HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Priscilla Vaccarezza’s and KZ Stable’s Little Mike, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Allen Iwinski and ridden by Joe Bravo, took the lead shortly after the start and then held off Blues Street to win the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale (G3) by a nose. Smart Bid finished third.

A Florida-bred son of Spanish Steps, Little Mike covered a firm 1 1/16th mile turf course in 1:40.52.

Breaking widest in the 11-horse field, Bravo guided Little Mike to the front and then set fractions of :23.08, :46.79, 1:10.35 and 1:34.42.


Trainer Allen Iwinski (Little Mike): We put him on the turf because his brother, Little Nick, is a multiple stakes winner on the turf. There are four stakes during the course of this meet on the turf. They’re spread out every 3 1/2, 4 weeks. We’re pretty much going to stay on schedule for those races if the horse stays healthy. Last time we ran him the purse was a little cheaper and there was a lot of speed so we thought we’d find out if this horse would respond to coming from off the pace. We got into all kinds of trouble but he was really able to close down the stretch so we were real excited because we found out the horse would rate and that opened up a lot of avenues. We could be in a spot with a ton of speed and take him off the pace. I think the horse has been moving right along and we talked about how he is improving with every race. He’s a light-framed horse who doesn’t carry a lot of weight and he’s really just starting to carry a little more weight. I don’t expect we’ve gotten to the bottom of him yet. There were five horses in this race that ran in Grade I’s. I certainly believe this horse is capable of running against anybody on the turf.”

Jockey Joe Bravo (Little Mike) – “If they were going to outrun us, they were going to have to outrun us. It looks like Little Mike is becoming a big Mike.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher (Blues Street): “It was definitely a tough beat. He ran hard the whole way; he just missed the bob. He should get a lot out of this race. We’ll probably stay here and look at the next stakes on the turf.”

Jockey Kent Desormeaux (Blues Street) – “He ran hard. He actually made the lead but the race was about 60 yards too long.”