kathy Ritvo her second victory in the Roar Stakes

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's Double Crown took the lead in mid-stretch and withstood both a late run from Grade 2 winner Green Light Go and a jockey's objection to capture his stakes debut in Saturday's $75,000 Roar at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The 6 ½-furlong Roar for 3-year-olds was the first of three stakes worth $250,000 on the program, followed by the $75,000 Powder Break for fillies and mares 3 and up and the $100,000 Musical Romance for Florida-bred females 3 and older sprinting seven furlongs.

Bred in Maryland and purchased by Dean and Patti Reeves following his debut victory last fall at Laurel Park, Double Crown ($7.60) completed the distance in 1:16.57 over a fast main track. It was just the third career start for the Bourbon Courage gelding, returning from a 231-day layoff to be second against older horses April 26 at Gulfstream.

“He's coming along and doing well,” winning trainer Kathy Ritvo said. “We were just hoping he'd run to how he was training. He's been doing so good. It was a big improvement last time and I'm not really sure he loved the mud, but he still ran good. He just loves to run.”

Breaking from Post 3 in a field of six, Double Crown settled in fourth under apprentice Cristian Torres, as Cajun Cassanova, a two-time turf stakes winner, ran the first quarter in a brisk 22.39 seconds pressed by Green Light Go, the 3-5 favorite.

Cajun Cassanova and Green Light Go were still leading the way through a half in 45.19, when Double Crown budged his way between stakes-winning stablemate Ournationonparade to his outside and Green Light Go for a challenging position. Once straightened for home, Torres set Double Crown for a drive to the wire when Cajun Cassanova appeared to drift slightly off the rail and squeeze Green Light Go into Double Crown, who took a step inward.

“I was just hoping that he could hold on. It looked like Cristian was pretty confident though,” Ritvo said. “I was really happy.”

Double Crown continued to power toward the wire as Green Light Go and jockey Luis Saez threatened to his inside, only to come up a half-length short. Hutcheson Stakes winner With Verve got up for third, followed by Ournationonparade, Cajun Cassanova and Ricki Ticki Taffi.

It was the second career stakes win for Torres and the second Roar victory for Ritvo, who also took the 2017 edition with the Reeves' Classic Rock.

“We had a good trip, everything I planned. He broke sharp and I settled behind the horse I had to beat. When I asked him to run and got him in the clear, he responded very nicely,” Torres said. “When he passed the horse he started to go in, but I corrected him right away and got him straight. He finished strong.”

Torres, the leading apprentice during Gulfstream's 2019-2020 Championship Meet with 39 wins, rode without his five-pound weight allowance as required in stakes races.

“Today was going to be my last day with the bug, but I got an extension with the coronavirus situation,” he said. “I have it two or three more weeks.”

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