Alex Granato Wins FEI $71,200 Suncast Palm Beach Masters World Cup Qualifier at the CP Palm Beach Masters Winter Classic CSI4*-W
Alex Granato and Carlchen W topped a massive 18-horse jump-off to win the FEI $71,200 Suncast Palm Beach Masters World Cup Qualifier at the CP Palm Beach Masters Winter Classic CSI4*-W presented by Suncast®. Only four horse-and-rider combinations negotiated a double-clear on the Alan-Wade designed course and Granato was surprised at the numbers.
“I honestly didn’t expect there to be that many in the jump-off, but it was a good group and it was nice to see that there are that many ready to be here,” said Granato who finished the jump-off clean in 36.90 seconds. “A little bit of luck was on my side. My horse is naturally fast, so I just let him carry his pace. I tried to turn a bit tighter and I got away with a couple of rubs in the beginning, but I guess luck was on our side and we kept a quick pace, so we stayed on top.”
Danielle Goldstein, resplendent in feathers of orange and red, flew around the course to claim the first double clear. Riding Lizziemary, she stopped the Longines timers at 37.54 seconds. However, she had little doubt that someone would take over the lead. “Honestly I came out thinking I left the door wide open so I was not surprised that I got beat quickly. I didn’t think that I would hold on to second (place). With so many in the jump-off you think that somebody is going to catch you. I thought I was quick, but for sure I left the door open. I wish I hadn’t done that,” said Goldstein. “I made a point to come to this show. The footing is amazing. It’s been raining a lot the last week, but the footing felt that it hadn’t rained at all. It was really perfect. The management here is great and I very much enjoy coming to this show.”
Granato and Carlchen W sped through the door Goldstein left open, but the path to victory was not easy to find. “There wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity to gain a lot of speed from rider to rider. It was a pretty set track, you could only be tight. There weren’t a lot of options on leave-outs or turning inside somewhere that somebody else couldn’t do, you had to just tighten up the track and hold enough pace to be faster. I think they did a nice job.”
Jessica Springsteen also jumped double clear on Fleur de l’Aube in a time of 39.42 seconds, which was good enough for third. The Colts Neck, New Jersey resident was happy to be back at the Palm Beach Masters. “I always look forward to coming here,” said Springsteen. “Even when I first arrived here the other day, I had forgotten how beautiful it is. It really is an incredible venue and it is refreshing for the horses and riders and I am really happy to be here.”