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Steal Sunshine Nips Tumbarumba in Gulfstream Park Mile

5-year-old Son of Constitution nabs first graded stakes win.

Steal Sunshine (left) edges Tumbarumba in the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Steal Sunshine (left) edges Tumbarumba in the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Steal Sunshine a horse who has finished close to some big wins throughout his career, rewarded his backers March 2 at Gulfstream Park with a dramatic nose victory over Tumbarumba. in the $220,000 Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2).

Third behind Tumbarumba in the Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) on the Gulfstream Park oval last time out, when closing from several lengths off the pace, jockey Paco Lopez was keen to keep the late-running dark bay/brown horse slightly closer to the pace this time around.

Alexandres' Il Miracolo, normally a closer, was hard sent to the lead under Javier Castellano from Gulfsream's mile chute, blazing through a first quarter in :23.71 and half-mile in :45.81 with Hooper winner Tumbarumba right on his heels. Lopez could afford to be patient on Steal Sunshine as Tumbaraumba ranged alongside Il Miracolo, the pair locking horns around the turn and speeding six furlongs in 1:10.14.

Tipping Steal Sunshine three wide, Lopez set loose the son of Consitution and the pair drove down the center of the track as Il Miracolo faded along the inside. Steal Sunshine closed relentlessly on the weary-legged Tumbarumba, who tried valiantly to re-rally in the late stages but fell just short under the wire, the final margin being a nose.

"Last time he just got beat. Today, he had the same position but there was a little more speed today," Lopez said. "My horse was running today. He had a little more pace. He fought all the way."

Registering his first graded stakes win, favored Steal Sunshine ($5) was timed in 1:35.74 for the one-turn mile on a fast main track. Runner-up Tumbarumba was 2 3/4 lengths clear of Il Miracolo in third.

The field for the Gulfstream Park Mile had been reduced to only five horses with the scratches of Wit, Castle Chaos, and Ticking.

Steal Sunshine is raced by his breeder, Carrie Brodgen of Machmer Hall, as well as Michael and Julia Iavarone. The Iavarones bought into Steal Sunshine last fall after he captured an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. A two-time back-type winner as a 3-year-old, Steal Sunshine improved his bankroll to $490,345 Saturday.

“I’m so excited, for me, for my team, for the owners," said winning trainer Bobby Dibona. "It’s a big opportunity. Carrie (Brogden)'s been great for me. She’s one of the top breeders in the country. Having her on the team and Mike (Iavarone) coming in, it’s great for me. You work hard for these opportunities. My barn is small so we’re just really excited.”

Bred in Kentucky out of Brodgen's mare Warm Sunshine, by Unbridled's Song, Steal Sunshine is the first graded stakes winner of the year for his sire, Constitution . Standing at WinStar Farm, grade 1 winner Constitution commands a fee of $110,000 for the 2024 breeding season. Steal Sunshine also is the first winner from two starters out of Warm Sunshine, who is a half sister to grade 1-placed stakes winner Reveron.

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