Florida-breds Cash In on $20,000 Top 3 FTBOA Bonus


Arindel homebred Octane made a dramatic return to Gulfstream Park Saturday with an imposing victory as the 4-5 favorite in the $100,000 Big Drama Handicap, winning by six-and-a-quarter lengths as the 124 high weight. Giving away between four and six pounds to his five rivals, the 5-year-old millionaire topped a Florida-bred trifecta in the seven-furlong contest for 3-year-olds and older with Loco Abarrio second and Shaq Diesel third.

The Big Drama purse included a $20,000 Top 3 Florida-bred bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Winning his second handicap in three starts after taking the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 24, Octane earned $59,035 including his $10,000 share of the FTBOA bonus. His career earnings now stand at $1,101,640

With Emisael Jaramillo aboard, Octane and fellow Florida-bred Ticking broke best of all in the seven-furlong contest before surrendering the lead to Vivir Con Alegria (Chi) for the run down the backstretch.

Jockey Edgar Perez guided Vivir Con Alegria to a length advantage through a quarter-mile split in :22.61 on the fast track. Octane raced behind him in second with Florida-breds Shaq Diesel and Loco Abarrio running together in third another length farther back.

Jaramillo cued Octane around the far turn and they shot past Vivir Con Alegria with ease as Loco Abarrio took second on the outside passing the quarter-mile marker.

Octane extended his lead in the stretch with little effort after a :45.51 half-mile and continued to run away from his rivals under mild encouragement from Jaramillo.

Vivir Con Alegria was fourth followed by Ticking and Collaborate. Mbagnick (Chi) was scratched.

“[Octane] broke very well. I wasn’t surprised because he has so much talent, but I was a little surprised about how fast he went to the lead because he was coming from longer races,” Jaramillo said. “I could have won wire-to-wire, but I knew there was a horse [Vivir Con Alegria] with a lot of speed inside, so I just waited.”

Octane returned $3.60 to win.

It was a successful rebound for Octane after finishing seventh in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap won by Skippylongstocking going a mile-and-an-eighth on April 20.

Octane improved his career record to nine wins in 20 starts with four seconds and a third. He is by Arindel stallion Brethren out of the winning Aldebarran mare Star Recruit. Star Recruit has produced three foals, all with Brethren, including multiple stakes-winner Gatsby and stakes-placed Jellybean. She was bred to Ocala Stud stallion Colonel Liam in 2023.

Return to the May 25 issue of Wire to Wire