Wilgerbosdrift’s exciting young sire Flower Alley got yet another significant boost to his stud career when his champion son Lukes Alley won Saturday’s G1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
In lifting this $350 000 race, Lukes Alley became his sire’s third individual G1 winner. Flower Alley’s previous Grade One winners being Kentucky Derby/Preakness Stakes/Santa Anita Derby hero I’ll Have Another and G1 Ashland Stakes heroine Lilacs And Lace.
Canada’s Champion Older Male in 2014, Lukes Alley produced a sustained late rally to win the 1800m Gulfstream Park feature by a neck over Shining Copper, with All Included another three parts of a length away in third.
After front runner Shining Copper had set an easy pace, he looked hard to catch at the top of the straight, but Lukes Alley produced a furious late rally (despite racing wide on the turn) and got up to win going away.
His trainer Josie Carroll was ecstatic with the result, saying “This is a gutsy horse. I knew he’d go down fighting if he lost,” said winning trainer Josie Carroll. “This is a horse that always shows up. I was confident he’d run his race and we were lucky enough to win it. He’s a very, very honest horse. No horse deserves this (win more than him).”
Saturday’s win was Lukes Alley’s third graded win success, with the entire having previously won both the G2 Autumn Stakes and G3 Durham Cup.
Among those beaten by Lukes Alley in Saturday’s Grade One feature was former G1 Arlington Million hero and $1.9 million earner The Pizza Man, and graded winners Takeover Target (4th), Triple Threat (6th), Legendary (7th) and Eh Cumpari (8th).
Saturday’s victory took Lukes Alley’s score card to 8 wins (and four placings) from just 12 outings, with the six-year-old having amassed over $750 000 in prize money.
His sire Flower Alley was fully booked during his first season in South Africa last year, where he covered an exceptional book of mares.
Flower Alley, himself a former G1 Travers Stakes winner and G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner up, is currently North America’s Second Leading Turf Sire by stakes –and North America’s loss looks to be South Africa’s gain!