Too Much Action, Leandro Goncalves up, shown winning the Spirit of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston.  COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

A big Saturday for globetrotter O'Dwyer

Trainer Jerry O’Dwyer had a career day on Saturday, winning races on two continents. He sent Sibelius out to win the Golden Shaheen on the Dubai World Cup program in the Middle East and later won the Spirit of Texas Stakes at Sam Houston with Too Much Action. 

Sibelius, a 5-year-old gelding, usually does his running on the front end or pressing it. At Meydan, breaking from the inside, he found himself caught behind the duo setting the pace. Jockey Ryan Moore, riding Sibelius for the first time, had to wait for an opening to develop in the stretch of this six-furlong skirmish before he could send his mount to the fore. When that hole appeared, Sibelius was ready and went on to prevail in a photo over Switzerland, last year’s winner of this race. 

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Sibelius, owned by Jun Park and Della Nash, earned his third straight victory and first in a Group or Grade 1. This was also the first such triumph for O’Dwyer, whose previous high water mark was the Grade 2 Remsen with Shotski in 2019. 

Later in the day, Too Much Action ran from pretty much the same script as his stablemate. The 4-year-old gelding, owned by Double O Racing and Trevor Johnson, spent most of the six-furlong race down along the rail, waiting for an opening. Jockey Leandro Goncalves had enough time to work his way through and get his mount up by a head. Too Much Action paid $13.40 to win.