Track Times Today

Monday, May 21, 2018
Today's papers are devoid of expertise . . .

    It's no secret that the amount of space devoted to thoroughbred racing in the country's newspapers has diminished significantly in recent years. There are various theories for the slight to the sport of kings, but one of the major problems that nobody disputes is the decided lack of sports editors who grew up spending time at the local tracks with their fathers, or mothers, as the case may be. 

    Several decades ago, the New York press boxes were not only inhabited by one or more racing writers for each of the city's papers, but also by the sports editors of those papers. On any given day, Belmont, Aqueduct or Jamaica might be the hangout for such as Mike Lee of the Long Island Press, Ed Comerford of Newsday, Ike Gellis of the New York Post, or several others. Those denizens made sure racing was prominent in their respective papers. 

    With the passing of the old guard. the new sports editors are more interested in the NFL, and Major League Baseball, and the NBA, and (ugh!) NASCAR. With less overall space devoted to sports sections these days, racing is the sport that has taken the biggest hit. 

    The problem has not only resulted in less racing news, but a lack of expertise exhibited in the little space allowed. Unfortunately, the Ocala Star Banner, once a place where racing columns and racing news were plentiful, has a bunch of amateurs trying to keep Ocala's huge thoroughbred community updated. Not only is the news doled out sparsely, the way it is presented thrusts the amateurs into the spotlight.

    I could devote paragraphs to the Star Banner's lack of expertise, but I'll use just one instance, a caption under a picture of Justify winning the Preakness in yesterdays edition. Here it is:

    "Justify, with Mike Smith atop, wins the 143rd Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico race track, Saturday in Baltimore. Bravazo, with Luis Saez aboard, wins second while Tenfold, with Ricardo Santana Jr. atop, places." 

    I was in awe upon learning that Bravazo won second and that Tenfold placed. It's enough to make one want to barf, and wonder where this guy (or girl) learned his or her trade. Hopefully, sports editor Paul Kardasz will keep the culprit far from the racing scene from now on. 

    DRILLING IT HOME - Get Away Farm's freshman sire, the Lawyer Ron stallion Drill, celebrated his first winner yesterday when Drill Time went wire-to-wire in a 4 1/2-furlong, $27,785 maiden special at Golden Gate Fields. The Florida colt bred by Jennifer and Gillian Johnson put up :22.32 for the first quarter and went on to score by two lengths in :52.72. Drill Time collected $15,600 for the effort.  

    Five of Florida's seven freshman sires of 2018 now have at least one winner. Ocala Stud's Uncaptured has two.  



Friday, May 18, 2018
All Kentucky-breds at Pimlico . . .

    Eight holdovers from the Kentucky Derby are lined up for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness at Pimlico, with Derby winner Justify sitting as the 1/2 morning line choice. The big question, as always, is, "After his commanding performance in Louisville, can Justify win the Triple Crown?"

    Seventeen of the 20 runners last time were Kentucky-breds, this time all eight are from the blue grass.

    Aside from Justify, the other holdovers are Good Magic, who nabbed second by a head from Audible at odds of 9-1; Lone Sailor, who was 24-1 and finished eighth, and Bravazo, who was sixth at 66-1.

    Good Magic lost by 2 1/2 lengths with Jose Ortiz and has his services again. He's the second choice at 3-1.

    Lone Sailor has brother Irad Ortiz after finishing 9 1/4 lengths behind under James Graham and experiencing serious problems along the inside. He's listed at 15-1.

    Bravazo was bumped at the start with Luis Contreras aboard, raced in mid-pack, and was four or five wide most of the trip. He lost by eight lengths, and was only a length out of fifth, the final money spot. He switches to Luis Saez this time and is listed at 20-1.

    The purse is $1.5 million and all will carry 126 pounds. D. Wayne Lukas has two entrants, Bravazo and Sporting Chance, who goes with Contreras. Third choice on the line at 12-1 is Brisset, who leaves from the rail with Florent Geroux. 

    Did the sloppy track at Churchill Downs cost most of the participants, or was Justify just too good?   


Monday, May 14, 2018
Catch Your Dream romps at Gulfstream . . .

    Ocala Stud Farm's Uncaptured has the distinction of becoming the first freshman sire of 2018 to get two winners. After Bye Bye J gave the stallion by Lion Heart his first winner, No. 2 came at Gulfstream Park yesterday when Capture Your Dream romped at 4 1/2 furlongs by 10 1/2 lengths under Luca Panici.

    The filly owned and bred by Kathy Machesky was clocked in :52.08 and collected a check of $42,000. That raised Uncaptured's earnings to $66,000, third best among all frosh sires. Cajun Breeze, from Stonehedge Farm South, is the nation's leader with one winner, several runner-up finishers, and earnings of $97,400. 

    Florida has two other frosh sires with a winner - CoCo Ranch's Global Response (Global Beauty) and Pleasant Acres Stallions Handsome Mike (Saint Michael).      

Friday, May 11, 2018
Wager hits for more than $1.2 million . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH – Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 was hit Thursday afternoon for $1,214,280.62. The winning ticket was played in Lewiston, Maine.

    Thursday’s Rainbow 6 sequence started with Love and Lemons ($3.60) winning the fifth race and Wild Chatter ($11.40) the sixth. But after Global Beauty Coco won the third leg and returned $151.40 the live tickets were trimmed to a precious few. There were just five live tickets going into the 10th and final race of the day, and Delicious Pursuit ($18.20) was one of those live tickets.

    Racing returns Friday with a 10-race program beginning at 1:15 p.m. There will be a Super Hi 5 carryover of $3,887.63.



Three Rules Returns Saturday in $100,000 Big Drama


    Graded stakes-winner Three Rules, who swept the 2016 Florida Sire Stakes, returns to the races after a five-month layoff Saturday in Gulfstream’s $100,000 Big Drama.

    The seven-furlong event drew a field of seven including graded stakes-winner Mr. Jordan, Gulfstream Park Sprint runner-up Sweetontheladies, Tampa Bay’s Sprint Stakes runner-up Deland and 2017 Sunshine Millions Classic winner Hy Riverside.

    First race post Saturday is 12:45 p.m.

    Three Rules, trained by Jose Pinchin, became a fan favorite during the summer of 2016 when the son of Gone Astray swept the rich FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes program for owner-breeder Bert Pilcher and his partners. “This horse took us places and we’ve done stuff we never thought possible,” said Pilcher Wednesday afternoon.

    After finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, Three Rules returned in 2017 and finished second in the Swale (G2), third in the Fountain of Youth (G2), fifth in the Florida Derby (G1), and third in the Chick Lang at Pimlico. Since winning the Carry Back (G3) last summer, Three Rules’ lone start was a second-place finish Dec. 16 at Tampa in the Marion County Florida Sire Stakes.

    “He had a couple little things…really was just off his feed a little bit and not as good as he had been so we just went ahead and let him be a horse for a while,” Pilcher said. “He came back to the farm but he wasn’t as happy as he usually is so he went back to the track. We just did less with him. He likes being there. He’s happy in that environment.”

    Three Rules will go into the Big Drama on six works, two of them bullets over Gulfstream’s main track. “He’s doing really well,” Pilcher added. “He’s been working great. I know Jose is high on him putting in a big year and we hope it all translates this year to having a lot more fun.”

    Nik Juarez is named to ride Three Rules.

    Mr. Jordan, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., takes a considerable drop in class after finishing fifth in the Gulfstream Park Hardacre Mile (G2) March 31 and fourth in the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) March 3. While the gelded son of Kantheros has won eight of 20 starts and $677,000, Mr. Jordan is winless in 12 tries at Gulfstream. The 6-year-old, who has finished second five times at Gulfstream, will have Edgard Zayas in the saddle.


Monday, May 7, 2018
Racing resumes Thursday . . .





    HALLANDALE BEACH – Bettors will have something special to look forward to at Gulfstream Park when racing resumes with a 10-race program Thursday – a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $1,006,359.41,

    There was no single winner of the wager Sunday. Multiple tickets with all six winners returned $2,771.88. There was $299,789 of new money bet into the Rainbow 6 Sunday.

    Thursday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will begin with a five furlong turf event for fillies and mares that drew a field of 12.

    NOTE: Jockey Nik Juarez rode four winners Sunday. Juarez won the first aboard Paco Ensaco ($12.60), the fourth with Oola Gal ($23.20), the ninth on Proper Princess ($7) and the 11th and final race with Flowmotion ($6.40).