Divisidero’s Abrumar wins the Colonel Liam Stakes to become sires second stakes winner

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Abrumar ran his winning streak to three straight with a gutsy neck victory over Cugino in Saturday’s $200,000 Colonel Liam Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

After opening his stall doors before the official start of the race, Abrumar settled down inside the gate. Under Paco Lopez, Abrumar was settled during the running of the race, able to get away with surprisingly soft fractions, and had enough to hold off Cugino, the 5-2 favorite, by a neck. It was a head back to Silent Heart in third.

Abrumar added the Colonel Liam to a maiden victory in December and an allowance score in January.

Though Abrumar won his allowance while on the lead, Lopez thought there was more pace in this race, and figured he would be sitting off the pace.

When no one wanted the lead, Lopez took it and was able to get away with splits of 25.52 seconds for the quarter, 50.86 for the half, and 1:15.15 for six furlongs. Silent Heart, under John Velazquez headed Abrumar approaching the quarter pole, but Abrumar had something left with which to fight and turned both him and Cugino aside. Cugino nosed out Silent Heart for second.

“I thought I was going to come from behind, sit third or four something like that,” Lopez said. “Nobody took the lead, I take it and they let me go 25, [and] 50. That doesn’t happen too many times at Gulfstream.”

Abrumar, a son of Divisidero owned by Ken Ramsey and trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., covered the mile in 1:37.11 and returned $8 as the second choice.

Cugino, who was second to Abrumar in that Jan. 13 allowance, had to settle for second again Saturday. Jockey Javier Castellano felt the lack of pace compromised his horse.

“Unfortunately, the pace was not fast,” Castellano said. “On paper it looked like a lot of speed in the race, it did not set up right. I was in the right position turning for home from the quarter pole to the wire.”

Following Silent Heart in the order of finish were Triple Espresso, Royal Majesty, Rapture Bay, Tocayo, Okiro, and Freedom Principle.