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First Dude Closes in on Leader in Winners' Race
Published: Monday, May 10, 2021

First Dude narrowed the winners' gap between himself and leader Khozan to two after the victories yesterday of First Gold at Gulfstream Park and Quana Dude at Prairie Meadows. Khozan leads the league with 31 winners, while First Dude, coming on strong, now has 29. First Dude was first in this category in 2020 among Florida sires. 

Red-hot Miguel Vasquez was aboard First Gold, a 3-year-old filly owned and bred by Ocala's Shade Tree Thoroughbreds and trained by Ocalan Robert Smith. After three efforts at Tampa Bay Downs, First Gold broke her maiden in start No. 4, paying $9.40 and earning $12,900. She left from post 10 in a field of 10 going one mile on the grass, and settled into fourth down the backstretch, about five lengths from the dueling leaders.  Vasquez guided her closer to the front coming to the turn, and First Gold blew by the top three, took the lead in mid-stretch and held off several closers to win by a length in 1:37.39. 

Out west, Quana Dude had Alex Birzer in the irons, riding for his wife, Bonnie, trainer and co-owner of the 4-year-old gelding. Quana Dude was off last in the 6-horse field and was about eight lengths off the pace heading down the backstretch. The gelding bred by Donald Dizney then made a monster inside move to close the gap on the turn, swung to mid-track for the run down the stretch, and rolled over the leaders late to win by two lengths in 1:11.78 for the six furlongs. His first victory of 2021 was his second in 14 career tries, and was worth $6,750. 

First Dude's progeny earnings jumped to $715,703 for the year.    


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