Lure Him In, Octane, The Skipper Too Each Earn FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Top 3 Bonus


Lure Him In pounced on 1-2 favorite Octane around the far turn but had to fight that rival for the entirety of the short stretch to win the $95,000 Sunshine Classic at Gulfstream Park Saturday. Octane finished second in the field of seven older Florida-breds who went a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the main track.

Included in the $55,570 Sunshine Classic winner’s check earned by Lure Him In was a $10,000 Top 3 Florida Sire Stakes bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association. Octane earned a $6,000 Top 3 FSS bonus to push his second-place check to $20,700 while third-place finisher The Skipper Too picked up $4,000 in FSS Top 3 Bonus money for a $11,350 payday.

Slim Slow Slider was fourth followed, in order, by Cashier Check, Khozeiress and Granted Success.

Lure Him In and jockey Edwin Gonzalez were sixth, less than four lengths behind Octane after the half-mile in :47.70 with longshot Granted Success tracking in second and Cashier Check another half-length back in third. Octane and jockey Edgard Zayas continued to lead around the far turn as Lure Him In circled the field while three-wide to challenge for the lead with a quarter-mile to the finish.

Lure Him In took a short lead on the outside turning for home before Octane battled back on the rail for a half-length lead approaching the eighth pole. But Lure Him In came back at Octane inside the final furlong to put a nose in front under the wire and finish in a final time of 1:43.22 on the fast track.

Sent to the post at 7-1, Lure Him In paid $16.20 to win.

Lure Him In is trained by Herman Wilensky for Double B Racing Stables and the 6-year-old gelding won for the eighth time in 41 career starts with eight seconds and seven thirds with earnings of $468,658. Lure Him In won the 2022 Sunshine Turf and was fourth in last year’s Sunshine Turf won by Roaring Forties when racing for different connections.

“We thought we would be sitting closer early. [Octane] came out sending early and we didn’t break as good as we thought we would,” Wilensky’s son and assistant, Sam Wilensky, said. “We ran the longest race. We were four and five wide on the turn and still had enough horse left to win the race.”

Lure Him In had been running on turf or synthetics when he was claimed by Wilensky and Double B Racing for $40,000 in September at Del Mar.

Wilensky returned him to Gulfstream Park and immediately put back on the dirt where he captured an upper level, $62,500 optional claiming going a mile on Nov. 25 at Gulfstream. He then got caught wide when ninth in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday won by O’Connor (Chi) going a mile-and-a-sixteenth in his last start on Dec. 30.

“It looked a little rough at first. We claimed him for $40,000 and he ran second to last that day,” Wilensky said.

“In our eyes, he’s not necessarily a turf horse. He runs on anything. The turf may not be his thing, especially out there at Del Mar. It was nice to get him back on the dirt here and not run 11-wide like we did in the Harlan’s Holiday.”

Lure Him In is by Journeyman Stud’s leading Florida sire Khozan out of Alluring Lady, by Indygo Shiner and was bred in Florida by Stonehedge LLC. Lure Him In is the second foal and only black-type winner for Alluring Lady, who has three winners from four starters. Lure Him In has a 2-year-old, unraced full sister, Wink of an Eye; and an unnamed yearling full sister. Alluring Lady was bred to Khozan in 2023 and is a second-generation product bred by the late Gilbert G. Campbell, who later bred under his Stonehedge banner.

Campbell bred Alluring Lady’s dam, Queen Kaboom, by Sword Dance (Ire), and purchased her second dam, the future graded stakes-placed Terrible Terri T., for $30,000 out of the Lasater Farm consignment at the 1983 Florida Breeders Sales Company Hialeah Sale of Selected Two Year Olds in Training.

Return to the Jan. 20 issue of Wire to Wire