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Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

By Claire Novak, @BH_CNovak

Philly Ace closed with a good kick in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course & Casino Nov. 30, running down 9-5 favorite Hollinger to record his first graded stakes score on the Florida oval's closing day.

Coming off a third-place finish behind Boisterous and Lake Drop in the Nov. 3 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct Racetrack, the 4-year-old homebred Smart Strike gelding went 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.22 for Brushwood Stable and Christophe Clement, posting a half-length victory.

Meet-leading jockey Luis Saez gave the eventual winner the kind of ride that brought him frequently to the winner's circle this season at Calder. Hugging the hedge after a quick break from the one hole, Saez patiently settled his mount in fifth while Hollinger set opening fractions of :24.57 and :50.19 one length ahead of Empire Builder.

Through three-quarters in 1:14.64, Saez was able to improve his position along the rail to fourth, and when an opening presented itself turning for home, he wheeled his runner out to the three path and set down for the drive.

Philly Ace responded with a nimble turn of foot as they went a mile in 1:37.90, easily passed Empire Builder, and ran down the tiring leader with energy on the outside.

Sent off at odds of 3-1, Philly Ace returned $8.60, $4, and $2.60 while Hollinger brought $3.40 and $2.60. Empire Builder completed the trifecta with a $5.20 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Hoofit, Alley Oop Oop, Sleepless Knight, Good Better Best, Dannhauser, and Scorcher completed the order of finish. Citrus Kid and Mr. Irons scratched.

Philly Ace was bred in Pennsylvania by Brushwood out of the Polish Numbers mare Bloomy. The Tropical Turf victory improved his record to 7-2-2 from 14 starts, with earnings of $356,966.

With the completion of the Calder meet, racing in Florida moves across town to Gulfstream Park, where a Dec. 1 card kicks off with the Claiming Crown. 

For an Equibase chart, click here.


Philly Ace -Inside

Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

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