Sahara' turns up the 'Heat at Gulfstream
Darley Stable's expensive yearling purchase Sahara Heat proved his worth today in a Maiden Special Weight for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park under jockey Manoel Cruz. The A.P. Indy colt showed considerable speed in the opening quarter but then settled inside behind the pace on the backstretch. He rallied to catch the leader at the top of the stretch. He fought eyeball to eyeball for the length of the stretch and refused to surrender as he got up by a nose at the wire.
"He prevailed in a tenacious stretch duel today," said trainer Eoin Harty. "In his recent start on the turf, he showed a big improvement stretching out and he replicated that performance today on the dirt."
The dark bay began his career late last year in a pair of sprints on dirt where he finished 8th and 6th respectively before stretching out to 1 1/8 miles on the turf on January 31st, missing the victory by just 3/4 length while coming from far off the pace. It would appear that the colt prefers longer distances, but is quite versatile with the surface and easily accommodates his jockey's positioning.
Sahara Heat was bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable and was purchased at the 2005 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $3.4 million. He is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Sahara Gold.