Awesome Banner still perfect after Swale S. (G2) romp
Saturday, January 30, 2016
The superlatives flowed once again for Awesome Banner following his stellar five-length score in Saturday’s $150,000 Swale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, the third blowout victory in as many starts for the 3-year-old Awesome of Course colt.
Much like he did in his previous two starts, Awesome Banner made the lead early, and despite fast early fractions, drew off convincingly, getting the seven furlongs in a rapid 1:21.81.

“He’s a nice little colt. He still doesn’t know much and hasn’t figured it out yet, but he can run,” winning jockey Jose Caraballo said. “When he turns for home, that’s when he really takes off. He’s a pretty good colt. He’ll go further – he’s ratable, he’s not speed crazy at all. He’ll go as easy as you want him to go.”

In his previous two starts, the Jacks or Better Farm homebred set a track record in winning a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream last June, then returned on Jan. 2 to win the Hutcheson S. (G3) by nearly five lengths, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

Awesome Banner pushed his career earnings to $215,020 and could find himself in Gulfstream’s upcoming Kentucky Derby (G1) prep races, the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) Feb. 27 and the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 2.

“I honestly don’t know (what’s next). I’m not going to think about it. Certainly two turns is going to be on the horizon and if you want to think bigger than the Fountain of Youth, you have to start going along and getting (Derby qualifying) points. We’ll see,” winning trainer Stanley Gold said. “Mile and a sixteenth will be no problem for him, I’m sure.”

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