Miles Ahead Best In Claiming Crown Rapid Transit At Gulfstream – Horse Racing News

Miles Ahead wins the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

David Melin, Leon Ellman, and Laurie Plesa’s Miles Ahead, a graded-stakes winner in a race for horses that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or less in 2020-2021, flaunted his class Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained 4-year-old gelding, who captured the Grade 3 Smile Sprint on the July 3 Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream, closely stalked the pace set by Legal Deal before moving to the lead at the top of the stretch and prevailing by a comfortable 1 ½ lengths in the $85,000 Rapid Transit.

The seven-furlong Rapid Transit was one of nine starter stakes in the Saturday’s Claiming Crown, an annual event that celebrates the blue-collar horses that support daily racing programs at racetracks throughout the country.

Miles Ahead ($4.60) broke his maiden for a $12,500 claiming price by 12 ¼ lengths in January 2020 after being eased in his debut over turf. The son of Competitive Edge has steadily improved with age while establishing himself as one of the top sprinters on dirt in South Florida.

Miles Ahead ran seven furlongs in 1:21.99 to give jockey Paco Lopez his fourth victory of the day, including three Claiming Crown wins.

Legal Deal, ridden by Edwin Gonzalez, finished second, two lengths ahead of Pudding and jockey Leonel Reyes.

Miles Ahead is likely to return to open stakes company for his next start.

“There’s a $100,000 race in Maryland (Dec. 26 Dave’s Friend), and there’s a race here (G3 Harlan’s Holiday, Dec. 19) that’s coming up a little too quick,” Plesa said.

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