Gulfstream Park, 7th Race - Feb. 8, 2007
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla -- Corinthian returned to the scene of his biggest disappointment to turn in the most impressive performance of his short career, drawing off to a convincing 9 1/2-length victory over the 2006 Belmont Stakes winner, Jazil, in Thursday's $48,000 co-feature at Gulfstream Park.
Corinthian was disqualified from first and placed third for taking an erratic path through the stretch 11 months ago in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes here. A son of Pulpit, Corinthian suffered a hairline fracture of his left hind ankle in the race and made only one more start during his 3-year-old campaign, which ended in late July.
Corinthian launched his latest comeback Thursday under second-level allowance conditions. After breaking alertly, the usually high-strung Corinthian stalked the early pace of King of Jazz before taking the lead on the far turn. Corinthian repulsed a bid from Jazil midway around the second bend, then, after bearing out into the stretch, drew off with complete authority while kept under steady pressure by jockey Javier Castellano.
Corinthian's final time of 1:48.04 was just .25 of a second off the 1o1/8-mile track record set by Brass Hat in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in February of last year.
"He was good in the paddock, and getting him to the gate so well today is a big thing for him," said Jerkens, who trains Corinthian for Centennial Farms.
Jerkens said Corinthian could return in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap, on March 3.