Sugar Fix wins the Claiming Crown Tiara Stakes at Gulfstream.
Beaten after looking like a winner at the top of the stretch last year, Big Frank Stable and Mad Dog Racing Stable’s Sugar Fix came from off the pace and surged late to earn a 1 ¼-length victory in the $95,000 Claiming Crown Tiara.
It was the second straight victory for jockey Edgard Zayas and trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who also teamed up with Face of Victory in the $75,000 Express. The winning time was 1:40.19 for about 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course.
“The race before, I told Edgard to be aggressive. This race I said, ‘patience,’ and he executed,” Joseph said. “Like most of the Claiming Crown races, you know your horse is doing well but like I was telling the owner, you can run third or fourth having run your race. Thankfully she ran her best today.”
Centsless Drama was quickest from the gate and led though a quarter-mile in :22.91, pressed by fellow longshot Act Like Artie. Zayas settled Sugar Fix in fourth, where they still were after a half in :47.26. They tipped outside and moved into a contending position on the turn, reeled in the leaders, and slingshot past for her 10th career victory.
Passion Plus got up for second, with Whimsical Muse third and 8-5 favorite Kahiko fourth.
Sugar Fix, a bay 4-year-old daughter of Treasure Beach, hadn’t raced since finishing fourth in a one-mile, 70-yard allowance Sept. 8 at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., a race she won last year heading into the Claiming Crown. In the 2020 Tiara, she took a 1 ½-length lead into the stretch but couldn’t hold it and wound up second to Queens Embrace.
“Last year, she got a good trip, she just got beat. This year, I think she actually went into the race better,” Joseph said. “Last year, she won her prep at Kentucky Downs, and then kind of lost her way. I don’t think she was at her best. This year, she got beat out there and then we couldn’t get a race to go so she had a good freshening. I thought today she ran a good race. It was a tough race. You never know if you’re going to win.”
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