Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Double Crown lived up to his 3-5 favoritism in Saturday’s $75,000 Carry Back at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., where the Kathy Ritvo-trained gelding won his second straight stakes race with a thoroughly professional performance.

The Carry Back, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds co-headlined Saturday’s Fourth of July program with the $75,000 Azalea, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies.

Double Crown, who captured the 6 ½-furlong Roar at Gulfstream Park May 16, rated just behind dueling Cajun Brother and Poe, who set fractions of 22.59 and 45.42 seconds for the first half mile, before making a sweep to the lead on the turn into the homestretch. The son of Bourbon Courage opened up a clear lead under Cristian Torres in mid-stretch and continued gamely to hold off Hutcheson Stakes winner With Verve by three-quarters of a length.

“He’s tough. He has just enough speed to stay off the pace early and he closes well,” said Dean Reeves, who owns the Maryland-bred filly with his wife Patti.

Double Crown ran seven furlongs in 1:22.37 to with his third race in four career starts. With Verve finished 1 ¾ lengths ahead of late-closing Ournationonparade.

Double Crown and Ournationonparade were privately purchased by the Reeves following a Sept. 19 maiden special weight race, in which the former defeated the latter in their respective debuts at Laurel Park.

Ournationonparade came right back to win the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery in his next start, while Double Crown went to the sidelines. Double Crown returned to action for Ritvo with a late-closing second-place finish in an April 26 allowance at Gulfstream before capturing the Roar Stakes.

“He’s come around great. Kathy’s done a great job with him. She gave him some time at the end of his 2-year-old year and let him grow into himself, because he’s a good-size horse,” Reeves said. “It’s amazing when you give them some time, they pay dividends for you,”





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