Korbyn Gold Wins Middleground; Three-Way Tie for Divisional Honors

(Saturday, July 12, 2003) - Korbyn Gold earned a piece of an unprecedented three-way tie for Lone Star Park Champion 2-Year-Old when he easily disposed of stablemate Afternoon Charlie and odds-on favorite Beau’s County in Sunday’s $75,000 Middleground Breeders’ Cup Stakes.

Following the race, a vote of media and selected racing officials resulted in a triple dead heat for the meeting’s Champion 2-Year-Old Male. TTA Sales Futurity winner Next Bandit and Texas Stallion Stakes hero There Goes Rocket also shared in the honors. The trio of colts represents the winners from all three legs of Lone Star Park’s lucrative stakes series for 2-year-old males.

In Sunday’s race, Korbyn Gold sat well back of a spirited pace duel between Beau’s County and Lorenzon. The early leaders set opening fractions of :22 and :44 4/5 in the six-furlong sprint.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better,” Korbyn Gold’s jockey Jeremy Beasley said. “I was very confident with her, especially with the pace scenario in the race and his running style. I didn’t have to rush him. I didn’t have to ask him to do too much. I let him pick it up on his own and get into a comfortable stride. I didn’t have to ask him for too much down the stretch.”

Korbyn Gold prevailed in a final time of 1:09.56, two lengths ahead of second wagering choice Afternoon Charlie. It was more than six lengths back to Beau’s County in third.

“The horse broke so sharp and I don’t think Eddie [Martin Jr.] wanted to fight him and take him back,” trainer Bret Calhoun said of Beau’s County. “We got in a speed duel a little bit. He’d been without a race for some time and maybe fitness was a factor.“

The order of finish was completed by Arapahoe Park shipper Lorenzon and longshot Kiri Camp.

The win went to trainer Kari Craddock, who took her second stakes race of the weekend saddling horses for Steve Asmussen. Lone Star Park’s all-time leading trainer was suspended the final week of the meeting due to a minor medication overage.

Korbyn Gold paid $8.60 as the 3-1 third choice in the wagering. The $45,000 winner’s share of the purse raised the son of Gold Case’s earnings to $91,200. In his only previous out, Korbyn Gold won a maiden special weight here in April.

“He’s really headed down the right road,” Beasley said. “I think there’s a lot of good things ahead of him.”

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