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Merus Miami Strikes Gold Out West

December 20, 2008 · By · Share

Miami Makes it 2-2 in Gold Rush

Jockey Alex Bisono knew Merus Miami was something special the first time he rode him.  "He just had so much trouble in his first race, yet he found a way to get up and win.  It's not something you see a horse do too often, especially not one making his first start."

Well, something else you don't see too often is a horse win a stakes race around two turns in just his second career start.  But that's exactly what Merus Miami did today at Golden Gate Fields.  The talented colt showed his powerful closing kick when he went from last to first en route to the victory in the $75,000 Gold Rush earlier today.

Miami had a much less eventful trip today than he did in that troubled first start, as he broke well, and was allowed to settle towards the back of the pack.  "I knew I had a lot of horse under me and just didn't want to go too soon," said Bisono.  "He settles real well and has such a powerful kick.  As soon as he got going straight (in the stretch), he was just flying home."  And fly home he did, as he went from seventh, and last, to first in less than a quarter of a mile.  "I knew he would pass horses and he did, and I don't think we've seen close to his best yet," continued Bisono.

Merus Miami's trainer, O.J. Jauregui, was thrilled with his colt's performance, "I knew he would be good around two turns, but I didn't know he would be this good."  "Alex (Bisono) did a great job in not moving him too soon, he allowed him to settle in and then use that great late run of his.  The way he powered through the stretch was a thing of beauty."

For his win, the two-year-old son of Friends Lake earned $45,000, and has now run his record to two wins from two career starts.  He has earned over $62,000 in his young career, and his stakes win around two turns immediately stamped him as one to watch out west going forward.  Interestingly enough, it was West Point Thoroughbreds' second straight win in the Gold Rush, as El Gato Malo won this race a year ago.

"We'll develop a gameplan with him going forward, and start turning our attention to some of the bigger three-year-old races this winter and spring," said Jauregui.  "Let's just enjoy this one today though, because this was a good one."

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