From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Last down the backstretch and moving through traffic to the top of the lane, Sea Gull Associates Griff steered out to the middle of the course and got up to take the $100,000 City Of Laurel Stakes for 3 year-olds.
Tim Hills trains the son of Rockport Harbor and Abel Castellano was at the controls today as Griff covered the 7-furlong distance in 1:21.92. Longshot Cutty Shark looked like the winner at the eighth pole but settled for second, 2-1/4 lengths behind the winner. Bump Start finished third.
“I was worried about how he’d pick his way through thirteen others to find the outside,” Hills said. “At the 3/8th’s I thought, ‘he’s not even going to be on the board’. Five strides later, he’s rolling to the front.”
This was the first stakes win for Griff, who paid $10.80 and topped a $244.20 exacta and $614 trifecta.
“There was a lot of speed in the race so I just let him break and the plan was to catch up later,” Castellano said. “I was on the rail with a big field ahead of me and I was trying to find myself clear. I pulled outside and it seemed like everybody else went inside so I split horses and my horse just started running and drew clear.”
Castellano teamed up with Griff to win an allowance race at Laurel earlier in the fall meet.
Griff is now 4-of-10 for earnings of just under $150,000. In his only previous stakes start, he finished fourth in the Jersey Shore (G3) at Monmouth Park.