Speightstown's up-and-coming sprinter Switzerland won for the fifth time in six 2018 starts with a front-running score in the Frank De Francis Dash (G3) Saturday at Laurel Park.
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The 4-year-old colt has been nearly unstoppable this year for trainer Steve Asmussen, going from a maiden to a now multiple graded stakes winner with $389,000 in earning during the campaign.
Using his natural speed from his inside post, Switzerland was hustled to the front by Feargal Lynch as he battled with Colonel Sharp through a quarter-mile in :22.83. Around the turn, Switzerland began to edge clear and continued to open up in the stretch, ultimately winning by 2 3/4-lengths in 1:09.11 for a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 103.
“Steve said to me he doesn’t always break that sharp. He didn’t break that sharp the last time and he rushed up in there, and he didn’t want me to do that again,” Lynch said. “This is a really nice horse. He’s a serious horse. He’s so natural and so speedy.”
Owned by Woodford Racing, Switzerland could head to the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs. He also has a win in this year's Maryland Sprint S. (G3) on Preakness Day at Pimlico.
Switzerland is out of Czechers, a two-time stakes winner, and was bred by Branch Family Trust. Switzerland sold for $500,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Spring 2-year-olds Sale.