HALLANDALE BEACH, Florida – Barbadian conditioner Saffie Joseph Jr put aside the swirling controversy to win the US$75 000 Honey Ryder Stakes with Honor D Lady at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Sent off at odds of 4-1, jockey Miguel Vasquez brought the three-year-old bay filly from a stalking position to reel in the leaders with a flying late run, to win by 1-¼ lengths in a time of one minute, 35.18 seconds.
There was more success for Joseph as 2-1 bet Violet Gibson finished third, just a neck behind second placed favorite Ocean Club.
Last week, Joseph was suspended by Churchill Downs Inc. – the company which manages the Kentucky Derby – after two of his horses died suddenly in Louisville, ahead of the first leg of the American Triple Crown.
Parents Pride and Chasing Artie were among four horses that died at Churchill Downs in a five-day period, reports said.
The controversy did not prevent Joseph from continuing his form in the US southeast, however, where he continues to top the standings at Gulfstream.
Up against the three-year-old fillies in race four over a mile, Honor D Lady settled off the lead on the outside as 7-1 choice Time Passage produced the early fractions with Ocean Club in pursuit.
Ocean Club moved up to challenge Time Passage on the far turn with Vasquez taking closer order with Honor D Lady, as the race turned for home.
Time Passage brought the field off the final turn but was nose to nose with Ocean Club mid-stretch before Honor D Lady breezed by on the outside to pick up the running.