Teaks North, the multiple grade 1-winning son of Northern Afleet, launched his 2013 campaign with a front-running, 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf S. at Gulfstream Park (VIDEO
Six-year-old Teaks North had shown his affinity for Gulfstream's turf, winning the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1) in 2011. The veteran runner was a come-from-behind winner in that race, but Saturday he showed a different dimension, breaking on top right away, to lead the field through slow fractions of :25.68 and :52.09 over a yielding turf course. Roman Tiger posed a minor threat at the six furlong marker, but Teaks North quickly shook him off, drawing away in the stretch to post a clear victory.
"We wanted to be close to the lead and everyone began slowing down in front,” said winning rider Velazquez. “It was perfect. I couldn't ask for a better trip. They let me go slow and I took it."
Teaks North was making his first start for trainer Michelle Nevin, long-time assistant to trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. With this sixth career stakes victory to his credit, Teaks North has a record of 23-8-1-2, with earnings of $1,096,464 for his owner by Resolute Group Stables. His stakes wins include the United Nations S. (G1) and Monmouth S. (G3), and a pair of Monmouth stakes at three: the Restoration S. on the turf and the Big Brown on dirt.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” Nevin said in the winner’s circle after her first career stakes win. “I’m so happy. I love this horse.”
Teaks North was bred by Brylynn Farm in Florida. Out of the unraced High Honors mare Teaksberry Road, he is a full brother to the stakes-winning Teak Totem, a half-brother to multiple Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Wooden Phone, as well as multiple stakes winner Chief Okie Dokie.
Teaks North is one of five millionaires by Northern Afleet. His offspring had a particularly good 2012 in South America, where he was represented by seven multiple stakes winners. He will stand the 2013 season at Taylor Made for $8,000 LFS&N.