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Feb 17, 2012

Hymn Book captures Donn Handicap


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Hymn Book, making his 2012 debut, outfought Mission Impazible down the stretch to win Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. The six-year-old gelding covered the 1 1/8- miles in 1:49.16 on a track listed as good.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Hymn Book was 6-1 at post-time and settled comfortably into fifth less than four-lengths off the lead. Trickmeister set the pace up the backstretch with 2011 Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford in second.

Shackleford, the 3-1 favorite in the 11-horse field, pressed the leader while last year's Belmont Stakes champ Ruler On Ice was running in eighth. Hymn Book, ridden by John Velazquez, was forced to race wide around the far turn but was able to gain ground at the top of the stretch.

Mission Impazible and jockey Javier Castellano had the lead at the top of the stretch and had a length lead heading to the wire. Hymn Book was bumped in the stretch but still found something more to rally.

Hymn Book and Mission Impazible battled through the final 100 yards with Velazquez getting his mount up at the wire. Hymn Book registered a nose victory over Mission Impazible with Redeemed finishing third.

Where's Sterling, who bumped Hymn Book, finished fourth followed by Flat Out, Trickmeister, Shackleford, Ruler On Ice, Sangaree, Al Khali and Soaring Empire.

Hymn Book, who broke from an outside post, is owned by Stuart Janney III and picked up $300,000 for the win. The gelding now has seven career wins in 14 starts with better than $600,000 in earnings.

The six-year-old was second in the Cigar Mile in November after winning a minor stakes the previous month at Belmont Park. Earlier last year Hymn Book was second to Flat Out in the Suburban Handicap and sixth in the Bernard Baruch.

Hymn Book paid $15.00, $7.80 and $5.60. Mission Impazible returned $9.20 and $5.80, and Redeemed paid $4.60 to show.

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