BREAKING THE RULES CRACKS INTO GRADED STAKES COMPANY
#7 Gulfstream R5, 4yos & up, 1 mi. turf, 1:30 pm ET
March 2, 2019 (Hallendale Beach, Fla.) — Phipps Stable’s 4-year-old colt BREAKING THE RULES
(War Front—Protesting, by A.P. Indy) is ending a two-month layoff on Saturday and making his first career graded stakes start in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3)
at Gulfstream Park. It's been a long road getting to where he's at now, but he’s entering the race as the 9/5 morning line favorite and will break from the outside post of the seven-horse field.
After winning his debut at Gulfstream on March 24 of last year, Breaking the Rules (BTR) won again on May 6 in a $77,000 allowance race at Belmont. The barn was high on the son of Claiborne Farm stallion War Front’s potential before a series of three unsatisfactory finishes: sixth in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes (listed) at Belmont on June 9, second in an $96,000 Belmont allowance optional claiming (AOC) race on July 7, and fourth in an $92,000 AOC at Saratoga on August 11.
Unsatisfied with his downward trend on the dirt, Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey
moved him to turf for his sixth career start, a $92,000 AOC on September 1 at Saratoga where he finished third (1¼ length behind the dueling first two finishers). McGaughey's patience paid off when BTR came back to earn his first turf win in an $80,000 AOC at Belmont on October 6.
Following the win, he benefited from a 12-week layoff before returning to the races on December 29 to win his first career stakes race by nearly 4 lengths in the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby (listed) at Gulfstream (replay at http://bit.ly/PhippsStable-BTR
BTR retains the services of jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
for his start today. Ortiz has ridden him to victory in his four career wins over dirt and turf.
Ortiz enters the race as the winner of last year's Canadian Turf Stakes, a race in which he rode owner Michael Hui’s 9-year-old Michael Maker-trained horse HOGY to victory. Ortiz—who has already racked up five graded stakes wins in 2019—currently leads North America in wins (86) and earnings (the only jockey with more than $6 million).
McGaughey has won the Canadian Turf Stakes twice: in 2013 with Stuart S. Janney III’s grade 1 stakes winner DATA LINK
(War Front—Database, by Known Fact) and the following year with Phipps Stable’s multiple graded stakes winner RELOAD
(Hard Spun—Hidden Reserve, by Mr. Prospector).
McGaughey was red hot in February with Phipps horses with a 63 percent win rate (finishing first in 5 of 8 starts). Four of the winners came off of layoffs, including 6-year-old horse INSPECTOR LYNLEY
(co-owned with Mr. Janney) ending a 2-month layoff to win the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3), 4-year-old filly COVER MODEL
breaking her maiden coming off of a 4-month layoff, 4-year-old colt FAST TALKING
breaking his maiden in his first start in 11 months, and 4-year-old stakes-placed filly BARRIER ISLAND
ending a 3-month layoff to win her first race in over a year. The fifth Phipps February winner, 3-year-old homebred ORB
filly PASSING OUT
(co-owned with Mr. Janney), won in her debut.
Today will be a good test to see if BTR will continue his upward trend while racing among graded stakes company. It will also be interesting to see if McGaughey and the fabled black silks and cherry cap continue their hot streak.
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