Flashpoint Darts to Victory in Hutcheson
By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile
Flashpoint upset Travelin Man in the Grade II Hutcheson Stakes in the second start for each colt, and the winner's trainer said the Grade I Florida Derby could be next.
The pair dueled up the backstretch and around the turn, but Flashpoint drew off in the stretch to win the seven-furlong race in 1:22.03. Travelin Man stayed on to finish second, but he was 7 1/4 lengths behind when the winner crossed the wire. Late-running Little Drama was sent off at 50-1 odds and finished third, beaten 10 1/4 lengths.
The remaining order of finish was Razmataz, Leave of Absence, Royal Currier, Madman Diaries and Manicero. Black N Beauty did not finish.
Initial fractions were set by Travelin Man in :22.16 and :44.53, but Flashpoint and Cornelio Velasquez were right there with him each step of the way the first half-mile. Royal Currier and Madman Diaries pressed the early pace, but were they no match and threw in the towel--and nothing else came along to challenge the top two.
It was only the second start for Flashpoint. He broke his maiden by 6 1/4 lengths going six furlongs at Aqueduct on Jan.15 after leading all at calls. He rated in second the first quarter-mile.
After the race, trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. said he might point the Flashpoint to the Grade I Florida Derby. The winner earned $90,000 and paid $$15.80 to win, $5.60 to place and $4.20 to show. The $2 exacta returned 40.20, but the $1 trifecta paid $392.80 and the dollar superfecta was worth $2,995.40.
Flashpoint is a son of Pomeroy bred in Florida by Silverleaf Farms, Inc. He's owned by Peachtree Stable and is out of Two Punch Lil, by Two Punch.
Winning trainer Rick Dutrow: “You have to be excited after a horse does that. He was sensational the first time and sensational today. I thought he’d be in front, but he broke a step slow and sat off Todd’s horse, so I’m happy to know that he can do that. We’ll discuss the options, including the Florida Derby. Personally, I like the seven-eighths to a mile-and-an-eighth angle, but we’ll see. I would say his next start will be here. You never know if they can go long until they do it, but naturally with the (Kentucky) Derby coming up, everybody thinks about it.”
Winning jockey Cornelio Velasquez (Flashpoint): “The only other horse I was concerned about was the three horse (Travelin Man). We broke good, had a good trip. I didn’t want to move too soon because this horse likes company. In the stretch, I didn’t really hit him. He was very good today.”
Todd Pletcher, trainer of Travelin Man: “In a perfect world, we would have liked to switch post positions with the winner, to be on the outside of the winner, but for just his second start and being out on the lead going pretty fast, I thought it was a big effort."