Flashpoint Overwhelms Competitors
The very first Hutcheson Stakes was run on 31 March 1954 and has been a grand fixture at the Gulfstream Park Racecourse ever since. It is a Grade II event that is exclusively for three-year-old horses that is run over a distance of seven and a half furlongs on a dirt track. It has a purse amount of $150 000 and is used by many trainers as a preparation race for the Florida Derby. Named in honor of William Levi Hutcheson, the 2011 Hutcheson Stakes was run on Saturday, 26 February 2011, at Gulfstream Park Racecourse, with Flashpoint taking the victory with an outstanding performance.
Flashpoint was bred by Silverleaf Farm in Florida and is owned by Peachtree Stable. The beautiful gray made his debut at Aqueduct Racecourse on the 15th of January 2011 and won his maiden in impressive style. Trained by Rick Dutrow Jr, Flashpoint was brought down from New York to participate in the Hutcheson Stakes, as was his jockey Cornelio Velasquez. There were nine horses in the field on Saturday, but from the start everyone could see that it was going to be a battle between Flashpoint and Travelin Man (Trained by Todd Pletcher). The pace was fast throughout the race, with Travelin Man leading the field. But as Travelin Man and Flashpoint hit the quarter pole side by side, the race to the finish had begun. Flashpoint was able to dig deep and start to open a gap between himself and Travelin Man, and crossed the finish line a length and a half before Travelin Man. They were followed home by Little Drama in third, Razmataz, Leave of Absence, Royal Currier, Madam Diaries, Manicero and Black N Beauty.
Dutrow was overjoyed by Flashpoint's performance, saying: "You have to be excited after a horse does that. He was sensational the first time and sensational today. I thought he'd be in front, but broke a step slow and sat off Todd's horse, so I'm happy to know that he can do that." When asked about Flashpoint’s next start, Dutrow commented: "We'll discuss the options, including the Florida Derby (A Grade I event taking place on 3 April 2011). Personally, I like the seven-eighths to a mile-and-an-eighth angle, but we’ll see. I would say his next start will be here. You never know if they can go long until they do it, but naturally with the Derby (referring to the Kentucky Derby) coming up everybody thinks about it."