Two More First Dude Winners and He’s 4 Away from 1,000

    Conrado used a rail-skimming ride at Turfway Park yesterday under Alex Cruz to add to his rapidly improving record, holding off a cavalry charge to the wire, and winning a 5 1/2-furlong test by three-quarters of a length. Coupled with First Slew’s victory at Tampa Bay Downs and First Dude now has 10 winners in 2024, and 996 visits to the winners’ circle in his career.

  Conrado was off a step slowly, but Cruz sent the 4-year-old gelding through on the rail and after a brief battle on the front end, they took a short lead, passed the furlong markers in :21.99, :44.72, and :56.86. He held on to win in 1:03.31, just two seconds off the track record. 

    The $9,000 OBS October yearling bred by Joe Arboritanza has posted a formidable record since the fall, beginning with a victory and two seconds at Presque Isle, followed by a third at Fair Grounds, four straight seconds at Turfway, and yesterday’ victory. That’s 9 straight top three finishes, which raised his record to 3-7-2 in 21 starts. The $9,900 winner’s check lifted his total to $56,086. He’ll be looking to keep it going in a new barn, having been claimed out of yesterday’s race. 

    In a one-mile turf race at Tampa, First Slew and Adios Joe slugged it out down the stretch and reached the wire in tandem, resulting in a dead heat. They were clocked in 1:36.09 and finished 5 1/2 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher, each collecting a check for $7,860. It marked the first score for First Slew in five starts, whose win price was $6.40; Adios Joe paid $9.20.