Cloud Harbor Claims Arapahoe Closer

Category : News - Thu 22/08/2013 - 09:21 EDT

After following up a convincing maiden score with a win in the Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes, it was only natural that Fast But Furious drew the lion’s share of the win money going into Sunday’s Gold Rush Futurity Stakes at Arapahoe Park. The Justin Gleason-trainee staked his claim as the best two-year-old on the grounds this summer, and seemed a good bet to run his record to a perfect three-for-three.  Overlooked in the Arapahoe meet’s closing feature, however, was a shipper from New Mexico.

A longshot despite impressive maiden win 

Cloud Harbor had also been impressive in his career debut, winning a maiden special weight race at Ruidoso Downs by six lengths his first time out. As an unknown factor at Arapahoe, he left the gate for the $100,000, six-furlong Gold Rush as a 21-1 longshot, and hit the wire just over a minute later as a stakes winner, combining with 11-1 Ima Happy Strike for a $580 exacta payoff. Although Fast But Furious set the early pace, he couldn’t sustain his bid and finished fifth in the 12-horse field.

Top two duel all the way through the stretch 

Sent out to a fourth-place stalking position by jockey Enrique Gomez, Cloud Harbor was never more than a length off the hotly contested lead through the first half mile. Coming to the top of the stretch, Gomez found a hole on the rail and sent Cloud Harbor through. Responding willingly, he hooked up with Ima Happy Strike, and the two pulled away from the field. With Ima Happy Strike having come in from Lone Star Park, it was a battle of the shippers, and Cloud Harbor prevailed in the end by a length, while Da Bulldozer got up for the show.

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