Hidden Brook Florida Grad Carotari Impresses in Turf Sprint Preview Stakes

Monday, August 3, 2020

Under heady handling from jockey Julian Leparoux, Carotari stalked and pounced his way to his second career stakes victory when he ran down High Crime in late stretch to prevail by a length over Tiger Blood in the $100,000 Preview Turf Sprint at Ellis Park.

The 4-year-old gelded son of Artie Schiller had only been worse than third once in his last six starts, a level of consistency noted by the betting public who sent him off at 3-1 odds. As High Crime and Johnny Unleashed raced side by side through an opening quarter-mile in :21.78, Carotari sat just off those two in fourth with Hollis to his inside.

He's one of several recent stakes winners to emerge from the famed Hidden Brook Florida training center (pictured right).

As the field reached the far turn, Leparoux started asking his mount for some more punch and the two launched a three-wide bid coming into the lane. With Johnny Unleashed weakening from his earlier exploits, Carotari took aim on that one and promptly left him in his wake before rolling on by High Crime to hit the wire in 1:04.76 for 5 ½ furlongs over a course rated soft.

“We had a great trip. We sat behind the speed on the outside,” Leparoux said. “He was traveling good. The track is pretty soft. He struggled a little bit coming to the turn but he finished up strong. He tried hard and we got there.”

Tiger Blood rallied from last in the seven-horse field to get up for place honors by a head over High Crime, who held third over Tell Your Daddy.

Trained by Brian Lynch for owner William Branch, Carotari opened his 2020 campaign with a runner-up finish in the World of Trouble Turf Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 25. The bay gelding got over the stakes hump next time out when he took the Silks Run at Gulfstream on March 7 and came into his Ellis Park test off a third-place finish in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on June 27.

“Couldn’t have been happier with him,” Lynch said by phone. “I was a bit concerned; I didn’t think he’d be a big fan of a bit of cut in the ground. But Julien gave him a fantastic ride. Full credit to the 1 (High Crime). I thought the 1 ran great. Got lucky to run him down in the late stages. But Carotari’s effort was fantastic. His last race was good, but we thought there was a little bit left there that he didn’t show up. But he sure found it today.”

Lynch said Carotari would point for the $700,000, Grade 3 Turf Sprint Sept. 12 at Kentucky Downs.

Carotari was bred in Kentucky by Tom Evans and Pam Clark out of the Rahy mare Soother and improved his record to five wins from 15 career starts with $311,018 in earnings.

- edited from www.thepressboxlts.com