MIAMI GARDENS – New Jersey invader Speak Logistics was no surprise to those wagering on the In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes going off as the 9-5 favorite, but he and jockey Angel Serpa certainly bewildered their nine rivals on their way to winning the $300,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Casino and Race Course Saturday.
Sent right to the lead from post two, Speak Logistics and Serpa cruised on the lead from start to finish, leading the pack by one and-a-half to two lengths through fractions of :25.16 for the first two furlongs, :50.82 for the half-mile and six furlongs in 1:15.62. Two T’s At Two B, winner of the six furlong Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes in July, chased in second throughout with Uptown Anthem in third and that order did not change as they crossed the wire in 1:47.79 for the 1 1⁄16 miles over a track rated good. The final margin of victory was two and three quarter lengths back to Two T’s At Two B in second and another five and three-quarter lengths to Uptown Anthem.
It was the second win from three starts for Speak Logistics who broke his maiden in his second race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., on Aug. 12. After his first win, trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. sent his colt by the Ocala Stud stallion High Cotton to Calder to adjust to the south Florida weather and the Calder racing surface.
“Mr. Nabavi lives in New York and likes to see his horses run,” Plesa explained when asked why the Florida-bred Speak Logistics had been running at Monmouth Park over the summer. “Even though I knew he was eligible for the Stallion Stakes and I knew in the back of my mind he was a good horse, we kept him back there until about a month before this race when we brought him here to Calder.”
That training proved to be the successful formula as Speak Logistics earned $176,700 for the victory and pushed his career earnings to $202,700. And like the wagering public, Plesa and Serpa felt good about winning the In Reality long before they approached the wire.
“When they went 25 and change I felt comfortable that if he was going to get beat, he was going to get beat by a better horse. It wasn’t going to be circumstances,” Plesa said.
“I knew from the last time when I won with him in Jersey that he could take the lead so easy and set the pace like he did today,” Serpa said. “And nobody tried to stay close to me. And when he gets in front like that, he’s like another horse. Once I was on the lead so easy, I knew I had the race won. When I started to ask him at the quarter pole, he moved like he was breaking from the gate; like nothing. I asked him a little when we turn for home, but only because he’s a young horse and it’s good to try and teach them new things.”
While the victory seemed calculated by the trainer and the jockey, the best story may have been for owner Ralph Nabavi of New York City who won his first stakes race with the In Reality victory after owning thoroughbreds for approximately seven years he said.
“I think more people should get into horse racing,” Nabavi said with emotion after the race. “Everybody deserves to feel like this once in their life. I’ve been playing horses since I was 14 and I’ve had horses with [trainer] Eddie [Plesa] for about seven years. I just don’t want this feeling to go away.”
Speak Logistics was bred in Florida by Centaur Farms Inc. and he is by the Ocala Stud stallion High Cotton. He is also a graduate of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company April Sale of Two Year Olds In Training where he sold for $62,000 from the consignment of Derby Daze Farm.
Speak Logistics paid $5.60 to those many who wagered two dollars to win, $4.00 to place and $2.80 to show. Two T’s At Two B paid $4.20 and $3.20 while Uptown Anthem paid $5.00 to show.
Although Plesa said he was not thinking about the Breeders’ Cup for Speak Logistics, he would not rule out going to Southern California for one of the juvenile races.
“I’m not really thinking about the Breeders’ Cup but we’ll take a look at this race and see if the numbers are something exceptional. Then we might consider it.”
Photo by Coady