Owner and trainer Gregory D. Sacco's OCEANS MAP endured a wide trip throughout Monday's $75K Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware Park, but rallied determinedly in the final furlong to seize the lead and kick clear late to be first under the wire.
The win gave OCEAN'S MAP his first career stakes victory, and gave Sacco redemption from the previous defeat.
"His last race, the United Nations, was a sneaky good race." said Sacco. "In that race we gave Isaac (Castillo) the wrong instructions. We told him to take him back and he fought him against some of the best turf horses in the country. So off that race we knew a mile and a half would not be an issue and he likes the turf at Delaware. He broke his maiden here and also has a nice second. So we told Isaac to ride his race."
Sent off at odds of $5.90-to-win, and ridden by jockey Isaac Castillo, OCEAN'S MAP broke out on top and was permitted to settle into stride, easing toward the rear of the field while pacesetter REAL FACTOR pushed the opening quarters in 24.08, 48.71. It was a lively pace for the twelve furlong journey. They clocked three quarters in 1:13.31.
"We knew some horses were going to go and we also knew the pace was going to be hot, but we just did not want him to fight him, so we told him to drop his hands and settle him. When Isaac asked him, he really responded." Sacco clarified.
Turning for home, Castillo pushed the button and OCEAN'S MAP fired up from the back of the pack to join the leaders. He was swung four-wide into the stretch, with a full head of steam under him. REAL FACTOR and CIBOLIAN produced their rallies and tried to make a race of it, but OCEAN'S MAP had the better momentum. He struck the front and kicked clear late to win by 1 1/2 lengths. REAL FACTOR nosed out CIBOLIAN for the second spot. The final time for the 1 1/2 miles was 2:26.53.
OCEAN'S MAP paid $13.80 to win, $7.00 to place, and $4.60 to show. He is by LIAM'S MAP out of PART THE SEAS by STORMY ATLANTIC. He earned his first stakes victory, pushed his earnings to $173,980, and produced a new top speed figure for the effort.
"This stakes win is pretty special because my son (Will) and I picked him out together at the sale for $10,000," said winning trainer Gregory Sacco. "It is nice because he is a pretty will bred horse that was relatively inexpensive who was a chubby nutty horse at the sale. He has come a long way since then."
"I cannot be any happier to be here with my son for this stakes win." (Delaware Park)
Source: Equibase, Delaware Park
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