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Conquest Warrior Scores Handily in Gulfstream Allowance

Enjoying a far cleaner trip than he had encountered in his maiden victory, Courtlandt Farms’ Conquest Warrior  galloped home the easiest of winners in a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park March 1.

The $1 million colt broke sharply this time and was allowed to settle behind rivals into a comfortable rhythm under jockey Jose Ortiz. Racing just off the rail, Conquest Warrior bided his time as second-choice Merit  streaked through uncontested early fractions of :23.79 and :47.62. Angled out and set to chase into the final turn, Conquest Warrior drew even with Merit at the top of the lane and strode clear.

Five lengths on top, Ortiz wrapped up on the long-striding colt as the pair hit the wire in a final time of 1:50.52 for 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track.

Hammered down to 3-5 at the windows, Conquest Warrior returned $3.20 in his third career start for trainer Shug McGaughey.

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Jose Ortiz admitted to TVG following the race that he hadn’t quite gotten to the bottom of Conquest Warrior yet.

“Today was pretty easy for him. It was a great stepping stone going two turns. For going 1 1/8 miles he finished very well.”

After passing his two-turn test with flying colors, the March 30 $1 million Florida Derby (G1) could be the next step for the 3-year-old son of City of Light  . The Florida Derby is worth 100 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to its victor.

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