Champion Main Sequence prevailed in his 2015 debut on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the Mac Diarmida Stakes (Photo by Lauren King/Gulfstream Park)
Explosive. Freakish. Powerful.
There was no shortage of adjectives to aptly describe champion Main Sequence’s dominant return to the racetrack on Saturday in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream Park, where he overwhelmed familiar rival Twilight Eclipse in the stretch.
The pace was leisurely early, which figured to benefit Twilight Eclipse, who stalked front-running Change of Command from second into the stretch.
Main Sequence was reserved near the back of the field early by jockey Rajiv Maragh before he was angled to the outside approaching the final turn, but there was plenty of ground to make up in the stretch when Twilight Eclipse seized command.
For just a couple of strides it looked like Twilight Eclipse, who finished behind Main Sequence in each of the champion’s four victories in 2014, might turn the tables on his familiar foe. But with a just a couple of ground-devouring strides Main Sequence inhaled Twilight Eclipse and surged past to win by three-quarters of a length as the 7-to-10 favorite.
Main Sequence completed 1 3/8 miles in 2:15.06 for his fifth win in five U.S. starts. Trained by Graham Motion, the Flaxman Holdings homebred six-year-old gelding won all four of his races in 2014, including a season-ending triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, en route to Eclipse Awards as champion turf male and champion older male.
“It’s a bit of a relief to get this race over; he ran a huge race today,” Motion said. “Rajiv did a great job getting him to the outside. We were a little concerned about getting boxed in since he was the horse to beat.”
The Mac Diarmida victory should set Main Sequence up nicely for a planned start in the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic on the March 28 Dubai World Cup card.
Runner-up Twilight Eclipse, a multiple Grade 2 winner who won the Mac Diarmida in 2014, finished 1 ¼ lengths clear of Change of Command.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
MAIN SEQUENCE SEIZES COMMAND
Photo by Leslie Martin/Gulfstream Park