Honorable Dillon, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., held off a late running Forty Tales to win Saturday's $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The time for the seven-furlong Hutcheson was 1:22.53 on a fast track.
Eight 3-year-olds went to post after the scratches of Little Distorted and Falling Sky. Falling Sky started Saturday in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Setting the pace was Singanothersong followed closely by Undrafted, 7-2 third pick Merit Man and Honorable Dillon, the 5-2 second choice. Forty Tales, the 9-5 top pick, was running several lengths off the pace.
Around the turn Undrafted and Honorable Dillon separated themselves from the field and hit the stretch together. The two battled down the stretch as Forty Tales rallied through the middle of the track.
Forty Tales was cutting into the leaders advantage nearing the wire. However, Honorable Dillon was able to register a half-length victory over Forty Tales who edged out Undrafted.
"The plan was to stalk the speed and not get too far back, not get in a speed duel, and it worked out how we wanted," said Rocco.
Merit Man finished fourth followed by Weekend Hideaway, Singanothersong, Pataky Kid and Really Sharp.
Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Honorable Dillon added $90,000 to his bankroll. The gray colt, owned by Joseph Bucci, has two wins in four starts for $155,570.
"It's a shame that these Grade 2 stakes aren't getting any points for the Kentucky Derby. I think it's wrong. We may try (to stretch him out). We'd like to try at some point," Kenneally said. "He's bred to go farther than seven eighths of a mile. Can he do it? We'll find out when we try."
The colt finished third in his career debut at Saratoga in July and broke his maiden the next month there. He returned to the track last month with a second to Singanothersong by less than a length at Gulfstream.
Honorable Dillon returned $7.20, $3.40 and $2.60. Forty Tales paid $3.20 and $2.60, Undrafted paid %+$3.80 to show.