FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Habits Secret Pulls Off Big Upset In Sunday’s Sawgrass Stakes
1-5 Favorite Daytona B Settles For Third-Place Dead Heat After Hopping At Start
Hialeah, FL / February 7, 2016 – When 1-5 betting favorite Daytona B, winner of the 2015 Bank of America Challenge Championship and the opening day Bienvenido de Nuevo Stakes, hopped in the air at the start, the seemingly remote possibility of an upset became an imminent reality in Sunday’s $26,500 Sawgrass Stakes.
And the comebacker Habits Secret, hero of the 2013 South Florida Quarter Horse Derby and a winner in his return to Hialeah Park on January 18, seized advantage of Daytona B’s trouble to post the upset victory.
Cristian Esqueda rode Habits Secret, trained by Sergio Concepcion for owner Ricardo Martinez, to victory by a neck over Eyesa Famous Eagle. A half-length behind the runner-up, Daytona B settled for a third-place dead heat with longshot Parti Favor.
The winner, a six-year-old son of No Secrets Here (First Down Dash)-Habitual Dreamer bred in California by the Vessels Stallion Farm, covered the 440 yards of the Sawgrass in 21.596 seconds to earn $16,960 in purse money.
FAVORED FIRE TOPS SOUTH FLORIDA QUARTER HORSE DERBY TRIALS, ALL EIGHT FROM FIRST HEAT QUALIFY
Favored Fire, ridden by Francisco Raul Ramirez, Jr. and trained by Yoani Abreu for owner/breeder Luis Miguel Albores-Gleason, posted the fastest qualifying time for the February 28 South Florida Quarter Horse Derby with a time of 21.279 seconds for the American Quarter Horse classic distance of 440 yards.
Favored Fire and the seven runners who finished behind him in the first of four trial heats all qualified for “the money run” in three weeks. Ec Jet One and Sprinster, the 1-2 finishers in the final trial, were the only two horses of the 23 other hopefuls to crack the Top 10.
ATTENDANCE AND HANDLE NUMBERS STAY SOLID, HIALEAH PARK ENDS 7TH WEEK WITH MONDAY PROGRAM
With the skies clear and the temperatures warm, Hialeah Park hosted some 1,853 fans for the Sunday festivities. The on-track patrons wagered a total of $52,411 and the all-sources handle totaled out at $412,860.
Hialeah Park closes out the seventh week of its 10-week 2015-16 live racing season with an eight-race card on Monday February 8. First post is at 12:35 PM ET, parking and admission are always free of charge.
JOHN HERNANDEZ / DIRECTOR OF RACING NEWS & PUBLICITY
Jhernandez@hialeahpark.com / (305) 885-8000
Hialeah Park –“The World’s Most Beautiful Race Course”– is one of Miami’s most iconic destinations.
For more information, please call 305-885-8000 or visit www.hialeahpark.com