Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Travel time was more than 21 hours . . .
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.’s Grade I-winning mare Aerolithe arrived at Gulfstream Park this morning at approximately 3:15 a.m. to prepare for the $7 million, Gr. I Pegasus World Turf Cup Invitational, North America’s richest grass race, on Jan. 26.

    The mare’s excellent adventure began in Tokyo, then to South Korea to Anchorage to Miami. Total travel time, including layovers, was 21 hours and 25 minutes. “She traveled really well, much better than expected,” said Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative for the Japan Racing Association.

    Aerolithe, winner of the Gr. I NHK Mile Cup as a 3-year-old, has finished first or second in nine of 13 career starts, including a victory Oct. 7 in the Gr. II Mainichi Okan and a second-place finish on June 3 in the Gr. I Yasuda Kinen. The 5-year-old daughter of Kurofune, a son of French Deputy, is trained by Takanori Kikuzawa. Hunter confirmed that Florent Geroux will ride the mare. She will remain in quarantine at Gulfstream for approximately 42 hours.

    “She’s going to stay inside the barn until her 42-hour quarantine is finished,” Hunter said. “But once that’s done, she’ll spend the day walking and the trainer, who is also going to be riding her in the mornings, gets in on the morning of the 20th, so he will be riding her on the morning of the 20th on the track.”

    Hunter said there is a great deal of excitement regarding Aerolithe’s participation in the Turf Invitational. “To be able to bring over a Japanese horse to America, especially with the recent issues with Japanese cargo companies not being able to fly in or out of Japan, it’s a huge get,” she said. “The filly really wanted to go to the Breeders’ Cup but we were denied because of airplane issues. So they were really keen on coming to America and giving it a go. She’s a really game filly with good speed and a lot of heart so they were really keen on giving her a chance in the United States.”

    Aerolithe is not the only international competitor on Pegasus World Cup Invitational day. Kukulkan, Mexico’s undefeated Triple Crown winner who was victorious in the Clasico del Caribe at Gulfstream in December, will return to compete in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus while Ireland’s Magic Wand will compete in the inaugural running of the World Turf Cup. 
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Breezed 5 furlongs at Palm Beach Downs . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Audible, the 2018 Florida Derby winner, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.91 Saturday morning at Palm Beach Downs in preparation for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26.

    “Audible’s training really well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I’ve been pleased with all of his works, particularly this morning. It was a good, solid five-eighths with a strong gallop-out that we were looking for. All indications are he’s in good form and coming up to the race very well.”

    Audible worked in company inside Impact Player before drawing clear in the stretch and galloping out well ahead of his workmate.

    Owned by China Horse Club, WinStar Farm, Head of Plains Partners LLC and Starlight Racing, Audible followed up his Florida Derby triumph with a troubled third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby before going to the sideline for six months. The son of Into Mischief fired fresh to win the seven-furlong Cherokee Run on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3 but faltered in his most recent start, finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday on Dec. 15 over a sloppy Gulfstream track.

    “It wasn’t what we were hoping for," Pletcher said. "We needed a race to build him up for the Pegasus. It didn’t go as planned. He was a prohibitive favorite. Unfortunately, before the race, the skies opened and we got a downpour into a harrowed track. They tried to seal it after that but it was too late. I think, more than anything, he didn’t like the condition of the track. He didn’t fire his best shot. He came out of it well and has trained better than ever coming into the Pegasus. It served its purpose in terms of conditioning.”

    Pletcher noted that the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus will be Audible’s third start off a layoff, widely viewed as a positive from handicapping and conditioning perspectives. “We eased back into it after the Harlan’s Holiday," Pletcher said. "We’ve put some good, solid five-eighths into him and I’ve been particularly pleased with the way he’s galloped out. This will be his third start off the layoff. I think a mile and an eighth is ideal for him, especially if there’s a good contested pace. That’s important for him. He likes to settle early. If we can get some good solid fractions. Some of the main contenders have a lot of speed. If they mix it up a little bit, I think he’ll benefit from that.”

Gunnevera ‘a Different Horse’ Heading into the Pegasus      

    Gunnevera continues to please trainer Antonio Sano with his preparation for the Pegasus World Cup. The 5-year-old son of Dialed In breezed six furlongs in 1:15.80 under Irad Ortiz Jr. Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park West. “I feel very happy with him,” said Sano, whose trainee finished third in last year’s Pegasus. “He’s a different horse. He’s a stronger horse.”

    Gunnevera, who concluded his 2018 campaign with a runner-up finish behind Pegasus contender Accelerate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, worked in company with stablemate Cometin.

    “He worked really good," Ortiz said. "He’s doing everything right. Hopefully, he comes back to racing the way he is right now.” Ortiz has the return mount on Gunnevera after guiding him to his runner-up finish in the Classic. Gunnevera, who has $4.1 million in career earnings, captured the 2017 Fountain of Youth. He also won the 2016 Saratoga Special and the $1 million Delta Jackpot and has been Gr. 1 stakes-placed in the 2017 Travers  and the 2018 Woodward at Saratoga, as well as the Classic.

Thursday, January 10, 2019
$50,000 guarantee, 12 percent takeout . . .

    LAUREL, MD – The Stronach 5, featuring a $50,000 guaranteed pool and industry-low 12-percent takeout, will travel from Maryland to South Florida to California Friday afternoon.

    The national pick 5 will offer turf races from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park with the sequence beginning at Laurel Park at 4:35 p.m. with a 10-horse field going a mile and ending at Golden Gate Fields at 5:47 p.m. with eight horses going a mile on the all-weather surface.

            Past Performances for Stronach 5:

      Friday’s Stronach 5 sequence

 ?   Leg One – Laurel Park 9th Race – (10 horses, one mile) 4:35 ET, 1:36 PT

?   Leg Two – Gulfstream Park 9th Race –(9 horses, six furlongs) 4:41 ET, 1:41 PT

?   Leg Three – Santa Anita 4th Race – (11 horses, 1 1/8th mile turf) 5 ET, 2 PT

?   Leg Four – Gulfstream Park 10th Race – (12 horses, 1 1 1/16th miles turf) 5:12 ET, 2:12 PT

?   Leg Five – Golden Gate Fields 5th Race – (8 horses, one mile) 5:47 ET, 2:47 PT

     Five bettors each received $29,027.90 last week for hitting the Stronach 5. Four bettors each cashed for $29,068.30 on Dec. 28 and 37 players each won $2,916.90 on Dec. 21.

    The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday.

    For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes.



Monday, January 7, 2019
Breezes 5 furlongs at Palm Meadows . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Florida-bred Patternrecognition breezed five furlongs Sunday morning in preparation for a scheduled start in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. The Chad Brown-trained winner of the Gr. I Cigar Mile Dec. 1 at Aqueduct was clocked in 1:02.05 while working at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.

    The son of Adios Charlie is a 100 percent Ocala Stud Farm product, out of the High Cotton mare Almost a Valentine. He has won his three most recent starts, including a victory in the Gr. II Kelso at Belmont Park prior to his Cigar Mile score. The 6-year-old didn't make a start until April of his 4-year-old season in 2017, breaking his maiden at Aqueduct in his debut. He posted a record that year of 2-4-0 in six starts. After a long layoff to begin 2018, he has gone 3-1-0 in five tries, including the two graded stakes, and his earnings jumped to $812,325.

    Sold by Ocala Stud for $420,000 at the 2015 OBS April 2-year-old sale, he has been worse than second just once, and that was a fourth.


    The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $88,035.81 for the Wednesday program. Multiple tickets with all six winners each paid $2,883.18. The multi-race wager has gone unsolved for two racing days after yielding a $166,317 payoff Friday. After going unsolved for the first 12 programs of the 2018-2019 Championship Meet, there have been four jackpots paid out. The wager was solved on Dec. 19 for a $580,349 payoff, Dec. 27 for $288,350 and again Dec. 30 for $177,317.

    The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. 

   WHO'S HOT -  Jockey Jose Ortiz tripled with victories aboard Silver Diva ($13.80) in Race 3, Queen of Beas ($5) in Race 6 and Math Wizard ($6) in Race 11.  Emisael Jaramillo notched a double with Brenda’s G L P ($29.40) in Race 5 and High Risk Strategy ($19.60) in Race 4.

Friday, January 4, 2019
Up $122.7 billion from 2017 . . .
    HALLANDALE BEACH - A record $2.010 billion was wagered via Gulfstream Park in 2018, representing a $122.7 million increase over the previous record in 2017. Live wagering was up from $1.632 billion to $1.750 billion despite two fewer days of racing.
    Gulfstream’s 2018 highlights included the second-running of the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), won by Gun Runner, named Horse of the Year two days earlier at the Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park. All-sources handle on the Pegasus was a then-record $41 million, a four-percent increase over the 2017 inaugural running. The 67th running of the $1 million Florida Derby, won by Audible, generated a total handle of $49.909 million, a single-day record handle.
    “We’re grateful for all the support we received in 2018 from fans and horsemen,” said Gulfstream’s General Manager Bill Badgett. “The quality of racing, the stars both human and equine who participated at Gulfstream were incredible. We continue to rebuild year-round racing in Florida with the help of breeders, owners and horsemen. While we’re pleased with the record growth the past two years in handle, we believe there is room to continue growing. The Stronach Group’s commitment to reinvigorate thoroughbred racing is evident by its pursuit of improved customer service, relevant entertainment and fine dining.”