Brad Grady’s Fast Boat captured his second consecutive stakes win with a driving finish in the $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Sysco (G2T) April 30 at Churchill Downs. The 6-year-old City Zip gelding rallied down the middle of the turf course and fought off Sombeyay to win by a half-length.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. for trainer Joe Sharp, Fast Boat completed the 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:03.29.
“I had the perfect trip. I sat there and bided my time,” Ortiz said. “When I asked him, he responded all the way to the wire.”
Last out Fast Boat took the Jan. 31 Pulse Power Turf Sprint Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park, where he came from second to last to win by a neck and pick up the first stakes victory of his career. He employed similar tactics Friday, sitting ninth early in the 11-horse field. Just Might and favored Fiya dueled on the front with opening fractions of :22.15 and :45.01.
Fast Boat had followed Sombeyay around the track and was up into fifth behind that rival in the stretch, but came with the stronger late run to surge to the front in the final strides. He returned $10.40 on a $2 win ticket.
“With him its surface and, for some reason, all the rest of us love New Orleans and he’s the exception,” Sharp said. “He was training too well, like his old self, but when we’d lead him over in the afternoon, we wouldn’t see the Fast Boat that we knew was there. We saw it at Houston. We sent him back to the farm (after Sam Houston) and (wife) Rosie (Napravnik) let him be a horse for 30 days and legged him back on the farm. We brought him back in, worked him three times, and luckily we got some sun and wind today. He likes this turf course, too; he’s 3-for-4 on it, and everything fell into place. Brad Grady has been very patient with the horse over the years and giving him plenty of spacing between races.”
Fast Boat’s connections enjoy the trophy presentation for the Turf Sprint
Sombeyay was second a length ahead of Classy John in third. Last year’s race winner Diamond Oops , Carotari , Johnny Unleashed , Smart Remark , Just Might, Guildsman , Ambassador Luna , and Fiya completed the order of finish.
Bred in Kentucky by R. S. Evans, Fast Boat was the first foal produced from the Lemon Drop Kid mare Yellow Boat. His dam has produced three winners from four starters. She also has an unraced 2-year-old Quality Road colt named Glider and a yearling colt by Tonalist .
Fast Boat was first raced by his breeder then claimed by his current connections for $40,000 in October of 2018 at Belmont Park. From 24 career starts, he has a 9-1-3 record and earnings of $541,849.