BY GULFSTREAM PARK PRESS OFFICE
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—Arindel homebred multiple stakes-winner Octane added to his resume with another big performance against fellow Florida-breds, surging past favored Dean Delivers turning for home and keeping Big and Classy at bay late to capture Saturday’s $100,000 Gil Campbell Memorial Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
The one-mile Campbell Memorial, for registered Florida-bred 3-year-olds and older, served to support the co-featured $200,000 Affirmed and $200,000 Susan’s Girl, the second legs of the $2.2 million FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series.
Making his 15th career start and first since finishing sixth in the June 17 Grade 3 Salvator Mile won by Petulante on June 17 at Monmouth Park, Octane covered the distance in 1:36.18 over a fast main track under jockey Edgard Zayas. It was Octane’s fourth stakes win including winning the $200,000 Affirmed and $400,000 In Reality of the 2021 Florida Sire Stakes series.
Octane paid $13.80 to win.
“He had been so good as a 2-year-old and if you look at him, he’s not the biggest horse. He had run a bunch of races in a row. At that time, the races were a lot closer,” Arindel racing manager Brian Cohen said. “We sent him up to Monmouth for the stake and at that point we sent him back to the farm to just give him some time. He came back and started training and our plan was we were going to run in an allowance and if he [won] the allowance, we’d try one of the stakes in December.
“And, since we don’t have Clapton anymore, maybe he could be our Pegasus horse. We always wanted to try and have a Pegasus horse,” he added. “The way he was training we thought, it’s Sire Stakes day. Maybe the mile was going to be tough, but the way he was training and just knowing him, and having Edgard available, we figured we’d try.”
Octane settled in third as Boca Boy, sent off at 45-1, led the group of eight older horses through a quarter-mile in :23.61 pressed to her inside by 6-5 favorite Dean Delivers, winner of the July 1 Grade 3 Smile Sprint on July 1 at Gulfstream and was racing for the first time since his third in the July 29 Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt won by Elite Power on July 29 at Saratoga.
The half went in :45.83 as Dean Delivers forged a short lead and Octane began to roll on the outside. The 4-year-old gelding by Arindel stallion Brethren got up on even terms straightening for home and drew off through the lane as Big and Classy, an eight-time winner this year, came running late. Big Daddy Dave got up for third with The Skipper Too fourth and Slim Slow Slider fifth.
Octane, Big and Classy and Big Daddy Dave are all Florida Sire Stakes eligible and split a $50,000 bonus from the FTBOA paid on a 60%-30%-10% schedule.
“He drew perfectly. The track seems to be playing kind of speedy and it wasn’t too crazy a pace for him. As soon as we got to paddock, he was on his toes and he was ready to go. I thought he was going to get out and go too fast. He’s such a gamer. We’re just happy and hope we can have a good winter with him.”
Cohen said the $150,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) Dec. 30 at Gulfstream—local prep for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitatonal (G1) on Jan. 27—could be a possibility for Octane.
“As big as he ran, we may have to give him a little more time and look at the big race at the end of December as a Pegasus prep,” Cohen said. “Had he run and maybe not won, he won the Sire Stakes race at Tampa [last year] maybe we would have been thinking about that. But maybe we keep him here and we go for the Pegasus prep.”
Octane has now earned $671,380 from seven wins in 13 starts with three seconds and a third. He is out of the Aldebaran mare Star Recruit, who has also produced Florida-bred stakes-winner Gatsby and stakes-placed Jellybean, both a full brothers to Octane. She was bred to Uncle Chuck, who stands at Journeyman Stud, in 2022 and Ocala Stud stallion Colonel Liam in 2023.
— Brock Sheridan contributed to this article
Return to Oct. 21 issue of Wire to Wire