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Economic Model outlasts Irish War Cry in Hal's Hope

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Race Replay: Hal's Hope Stakes (5:50)

Economic Model battles Irish War Cry in the Grade 3, $100,000 Hal's Hope Stakes at Gulfstream Park on February 24, 2108. (5:50)

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Economic Model edged away from Irish War Cry for his first stakes victory in more than 20 months in a spill-marred 28th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Hal's Hope on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Giving jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. his fourth straight winner on a 13-race card, Economic Model sat a good inside stalking trip before getting the best of Irish War Cry, the 19-10 favorite in a field of seven older horses, after the race came down to that pair.

The one-mile Hal's Hope was marred by the fatal breakdown of Send It In, who was making his first start since earning a 119 Beyer Speed Figure in April. The 6-year-old gelding was tracking the pace from an outside position when he suffered a catastrophic injury approaching the three-eighths pole, throwing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez to the dirt. Velazquez was on his feet shortly thereafter and was fortunate to escape serious injury. No other horses or jockeys were affected.

Send It In, trained by Todd Pletcher for owner-breeder Paul Pompa Jr., won nine of 18 starts and earned $500,914.

For Economic Model, a 5-year-old horse by Flatter, the win was his first in a stakes since he captured the Easy Goer on the 2016 Belmont Stakes undercard. He was making his first start since Oct. 17 for trainer Chad Brown and his owners, the Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence. He returned $12.20 after finishing in 1:36.50 over a fast track and now has earned $614,625 from 14 starts.

"Coming into the race, he was ready," Ortiz said.

Ortiz, who also won four races here Thursday, had his four Saturday winners all in a row: Ousby ($8.60) in the ninth, Penalty ($29.80) in the 10th, Uncle B ($4) in the 11th, and Economic Model in the 12th.

"It's been amazing," Ortiz said. "I have had all kinds of support from the trainers."

For Irish War Cry, the effort was encouraging following a five-month layoff. Making his 4-year-old debut after a terrific 3-year-old season in which he won three stakes and finished second in the Belmont, the colt saved ground under Jose Ortiz before angling out and settling for second, 1 3/4 lengths behind Economic Model.

"I finally got out at the quarter pole," Jose Ortiz said. "I thought he was going to win. My horse hasn't run in a long time. I think he will improve. I really like him."

Tower of Texas closed belatedly to be third, another length behind Irish War Cry and another 4 1/4 lengths before Conquest Big E.

The $2 exacta (2-1) paid $36.60, the $1 trifecta (2-1-4) returned $217.20, and the 10-cent superfecta (2-1-4-3) was worth $61.74.

The Hal's Hope was part of the Rainbow 6, for which Gulfstream guaranteed a $2 million payoff in case of a solo perfect ticket. There was $732,685 in new handle Saturday, with multiple perfect 20-cent tickets returning $34,182 following a sequence during which the winners' odds were 21-1, 3-1, 13-1, 1-1, 5-1, and 6-1. The Rainbow jackpot for Sunday stands at $1,639,779.

All-sources handle for the 13 races was nearly $18 million, up 20.4 percent over the corresponding 2017 date.