Speightstown's 3-year-old colt Performer joined the ranks of graded stakes winners Saturday with a hard-fought victory over multiple graded winner Tax in the $200,000 Discovery S. (G3) at Aqueduct.
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Performer is Speightstown's seventh graded stakes winner this year and his 52nd lifetime graded stakes winner. Performer's win pushed his sire's lifetime progeny earnings past the $105 million mark.
Trained by Shug McGaughey for Phipps Stable (also his breeder) and Claiborne Farm, Performer was making his first stakes start following a pair of allowance wins and a maiden win. He chased a hard-ridden Carlos L. through six furlongs in 1:12.34 before taking over the lead, then refused to let Tax by in the stretch, ultimately winning by 1 1/4-lengths in 1:50.36 for the 1 1/8-miles on a fast track.
"He's had a really good 3-year-old year; ran four times and won four times. It was the first time around two-turns and we moved him up a little bit in class," said McGaughey. "He beat a very nice horse who ran second, and I'm very pleased he got it done today around two turns.”
Performer's only blemish in five starts is a third in his debut as a 2-year-old. Undefeated in four outings this year, he has earned $257,000. He is out of Grade 2-placed Protesting and is a half-brother to Tropical Park Derby winner Breaking the Rules.