Awesome Banner back to winning ways in $150K Prized S.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Awesome of Course's multiple graded stakes winner Awesome Banner chalked up his fourth career stakes victory Saturday with a thrilling neck win in the $150,000 Prized S. at Gulfstream Park.

The Jacks or Better Farm 3-year-old homebred is now 5-2-0 in nine starts, including wins in the Hutcheson S. (G3) and Swale S. (G2), and has earned $422,335.

Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Awesome Banner sat back off the pace a little further than usual as a trio of front runners blazed through a half-mile in :44.82. Coming four wide, Awesome Banner collared the leaders at the top of the stretch and emerged with the lead with a furlong to run, then comfortably held off Mr. Kisses to secure the top spot in 1:22.88 for the seven furlongs.

“He’s a speed horse and he’d been grinding it out,” Jamie Begg, assistant to trainer Mark Casse, said. “He was always the horse that everyone was trying to beat. It’s easier to try to make someone lose than to win. But with the outside post we were able to take him back and let them burn themselves out. We were going to let the horse tell us what he wanted to do. If he came out and wanted to go up there, then we were going to let him. If he didn’t, we wanted to save him and let those guys go. The pace got a little quick. Tyler gave him a good ride.” 

Awesome Banner could make his next start in the Foolish Pleasure division of the $150,000 Florida Sire Stakes going a mile at Gulfstream on October 1.

“We’ll see how he comes out of it, but there’s one more race left in the series so we might go in that,” Begg added. 

Awesome of Course, who stood the 2016 season at Ocala Stud for $5,000 live foal, is among Florida's leading sires by earnings, stakes winners and stakes wins.

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