Sunday, September 09, 2012
Five Star Racing LLC's Groushy Apadana, a $5,000 claimer as recently as April 17, scored his first stakes victory in Sunday's 7-furlong, $50,000 E.T. Springer Stakes (R) for New Mexico-breds at The Downs at Albuquerque.
Prepped by Michael Valdez and ridden by Enrique Garcia, Groushy Apadana dueled with Agiba Yulla through fractions of :22.50 and :44.18 before reaching the wire in 1:22.00. The 7-year-old bay gelding's margin of victory was three-quarters of a length from Lesters Secret.
“I had a lot of horse under me in the stretch,” said Garcia, who also rode Groushy Apadana to a neck victory in a 6 1/2-furlong, $5,000 claiming race for state-breds at Sunland Park on April 17. “He ran strong down the stretch. I didn't have to ask him for very much.”
Groushy Apadana was bred by Hatfield Farms LLC. The gelding became the first stakes winner sired by Mr. Groush, a New York-bred 1994 foal by Crafty Prospector who won the 1997 Alabama Derby (G3) at Louisiana Downs and ran third in that season's Grade 2 Ohio Derby at Thistledown Racecourse. Mr. Groush has sired the earners of more than $750,000 from 29 starters.
Groushy Apadana's dam, Apadana, is a winning 20-year-old mare by the Danzig stallion Corridor Key.
Groushy Apadana has won six of 14 races, and the $30,000 winner's share of the E.T. Springer Stakes purse increased his earnings to $88,116. All of the gelding's previous five wins had come against claiming company.
Groushy Apadana began his career with a three-race win streak that ran from November 25, 2008-February 22, 2009.
Sent to post at odds of nearly 5-1, Groushy Apadana returned an $11.80 win mutuel and teamed with Lesters Secret for a $36.40 ($2) exacta. Brother Louie finished third, 1 ½ lengths behind the winner, to complete a $2 trifecta payoff of $94.40.
Nuggets Please, Sapello Cantador, and 2-1 favorite Agiba Yulla completed the order of finish.
Lesters Secret was coming off of a fourth-place finish in the 5 1/2-furlong, $50,000 Casey Darnell Pony Express Stakes (R) during the August 26 Lineage Day program at The Downs at Albuquerque. A gray or roan 6-year-old gelding by the late Lesters Boy owned by Solitaire Stable and Simply The Best Thoroughbreds, Lesters Secret has won nine of 39 starts, including three stakes, and has banked $544,409 while racing exclusively in New Mexico.
Brother Louie is a 5-year-old son of the Green Dancer stallion Emerald Jig campaigned by Solitaire Stable, Lisa Dominguez, and Carlos Gutierrez. The gelding has won five of 36 races and has earned $242,524, and his race record includes a second-place finish to Smash Dancer in the 7 1/2-furlong, $50,000 Land of Enchantment Handicap (R) during the Zia Festival card at Ruidoso Downs on July 29.