Patricia Generazio’s remarkable 6-year-old gelding Presious Passion set brisk early fractions and was seven lengths in front after one mile of the $125,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, but he had enough left to hold on for a half-length victory over Fab Oak Stable and Kona Stable’s Quasicobra at the finish line of the 1 3/8 miles turf test.

Presious Passion has made a career of winning major long-distance turf stakes and producing big payoffs, including last year’s Pan American Handicap, the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth and the last two editions of Calder’s W.L. McKnight Handicap (G2). Trained by Mary Hartmann, the chestnut son of Royal Anthem paid $11 for $2 to win Saturday.

Harlequin Ranches Spice Route, the favorite in the field of 10 older horses, finished third, a length behind the runner-up as the winner was timed in 2:12:10 for the 11 furlongs run over ‘firm’ ground.

Winning Jockey Quotes

Elvis Trujillo:

“He always starts fast. I got him to do exactly what we wanted. My only concern was I didn’t want to go toe-to-toe with the 1 (horse, Finallymadeit). They reached me in the stretch but then I switched hands and he responded, so I had enough. He’s just too fast and proved it again today. He’s always in the mood to run and run.”

Winning Trainer Quote

Mary Hartmann:

“I don’t give Elvis (Trujillo) any instructions. He knows the horse so well. I was a little concerned when I saw the 46 (and change half-mile), but he was running relaxed and had enough left to hold them off. He gave him a perfect ride. He ran a great race to finish second in California on the wet ground last out (second in Sunshine Million Turf). They say it never rains in California, but it did for that race. We’re back home now and we’ll stay here and try to win the Pan American (March 21) again.”


23:34, 46:14, 1:11:23, 1:36:28, 2:00:14 & 2:21:10