Breakin the Fever repeats in George W. Barker from off the pace

Monday, June 5th, 2017
SV Photography

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Two-time Finger Lakes Horse of the Year and confirmed front-runner Breakin the Fever (Roaring Fever) had to switch tactics to defend his title in the 6-furlong, $50,000 George W. Barker Stakes at Finger Lakes Monday afternoon, but the 5-year-old still managed to come up with a winning performance for breeder-owner-trainer Debra Breed.

Favored at odds of 3-4, Breakin the Fever got out of post one a step slow under jockey Nazario Alvarado, was hustled up into third, then taken back into fourth position at the fence for the early splits. Meanwhile, Marriedtothemusic (9-2), bounced out of the gate and struck the front, soon to be joined by Love That Jazz (9-2). The top pair were pursued by Fratello Del Nord (5-1) through an opening quarter in :22 flat.

As the leaders entered the far turn, Love that Jazz began to draw off, while in the bend Breakin the Fever worked his way toward the outside for clear running.

Marriedtothemusic, Love That Jazz and Fratello Del Nord hit the head of the lane together, completing the half in 45.45, while Breakin the Fever tipped out and launched his bid four-wide and, in upper stretch, began to close the three-plus-length gap.

As Marriedtothemusic re-rallied at the rail and Fratello Del Nord took second, the favorite hit his best stride. He ran down his rivals in the final sixteenth and scored a half-length victory in a final time of 1:11.70. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Marriedtothemusic, who bore the brunt of the hard work on the front end, held second, finishing a half-length in front of Fratello Del Nord. Completing the order of finish were Sundae on Sunday, Love That Jazz, Baime and Frisky Warrior.

Breakin the Fever’s 17th career victory in 26 starts and sixth stakes victory carried his earnings over the half-million-dollar threshold to $500,441.

The gelding has sustained peak form over two racing seasons and seems to thrive from regular winter breaks. He has won 11 of his last 13 dates with the starter dating back to August 2015, has a 13-for-15 record at Finger Lakes and is currently riding a six-race winning streak. His penultimate start last year produced a career-best performance when he won the Hudson Handicap on last year’s Empire Showcase card.

Breakin the Fever is one of four winners from four foals to start out of Breakers West, a winning daughter of Rodeo owned and bred in New York by Francis Casey and trained by Debra Breed. Breakers West foaled a colt by Hold Me Back on April 11, 2017.

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