In the first 43 starts of his six-year racing career, Winking At Thedude campaigned at seven tracks and won at least once at four of them – Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream West (the old Calder), Mahoning Valley and Mountaineer Park.
The 7-year-old from First Dude’s third crop made it five out of eight yesterday, winning at a flat mile at Thistledown in his first shot at the track just south of Cleveland.
Brandon Tapara was aboard the gelding bred by Dee-Ellen Cook and Suzette Parker, and they were away fourth down the backstretch. A strong, three-wide move on the final turn sent Winking At Thedude to the lead and he won the battle to the wire to score by a head. He earned a check for $7,560, boosting his career total to $219,697 and his record to 8-11-9 in 44 starts.
The $17,000 Timonium May 2-year-old paid $10.40 and became First Dude’s 19th winner of 2022 while receiving an excellent 90 Equibase ‘E’ speed figure. He’s No. 18 on his sire’s “$200,000 club” list and moving up.