BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Florida-bred Damon’s Mound produced his second straight score against added-money company Saturday as the Florida-bred colt won the Grade 2 Gallant Bob at Parx Racing by a determined length-and-a-quarter over a sloppy and sealed six furlongs. It was also the first graded score for the Michelle Lovell-trained colt, who won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in his second career start in August of last year.
Damon’s Mound, who won the $350,000 Robert Hilton Memorial by two lengths on Aug. 25 at Charles Town in his last start, became first Florida-bred since Firenze Fire in 2018 to win the $400,000 Gallant Bob, which this year featured a field of nine 3-year-olds.
Sent to the post as the 9-5 favorite with Junior Alvarado aboard, Damon’s Mound broke well from post four before settling into third, about two lengths behind 5-2 second choice Ryvit and 13-1 shot Sir Lancelot, who raced together through a first quarter-mile in :21.68.
Ryvit took a momentary lead around the far turn before Damon’s Mound, with Nautical Star to his outside, went to the front while finishing the half-mile in :45.29.
Ryvit could not keep up turning for home, but Nautical Star continued to challenge until just inside the furlong pole when Damon’s Mound began to draw off and won with a clear lead in 1:10.24. Nautical Star held second, three-and-a-half lengths in front of Gordian Knot in third. Ninetypercentmaddie, Ryvit, Dreaming of Kona, Depoli, Praetorian Guard and Sir Lancelot completed the order of finish. Freedom Road was scratched.
Damon’s Mound paid $5.60 to win.
The victory confirmed a return to form for Damon’s Mound, who before the Robert Hilton had gone more than 12 months and five starts without a victory after winning the Saratoga Special. He has now won four of nine career starts with one second while earning $601,700 for owners Cliff and Michele Love of Friendswood, Tx.
“I’m very happy with the win [by Damon’s Mound] and just happy he’s healthy and running well,” Love said.
Bred by Cliff Love, Damon’s Mound is the first foal out of the multiple stakes-winning mare San Antonio Stroll, by the Prime Minister. Love recently sold San Antonio Stroll while in foal to Ocala Stud stallion Roadster for $175,000 in the Fasig-Tipton August Digital Sale. San Antonio Stroll, a fifth-generation broodmare from Love’s longtime Thoroughbred breeding program, was purchased by fellow Texas horseman and Florida breeder Brad Grady in the name of Girvin’s Girls. Grady is the owner of Girvin, named for Grady’s hometown in Texas, and owns the Grand Oaks Equine Training Center in Reddick, Fla.
“I’ve thrilled that Brad Grady bought [San Antonio Stroll],” Love said.
The Love’s have several full-siblings to Damon’s Mound including a 2-year-old unraced filly, Moon Mist, an unnamed yearling colt and a weanling filly.
Return to Sept. 23 issue of Wire to Wire