The 6-year-old gray gelding settled 3 ½ lengths behind the pacesetter in fourth, ahead of just one horse, the slow-starting Spa City Fever, through opening fractions of 23.44 and 48.42. After waiting behind the leaders on the far turn, Inherit the Gold made a slingshot maneuver at the top of the stretch and ran away from his rivals, with Socialsaul holding off Uncle T Seven by a half-length for second.
“Today, it was perfect,” said winning jockey Junior Alvarado. “The speed went to the lead and I just waited and waited and waited, and when I asked him, he was a completely professional horse. He just took off right away and that was it.”
Inherit the Gold, a six-time winner on the inner track, captured last year’s Grade 3 Excelsior in April and New York Stallion Series in November on the Big A main track.
Overall, he is 9-4-3 from 21 starts with $412,685 in earnings, including the $45,000 winner’s share of the Haynesfield purse.
Inherit the Gold entered the Haynesfield off a fourth in the Alex M. Robb on December 31 and a second in the Queens County on December 10, a pair of races that did not favor the gelding’s running style. Jim Hooper, who trains Inherit the Gold for Glas-Tipp Stable and his wife, Susanne, said the quicker pace in Sunday’s Haynesfield helped Inherit the Gold regain the winning thread.
“It was a fabulous performance,” said Hooper. “I knew he was good in his last two, but he was compromised by the pace and the trip. Today, things went his way. All he needs is a fair chance. If he gets a fair chance, he is going to be right there.”
Hooper said he he’ll have Inherit the Gold target title defenses in Aqueduct’s Kings Point on March 3 and Grade 3 Excelsior on March 17.
“He is an incredible horse,” added Hooper. “He’s got a lot of personality and a lot of good things about him besides being fast.”
Spa City Fever was fourth, with Beautyinthepulpit completing the order of finish.