where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2009-03-28 17:22:15  

In a forceful show of power, Godolphin’s Two Step Salsa (image: DRC/Watkins)) and Gayego more than lived up to their status as favorites in the US$1 million Godolphin Mile, leaving the rest of the field behind them as they cantered down the stretch as much the best.

With Frankie Dettori in the irons, Two Step Salsa broke near the front from the four post and went head and head with English-based Cat Junior before claiming the early lead.

Turning for home, the American-bred Two Step Salsa put that rival away and sprinted for the wire with fellow American-bred and –raced Gayego in pursuit from the outside after starting from post 13.

Two Step Salsa’s early advantage proved too much for Gayego to overcome, however, and he and Dettori swept under the finish line for a 2¼-length victory, the first for Godolphin after the powerful stable of the Maktoum family had been blanked on the Dubai World Cup program for the last two years. Time for the race was 1:36.82.

“I was lucky that they allowed me a soft lead in front and nothing was snapping at my heels, but this is a good horse and he quickened up really well. I hoped I was on the right one and fortunately I was,” Dettori said.

“The winner just had that bit more foot,” said Gayego’s jockey Ted Durcan.

Godolphin’s win marked the eighth for the stable in 14 runnings of the Mile. Racing Manager Simon Crisford said both Two Step Salsa and Gayego would be returned to the United States for the Metropolitan Mile, a prestigious Grade 1 race at Belmont Park, this spring.

Crisford said both horses have been training well and that the post positions probably made the difference at the end.

Saudi Arabia’s representative Don Renato closed well to be third in the race under Wigberto Ramos, 1 ¾ lengths behind Gaygo and a short head in front of Summer Doldrums.

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