• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America
Gulfstream Park (Dec 12): Harlan’s Holiday Stakes G3 $200,000, 1m½f, dirt, 3yo+
Trainer: Danny Gargan
Jockey: Luis Saez
Owner: RA Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Hugh Lynch
Pedigree: 4yo bg Arch – Toll (Giant’s Causeway)
Former claimer Tax put himself firmly in the mix for the Pegasus World Cup on January 23 when scoring for the first time since last year’s Jim Dandy with a wire-to-wire victory in the Harlan’s Holiday at Gulfstream Park.
Unseen since finishing fifth in the Oaklawn Handicap on May 5, the gelded son of Arch broke from the inside gate before a dominant front-running effort. An emphatic 4½-length margin over Eye Of A Jedi in a final time of 1m14.15s produced a Beyer speed figure of 105.
Things will be tougher in the $3m Pegasus – he was never a factor after stumbling in 2019 – but at least Tax is right back on track with what was close to a track-record performance.
“We have really, really been high on him,” said trainer Danny Gargan. “We really thought he’d run big at Keeneland but he got sick on us and caused him to miss the race. I got really depressed about it because I was waiting to run him.
“I think this will be his best year. He’s grown, developed. He’s sound. He’s bigger, stronger than he’s ever been. I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Another horse headed for the Pegasus card, albeit in the $1m Turf, is Largent, who landed a 17-1 surprise in the G2 Fort Lauderdale on the same card, in the process providing the highlight of a Todd Pletcher four-timer.
Largent got a 97 Beyer, matching his previous personal best, also achieved on the lawn at Gulfstream. “I think he certainly ran well enough to earn a spot into the Pegasus, which we’d love to do,” said Pletcher.
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