October 04, 2014

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) It was Sing Praises' turn to win again. And for trainer Stanley Gold, it was a clean sweep.

Sing Praises edged Royal Squeeze in a photo finish to win the $350,000 In Reality Division on Saturday, the sixth and final event in the summer-long $1.4 million Sire Stakes series for Florida-bred 2-year-old colts and fillies at Gulfstream Park.

Sing Praises won the first race of the colt portion of the series in August, then was beaten last month by Twotwentyfive A - another promising 2-year-old trained by Gold.

But on Saturday, Sing Praises was back on top.

''It's nice,'' Gold said. ''I'll take it. It's nice. It's usually short-lived, so we'll take it while it's here.''

Winning in the Sire Stakes series isn't short-lived for Gold. He has 16 wins in the series, extending his trainer record, though wasn't sure Sing Praises got to the line first after Royal Squeeze was hard-charging in the final furlong.

The photo told the story: Sing Praises by a nose, returning $13.80 for the win.

''I couldn't tell,'' Gold said of the finish. ''Looking at the other one, his head was higher up and ours was lower down and I couldn't tell. I'm always doom and gloom in those situations, unless it's obvious. So I was happily surprised.''

The Sire Stakes has distances progressively stretched out from six furlongs to seven furlongs and ultimately Saturday's trips of 11/16 miles.

In the final leg of the Sire Stakes' filly series, Holywell won for the third time in five career starts, holding off Moment of Delight by 1 1/4 lengths to prevail in the $350,000 My Dear Girl Division.

A strong rainstorm was pounding Gulfstream during that race, with a few claps of thunder. Holywell wasn't bothered; she went to the front early and never gave back the lead, returning $10.20 for the win.

''We were on the rail and we broke good,'' said jockey Orlando Bocachica, who was also aboard Holywell when she won by a nose at Gulfstream on Sept. 6 and paid $85.60 for that upset. ''And we were never able to slow it down. ... We were never in trouble.''

Moment of Delight, the 3-2 favorite at post time, was nine lengths ahead of Awesome Ice for the place spot.

Saturday was the final day of live racing for the summer season at Gulfstream. Racing in South Florida shifts to Gulfstream Park West, formerly known as Calder, with 123 horses entered on Wednesday's opening day card there.

Racing is scheduled at Gulfstream Park West through Nov. 30.

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