The rain-soaked turf course was a bit of a bog on Saturday at Gulfstream.
It proved to be no problem for Bricks and Mortar, who won the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, the nation’s richest turf race.
With champion jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, the 5-year-old horse rolled to a 2 1/2 length victory over Magic Wand in the 1 3/16-mile stakes.
“Irad rode him beautiful,” said winning trainer Chad Brown.
Making just his eighth career start, Bricks and Mortar proved superior over a field of more experienced horses.
Bricks and Mortar’s suffered a potential career-ending injury more than a year go. He was out of action from October of 2017 to Dec. 22 of last year when he returned with a victory in a race at Gulfstream.
“There was a lot of teamwork, a lot of patience,” Brown said of the horse’s recovery. “When you go into a race this big, take a gamble. It paid off today.”
Bricks and Mortar was sent off at odds of as the 5-2 second choice.
Yoshida, the 2-1 favorite, finished sixth in the field of 10.
Here’s a name to remember for the future: Hidden Scroll.
The 3-year-old turned in an eye-popping 14-length win in his first career race, tearing through brisk opening fractions and pulling away for a victory over a sloppy track that left Gulfstream buzzing.
Hidden Scroll, who was ridden by Joel Rosario, is trained by Bill Mott for Juddmonte Farms and could be a colt to be reckoned with in the races leading up to the Kentucky Derby.
“It’s not a fluke, I don’t think,” Mott said of whether the off going benefitted his horse relative to the others in the field. “He can run.”
Mott said he has not yet mapped out a schedule for the colt.
“When they’re that impressive, it makes it a little tough,” Mott said of deciding on the colt’s next race, whether it be a stakes or an allowance. “You hate to blow them up doing too much too early. I don’t want to ruin him. That’s the last thing I want to do.”
Total wagering handle for Saturday’s card was $37.7 million from all outlets, both on track and off.
That figure was down about 10 percent from last year. But dreary conditions likely suppressed Saturday’s crowd and scratches due to three races being taken off the turf reduced betting fields.
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