by Heather Pettinger
Leonard C. Green’s A Different Style marched to the beat of his own drum in his seasonal bow on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, earning a three-length victory in the 34th running of the $150,000 Jimmy Winkfield for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
The gray colt by The Factor broke sharply from the gate and quickly established the early lead under jockey Kendrick Carmouche. Tracked by California Night and Global Citizen, A Different Style held a comfortable advantage as he took the field of seven through an opening quarter-mile in 23.28 seconds and a half in 47.24. Global Citizen, with Joe Rocco, Jr. aboard, made a bid for the lead as the field reached the stretch, but A Different Style was not to be caught, completing the sprint in 1:26.07 over a muddy and sealed track.
Global Citizen held on for second, a head ahead of a late-running Glennwood in third. Jumpmaster, California Night, 3-2 favorite Devine Entry, and Smooth B completed the order of finish.
“He was sitting in there so quiet and left there really good,” Carmouche said. “I glanced over and I saw the 2-horse [Jumpmaster] didn’t break good. The only thing that went through my mind was to try and get the first quarter in 23. In my hands, he was going so easy and I didn’t feel any pressure from inside or outside.
“Once we got to the eighth pole, I thought it was a race home from there, and he responded. After that, he did everything on his own,” he added. “A speed horse on a sealed track, that’s really good. He didn’t have to alter course to do anything different.”
Off as the 5-2 second choice, A Different Style returned $7.30 for a $2 win wager.
The win was the third overall and second in a stakes for the John Servis trainee, who won the James F. Lewis III by two lengths on November 11 at Laurel Park. Last time out, A Different Style dueled for the early lead in the December 30 Heft at Laurel before fading to fourth to end his juvenile campaign.
“I thought that was pretty impressive,” said Servis. “In his last race, he hadn’t run in a while and got tired in the stretch. Coming out of that race we got some good works into him and I think we got that issue corrected. For a big horse he certainly gets out of the gate pretty fast, but I didn’t give Kendrick any specific instructions, we just let him ride his race and it turned out great. Going forward, if he comes back in good health, the [Grade 3, $250,000] Bay Shore [on April 7] is certainly a possibility, but we’ll take things one day at a time.”
The Jimmy Winkfield is named after the legendary African American jockey, a Hall of Famer and two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby aboard His Eminence in 1901 and Alan-a-Dale in 1902.