HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Joe Bravo was beaming as he came into the Gulfstream Park winner's circle after capping a sweep of Grade 3 turf stakes Sunday aboard longshot Justaroundmidnight in the ninth running of the $100,000 Marshua's River at Gulfstream Park.
"That was fun, that was fun, that was fun," Bravo said rhythmically.
With Justaroundmidnight being dismissed at 26-1 after Bravo won the previous race, the Fort Lauderdale, on 11-1 shot Little Mike, faithful Bravo backers were having fun, too. The Bravo daily double returned $648.60 for $2.
Justaroundmidnight lagged early in the field of 13 before circling the field to win by a half-length over 36-1 shot Persuading, who led from the start for jockey Jesus Castanon and trainer Dale Romans. Never Retreat rallied to be third, another half-length back, with Cherokee Queen fourth in a well-bunched finish. C.S. Silk, also trained by Romans, was a non-threatening 10th as the 3-2 favorite in a field of 12 fillies and mares.
Justaroundmidnight, an Irish-bred 4-year-old filly by Danehill Dancer, returned $54 after finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.27 over firm turf.
Justaroundmidnight, making her first start since incurring a minor injury in the Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park in July, had been entered in a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream earlier in the week but did not make it off the also-eligible list.
"Fate and destiny were part of this, I guess," said Patrick Biancone, who trains Justaroundmidnight for Mrs. Paul Shanahan. "She is a very, very talented filly. You have to tuck her in behind, and then she has a big turn of foot."
The start of the Marshua's River was delayed several minutes because of a shoe repair to Kiss Mine, who was never a factor.