Peachtree Stable's FLASHPOINT (Pomeroy) easily overtook 3-5 favorite Travelin Man (Trippi) and drew off to a stunning 7 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Hutcheson S. (G2), remaining perfect in his second lifetime start. After recording a 6 1/4-length debut win at Aqueduct on January 15, the Richard Dutrow-trained colt humbled a well-regarded group of stakes rivals at Gulfstream Park, completing seven furlongs over the fast oval in 1:22 with Cornelio Velasquez.
"You have to be excited after a horse does that," Dutrow said of the dazzling performance.
Travelin Man, who was heavily-favored off a 7 1/4-length debut win earlier in the meet, showed the way early, leading Flashpoint by a half-length after an opening quarter-mile in :22. Flashpoint continued to press his rival in second through a half-mile in :44 2/5, and the pacesetter offered little resistance when challenged leaving the far turn.
The gray sophomore blew past Travelin Man as they entered the stretch, passing the eighth-pole in 1:08 4/5 with a 1 1/2-length advantage, and continued to widen his advantage in visually impressive fashion while being urged on by Velasquez.
"The only other horse I was concerned about was (Travelin Man)," Velasquez explained. "I didn't want to move too soon because this horse likes company. In the stretch, I didn't really hit him. He was very good today."
"He was sensational the first time and sensational today," Dutrow said. "I thought he'd be in front, but broke a step slow and sat off Todd's horse, so I'm happy to know that he can do that."
Sent off the near 7-1 third choice among nine rivals, Flashpoint paid $15.80, $5.60 and $4.20. Travelin Man easily held second by three lengths over 50-1 longshot Little Drama (Burning Roma), and it was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Razmataz (Forest Wildcat) in fourth. Leave of Absence (Harlan's Holiday), Royal Currier (Red Bullet), Madman Diaries (Bring the Heat) and Manicero (Mass Media) came next under the finish line. Black N Beauty (Devil His Due) was pulled up in the stretch, and Crossbow (Bernardini) was scratched in favor of next Saturday's Gotham S. (G3).
Bred in Florida by Silverleaf Farms, Flashpoint is from the first crop of multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter Pomeroy (Boundary) and is out of the multiple stakes-winning Two Punch Lil (Two Punch), which makes him a half-sibling to Japanese stakes winner Uncle Lee Sam (Exploit) and a yearling filly by Congaree. His immediate female family includes multiple Grade 3 winner Feline Story (Tale of the Cat) and Grade 2 runner-up Copelan Too (Copelan), and fourth dam Toast of the Town (Native Dancer) is a full sister to the great Raise a Native.
Flashpoint brought $115,000 as a 2009 Keeneland January yearling and sold later that same year for $100,000 at the Keeneland September sale. He's now earned $115,200.
The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (G1) on April 3 is likely next for the improving colt.
"We'll discuss the options, including the Florida Derby," Dutrow said. "Personally, I like the seven-eighths to a mile-and-an-eighth angle, but we'll see. I would say his next start will be here. You never know if they can go long until they do it, but naturally with the (Kentucky) Derby (G1) coming up everybody thinks about it."