Venezuelan Hug got his second stakes win in as many starts in Saturday's $75,000 Sunshine Turf at Gulfstream Park, taking the 1 1/16-mile race by nearly a length with a stirring stretch run.
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Earlier on the card, Constitution's dynamic 3-year-old colt Annex was a debut winner on the turf and was named a TDN Rising Star for the effort.
Venezuelan Hug was the favorite on Saturday off his victory in the Turf preview in late November. Like he did in that race, he sat several lengths off the pace before unleashing a big move in the stretch. Despite plenty of pressure in the final furlong, the gray/roan 4-year-old held sway to secure his fifth win in nine lifetime starts, all on the grass.
“He’s tough,” said trainer Danny Gargan. “We’re happy to have him. My assistant Carol Fisher picked him out. He’s a pretty fun horse.”
Venezuelan Hug has now earned $178,340 for Spedale Family Racing, LLC and R. A. Hill Stable. He was bred by Orlyana Farm.