Sunday, March 17, 2019
Mischievous Bird wins under Leparoux . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Legendary Saratoga socialite and philanthropist Marylou Whitney visited the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle alongside husband John Hendrickson Saturday, celebrating homebred Mischievous Bird’s impressive 3 ¾-length triumph in the fifth race. The 93-year-old thoroughbred owner and breeder, who has been battling health issues during the winter months, flashed a huge smile when greeted by winning jockey Julien Leparoux.

    “I feel fine now that you won,” she told Leparoux, who was in total control aboard the 3-year-old son of Into Mischief during the six-furlong maiden special weight event.

    Mischievous Bird was making his first start since finishing off the board in his debut after a troubled trip at Saratoga Aug. 25, when he was a well-backed 2-1. “I told Julien, ‘Six months later we got what we expected,” trainer Norm Casse said.

     Mischievous Bird ($13.60) broke alertly to press the pace set by Chad Brown-trained Sayyaaf along the backstretch and around the turn before pulling away to victory when asked for some run in the stretch. The Kentucky-bred colt ran six furlongs in 1:12.40 to comfortably prevail over a late-running Island Song, who nosed out Sayyaaf for the place.

    Casse derived special satisfaction while visiting the winner’s circle with a horse campaigned by Whitney and Hendrickson. “It just means so much to me, because when I went out on my own, there wasn’t a whole lot of support. I think people thought I’d have a barnful of horses, and that was not the case. Marylou and John really were the first owners to call and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to get behind you,” said Casse, who went out on his own early last year after serving as the top assistant for his father Mark Casse. “For this horse to win today with Marylou in attendance means a lot.”

Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Swells to $1,768,553

    The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot grew to $1,768,553.06 for today's 12-race program when the multi-race wager went unsolved for the 22nd consecutive day Saturday. A total of $649,622 was bet into the multi-race wager, which began with a pool of $1,612,709 carried over from Friday’s card. Multiple tickets with six winners Saturday were each worth $25,518.20. The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12.

Who’s Hot:  Julien Leparoux doubled, scoring aboard Royalty Salvatore ($4.60) in Race 1, before making Marylou Whitney’s day with his winning ride on Mischievous Bird.


Thursday, March 14, 2019
Pot unsolved for 20 days . . .

    The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot at Gulfstream Park swelled to $1,509,826.12 today when the multi-race wager went unsolved for 20th consecutive racing day. First-race post time for Friday’s 10-race card is set for 1:15 p.m.

     A total of $350,744 was bet into the multi-race wager, which began with a pool of $1,425,670.10 carried over from Wednesday’s card. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $349.62. Since the Championship Meet kicked off Dec. 1, the Rainbow 6 has been hit seven times, most recently for a $227,505.88 payout Feb. 15.

Who’s Hot: Two-time defending Championship Meet titlist Luis Saez made it to the 100-win mark for the third straight season at Gulfstream Thursday while riding A Bit of Both ($2.20) to victory in Race 3. Saez went on to capture Race 5 with Eastern Princess ($8.20) and Cappy Hour ($7.40) in the 10th.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Ocala Stud gets $850,000 for The Big Beast filly . . .
    Hip No. 422, a son of Medaglia d’Oro consigned by King’s Equine, agent, went to D. J. Stable LLC & Cash Is King for $900,000 to top the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. The dark bay or brown colt, who turned in an eighth in :10 flat at Saturday’s under tack session, is out of graded stakes-placed Rashnaa, by Tapit, a half sister to stakes-winner Mistda.

    Hip No. 302, a daughter of The Big Beast consigned by Ocala Stud, was sold to LEB, agent for West Point, M. Anthony and B. Sandbrook, for $850,000. The bay filly, who breezed a quarter in :20 4/5 at Friday’s under tack session, is out of Lucky Trip, by Trippi, a full sister to Gr. I stakes-placed, stakes-winning OBS March graduate Candrea. She’s also a half sister to OBS graduate I Am the Danger, who set a track record on Feb. 3 at Santa Anita, winning a 5-1/2 furlong allowance in 1:01.64.

    Mike Ryan, agent, went to $850,000 for Hip No. 325, a son of Palace Malice consigned by Pick View LLC, agent. The bay colt, who breezed a quarter last Friday in :21 1/5, is out of Miss Always Ready, by More Than Ready, a full sister to graded stakes-winner More Than Real.

    Hip No. 346, Wisely to Fair, a daughter of Uncle Mo consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, agent, was sold to Katsumi Yoshida for $525,000. The dark bay or brown filly, whose under tack eighth in :9 4/5 was co-fastest at the distance on Friday, is out of My Fast One, by Elusive Quality, a three quarter sister to stakes-winner No Mo Dough.

    OXO Equine LLC went to $525,000 for Hip No. 495, a son of Discreet Cat consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, who turned in an under tack quarter on Saturday in: 20 3/5. The gray or roan colt is a half brother to stakes-winner Sir Genghis out of Staria, by Unbridled’s Song.

    Hip No. 319, a son of American Pharoah also consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, was sold to Narvick International for $475,000. The bay colt, who worked a quarter in :21 1/5 on Friday, is a half brother to graded stakes-winning OBS March graduate Night Prowler out of graded stakes-winner Mary’s Follies, by More Than Ready.

    Team Casse, agent, paid $475,000 for Hip No. 387, a daughter of Tapiture consigned by S B M Training and Sales, agent, who breezed an eighth in : 9 4/5 on Saturday. The bay filly is a half sister to stakes-placed Joevia, second in Aqueduct’s Jimmy Winkfield Stakes since the catalog was printed, out of Peace Process, by War Front.

    Hip No. 410, a son of Lemon Drop Kid consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, was also sold for $475,000, going to L.E.B., agent for West Point & Al Frassetto. The gray or roan colt, who worked a quarter in :21 2/5 on Saturday, is out of stakes-placed Queenie’s Song , by Unbridled’s Song, a daughter of graded stakes-winner Queen of Money.

    Hip No. 546, a daughter of Fast Anna consigned by de Meric Sales, agent, went to Breeze Easy LLC for  $470,000. The bay filly, who breezed an eighth in :9 4/5 on Saturday, is out of True Will, by Yes It’s True, from the family of champion Hidden Lake.

    Hip No. 418, a dark bay or brown colt by The Big Beast whose under tack eighth in : 9 3/5 was the show’s fastest at the distance, was purchased by Peter Miller, agent, for $450,000. Consigned by L.G., agent, he’s out of Raebear, by Our Emblem, a half sister to graded stakes-placed Speed Hawk.

    Gulf Coast Stables LLC went to $450,000 for Hip No. 544, a daughter of Commissioner consigned by Brick City Thoroughbreds. The bay filly, who worked an under tack quarter in :21 flat, is out of Tregrandibambini, by Stonesider, a half sister to graded stakes-placed stakes-winner Willet.

    For the session, 147 horses sold for a total of $21,291,000, compared with 128 horses bringing $21,948,000 at last year’s second session. The average price was $144,837, compared with $171,469 last year while the median price was $95,000, compared with $120,000 in 2018. The buyback percentage was 25.4%; it was 28.1% a year ago.

    For the entire sale, 309 horses sold for $44,422, 500 compared with 257 bringing $42,275,000 a year ago. The average price was $143,762 compared with $164,494 in 2018 while the median price was $80,000 compared with $105,000 a year ago. The buyback percentage was 23.1%; it was 29.2% in 2018.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Features six $115,000 stakes . . .
    Fans should begin making plans for the 17th annual Florida Cup Day, to be held at Tampa Bay Downs on Sunday, March 31. The program includes six $115,000 stakes races for registered Florida-breds.

    The menu includes the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies and the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore, both for 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs on the main track; the DRF Bets Sophomore Turf, for 3-year-olds at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the grass; the Pleasant Acres Stallions Distaff Turf, for fillies and mares 3-years-old-and-up at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the grass; the Touch Vodka Turf Classic, for horses 4-years-old-and-up at a mile-and-an-eighth on the grass; and the Zaxby’s Sprint, for horses 4-years-old-and-up on the main track.

    Recent Florida Cup runners include 2017 Turf Classic winner World Approval, who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile that year and was honored with an Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Male; two-time Florida Cup winner Imperial Hint, a multiple-Gr. I winner and two-time Champion Sprinter finalist; It’s Me Mom, who set the standing Tampa Bay Downs track record of 1:08.67 for 6 furlongs in the 2012 Sprint; and 2016 Sprint winner Catalina Red, a subsequent Gr. II winner.

    The “Kids and Family Days” event is scheduled for Sunday. It's the final “Kids and Family Days” celebration of the 2018-2019 meeting and takes place in the Backyard Picnic Area, just north of the paddock. Admission is free.

    Pony rides, bounce houses, slides and games are among the numerous activities for the younger set. The gathering spot under the big tent is within easy walking distance of the outside rail, giving everyone a chance to watch the stretch-run action.

    Party goers can expect a visit from the track mascot, Mouse the Miniature Horse (FYI, she loves pats on the neck and peppermint candy). For many, “Kids and Family Day” is an ideal way to enjoy a laid-back afternoon of thoroughbred competition and introduce newcomers to the Sport of Kings.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
New handicapping tool for bettors . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Bettors have a new handicapping tool in their programs at all Stronach Group tracks – the weight of horses. The Stronach Group is the first thoroughbred racetrack operator to include the weights of horses in the past performance lines of its programs. This includes Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields.

    “We’re always looking for innovative handicapping tools to help our bettors, and this is something bettors domestically and internationally began asking for last year,” said The Stronach Group’s COO Tim Ritvo.

    The Stronach Group tracks began collecting the information last spring. The information has been shared with bettors on the track simulcasts since last summer.

            “This is data-driven world, and we’re excited about adding this data to our programs as we continue our growth internationally,” Ritvo added. “Bettors and horsemen have used this information in the past to find out a horse’s optimum racing weight. We believe you can never provide enough information.”

Horses at all Stronach Group tracks have been weighed on a scale located in the paddock areas. That information has been shared on each track’s daily simulcast since last summer.