Last Gunfighter Prevails In Three Way Evening Attire Duel
By Jon Forbes | 01/19/2013 05:56 PM ET
Last Gunfighter survived a showdown with Isn’t He Perfect and Arlo to win Saturday’s $75,000 Evening Attire at Aqueduct Racetrack and remain unbeaten in four starts since being transferred to trainer Chad Brown.
After racing off the pace in third around the clubhouse turn, Last Gunfighter moved up along the backstretch to engage Arlo in second, racing one length behind the leader through an opening half-mile in 49.07 seconds. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. began to scrub Last Gunfighter in the run into the stretch, but the colt fell back to third after Isn’t He Perfect offered a bid along the inside.
Racing outside his rivals, Last Gunfighter commenced a final surge in midstretch and poked his head in front with 40 yards to travel en route to a half-length victory over Isn’t He Perfect. It was an additional half-length back to Arlo in third.
Last Gunfighter, a 4-year-old John D. Gunther homebred, ran 1 1/16 miles over the inner track in 1:43.54 and returned $4 for a $2 win wager as the even-money favorite.
“At the three-eighths pole, I started asking my horse and he was a little lazy,” said Ortiz. “[Brown’s assistant] told me [about that] which was good. I started moving on him, and he switched leads and came back to me. Speed is very good today, so I was trying to put him close and stay there. You can’t be too far out. It was a strong finish.”
The Evening Attire was the second stakes win for Last Gunfighter, who captured the Raymond Earl overnight stakes on December 9 on Aqueduct’s main track. His winning streak also includes an optional claiming score on the main track in November and a maiden victory in October at Belmont Park.
“He was waiting for the other horses a little bit coming down the stretch, but he kicked it in,” said Cherie DeVaux, assistant to Brown. “It wasn’t as easy as last time, that’s for sure, but there were some decent horses in there and they hung in there. We’re proud of him.”
Before being transferred to Brown, Last Gunfighter was winless in four starts in Louisiana and Arkansas. Overall, he is 4-2-2 in eight starts, with the $45,000 winner’s share of the Evening Attire purse lifting his earnings to $205,405.
Scotus finished fourth, a head in front of last-place finisher Burned Bridges. Brigand and Norman Asbjornson were scratched.