Gigante, who has raced on the turf for most of his career, turned in an impressive performance in Sunday’s $250,000 Commonwealth Turf S. at Churchill Downs, which, despite its name was run on the main track because of adverse turf course conditions.
The 3-year-old colt is one of a dozen 2023 stakes winners for Not This Time, who is dominating this year’s Fourth-Crop sire list and is in the top 10 nationally on the General Sire list.
Gigante got away cleanly from the gate in the 1 1/16-mile contest, but was pinched back significantly going into the first turn behind a trio of runners battling for the early lead. He stalked that group until he split horses just before turning for home, then rallied strongly in the stretch to win going away by 4 ½-lengths.
“He’s a very nice horse and (trainer) Steve Asmussen and his team did a great job getting him prepared for this race,” said winning rider Luan Machado. “I sat a beautiful trip behind the pace and he came with his closing kick down the lane. Every time I asked him, he dug in.”
Gigante is now a four-time stakes winner, topped by the Secretariat S. (G2) and has earned $915,475 for owners Iapetus Racing and Diamond T Racing. The bay colt was bred by Ann Mudge Backer and Smitten Farm.