Track Times Today

Monday, February 19, 2018
Special holiday program today . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH – Gulfstream Park hosts a special Presidents Day program today highlighted by the $200,000, Gr. II Royal Delta for fillies and mares going one mile and a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $1,072,444.40.

    The 12-race program begins at noon with the Royal Delta the 11th race on the card.

    There was no single winner in Sunday’s Rainbow 6. Multiple winning tickets returned $1,445.90. There was $431,318 of fresh money wagered into the pool.

     Today's Rainbow 6 sequence begins with the seventh race, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies. The sequence will also include a maiden special weight event for 3-year-old fillies going 5 ½ furlongs and the Royal Delta.

     The popular multi-race wager was last hit Jan. 28, when the mandatory payout of a North American record $19.779 million pool produced multiple winning tickets worth $15,566.

    SHARP IN WILLISTON - Congratulations to Paul Sharp, owner of Willow Creek Ranch in Williston, who broke and trained Monomoy Girl, winner of the Gr. II Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds Saturday. 

    The 3-year-old Tapit filly broke outward, hit the gate, and was settled into seventh (and last) place in the mile and one-sixteenth race. Florent Geroux began to move her up after a half mile and the strangely-named filly proved to be a ton the best, winning by 2 1/2 lengths and adding $120,000 to her spiraling bankroll, which now stands at $256,550. 

    Monomoy Girl is 4-1-0 in five starts and previously won the Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs and was second in the Gr. II Golden Rod. The $100,000 Keeneland September yearling could be headed for the Ashland at Keeneland prior to the Kentucky Oaks.  




Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Ziconic has tried 12 times . . .

    Zenyatta remains without a winner.

    The great racemare's best runner (out of two), Ziconic, contested a $54,345 maiden race at Santa Anita and finished fourth in a field of six, beaten 6 1/2 lengths. The time for the mile on the grass was a good 1:34.51, so the effort wasn't as bad as it appears. Ziconic did close a big gap along the way; he was 19 lengths behind after a quarter of a mile, and 12 1/2 back at the half.  

    The Kentucky-bred has now started 12 times and compiled a record of 0-2-6. The $3,240 check for fourth raised his earnings to $70,465 for Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs, so, as they say, he's still better than an empty stall.   

    CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR - It certainly doesn't compare to a trainer winning his first race with the first horse he saddles, but Norm Casse can't really complain that his first runner finished second.

    Norm is the son of Ocalan Mark Casse, who has blossomed into one of the best trainers in North America, and the grandson of the late Norman Casse, one of the founders and guiding forces of the Ocala Breeders Sales Co. for more than four decades.  

    Norm has been an assistant to his dad for years, and recently made the big move and went out on his own. His first runner was the 3-year-old maiden filly Rate of Return at Gulfstream Park, and the daughter of Eskendereya was the 4-1 third choice in a 1 1/16th-mile turf race with a claiming price of $50,000 and a purse of $35,000. 

    Julien Leparoux, who is one of his father's go-to riders, was aboard Rate of Return, and she led every step of the way until nearing the wire, where she was passed by 15-1 shot Hazana, with John Velazquez. The runner-up check was worth $6,000, lifting Rate of Return's earnings to $11,900 on a record of 3-0-1-1.

Monday, February 12, 2018
Live Oak gelding wins fourth straight . . .

OLDSMAR – World Approval had already established himself as a heavyweight champion before his victory in the Gr. III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. But trainer Mark Casse learned  he has a 3-year-old in his barn who can trade punches with some of the best of his age group.

“He’s a fighter,” Casse said after his 3-year-old colt Flameaway fought back in deep stretch under jockey Jose Lezcano to defeat 7-10 favorite Catholic Boy by a half-length in the Gr. III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race. “If you’ve ever watched him, you’ve seen that.

Flameaway, an Ontario-bred son of Scat Daddy-Vulcan Rose, by Fusaichi Pegasus, completed the mile-and-a-sixteenth on the main track in 1:42.44 to establish a stakes record, .01 seconds faster than McCraken’s winning time last year.

Flameaway, who improved to 5-for-7 lifetime, is owned by John C. Oxley. He paid $22.60 to win. Vino Rosso rallied for third, three-quarters of a length behind Catholic Boy, with Hollywood Star fourth.

The Sam F. Davis was the highlight of an outstanding Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South afternoon of action that saw the 2017 Champion Turf Male, 6-year-old World Approval, hold on for a half-length victory over Forge in the Tampa Bay Stakes.

John Velazquez was aboard the gelding, owner/breeder Charlotte Weber’s pride and joy who has four consecutive victories and could be headed to Dubai for a $6-million race next month. World Approval paid $2.40 to win while racing the mile-and-a-sixteenth on grass in 1:40.66.

In the Sam F. Davis, Catholic Boy, under jockey Manuel Franco, stuck his head in front at the 1/8-mile pole, but Flameaway dug in on the rail and persevered for the victory.

Flameaway broke his maiden as a 2-year-old on the all-weather surface at Woodbine, won the Skidmore at Saratoga on a sloppy track, captured the Gr. III Dixiana Bourbon at Keeneland on a sloppy track in a race taken off the turf and won the Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream in his 3-year-old debut on the turf.

“I told Jose he was going to like this track,” Casse said. “As long as the track is fairly firm, I think he’ll run on anything. I would say there is a good chance (to return for the Gr. II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 10), but it’s something I have to talk to Mr. Oxley about.

A crowd of 5,147 got what they came to see in World Approval, the Eclipse winner who is now 3-for-3 over the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.

World Approval improved to 12-2-4 in 25 lifetime starts and the winner’s share of $115,000 raised his career earnings to $3,052,363. He's the biggest money-earner for his dam, Win Approval, who has also produced millionaires Miesque's Approval ($2,648,879), Revved Up ($1,548,653) and Za Approval ($1,904,666). 

Total all-sources wagering handle was $9,504,283.45, making it the second-highest Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South betting card in track history.



















Friday, February 9, 2018
By Nicoletti, Courtney and Blewitt



    HALLANDALE BEACH – With Gulfstream Park offering guarantees on its Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 and Late Pick 4 – sequences that include the Gr. I, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf and Gr. I, $150,000 Suwannee River - hosts and analysts Ron Nicoletti, Acacia Courtney and Jason Blewitt preview their tickets for Saturday's big day of racing.


Ron Nicoletti on the $750,000 Rainbow 6

Using three in the opener. ORBED stretches out to a mile and a sixteenth. SLOT will break from an ultra-tough outside post (13) after a solid sophomore debut in which he finished second. HE TAKES CHARGE finished an improved third behind Slot last out.

I also went three deep in second leg with longshot Admiral’s Cove, dropdown Miles of Humor, and Harlan’s Hunch, for the hot Danny Gargan barn.

I’m using two horses in the G1 Gulfstream Park Turf. MONEY MULTIPLIER, who won the Monmouth (G2) at the distance, turns back after ending his 2017 campaign with a late-closing fourth in the Red Smith Handicap (G3). Trainer Chad Brown has Javier Castellano looking to sit the ‘trip’ behind the speed, which surely includes HEART TO HEART. The speedy son of English Channel breaks from the rail, and is reunited with jockey Julien Leparoux, after losing his best chance when he reared at the start and was forced to sit behind the pace in the Fort Lauderdale (G2).

I’m using three horses in the very competitive Suwannee River (G3). DREAM DANCING is stretching out after returning to run second in the mile and a sixteenth Marshua’s River (G3). KITTEN’S ROAR is making her local return after a stellar 2017 campaign in which she was second in the E P Taylor (G1), and won the Goldikova (G2) at Del Mar. ELYSEA’S WORLD is making her local return after a frustrating 2017 campaign in which she amassed a 9-0-4-2 record, including the narrow defeat in the Frankel (G3) at Santa Anita in her last.

Also using three in in the next leg. With POWER OF ATTORNEY, MOJOVATION, who proved he could handle the turf last out, and CEEVEE, who breaks from the rail with that always-dangerous commodity – speed.

Only using two in the finale with best bet LAYTHATPISTOLDOWN, and saver CONQUEST SANDMAN.


R7: 6-10-13

R8: 1-9-12

R9: 1-5

R10: 5-8-9

R11: 1-5-10

R12: 6-8

Cost - $64.60 (20-cent wager)


Acacia Courtney on the $300,000 Late Pick 4


The 50 cent Late Pick 4, with a $300,000 guaranteed pool, starts in style with the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1). HEART TO HEART, with four wins at Gulfstream from six starts, is a must-use, but will have to deal with other speed types. As a result, I’ll also use closers MONEY MULTIPLIER and CHANNEL MAKER, both of whom have recently been facing top graded stakes competition.

The Suwannee River (G3) is next in the sequence, and I wanted coverage here. ULTRA BRAT and DREAM DANCING will renew their rivalry from their last meeting in the Marshua’s River (G3), but I’m very interested in ELYSEA’S WORLD, who has a good record at this track. I’ll also use the classy KITTEN’S ROAR from the outside post.

I’m using two horses in each of the final legs, with MOJOVATION and POWER OF ATTORNEY in Race 11, both coming out of the Kitten’s Joy, and LAYTHATPISTOLDOWN and CONQUEST SANDMAN in the finale, giving me coverage from top barns and riders to close out the day.


R9: 1-5-8

R10: 5-6-8-9

R11: 5-10

R12: 6-8

Cost – $24


Jason Blewitt on the $400,000 Lake Pick 5


Love these mega-money guaranteed Late Pick 5s this time of year at Gulfstream Park. Today's sequence is a good one, led by the Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) and Suwannee River (G3).I’m using two to start in race 8, the first-time-tagged Robusto for leading trainer Todd Pletcher and fresh Danny Gargan claim, Harlan’s Hunch.

Then it’s three-deep in the GP Turf – the second of three Gr. 1s this meet – with Heart to Heart (no shot last time after a disastrous start), Hi Happy (first-time Pletcher) and Money Multiplier. I like Money Multiplier the most and it really is incredible looking at the career he has had for trainer Chad Brown; this is a tough veteran who just goes out there and runs hard.

Speaking of Chad, I’m using his Elysea’s World in the Suwannee River along with major stakes winners Kitten’s Roar and Dream Dancing. Today's single belongs to Power of Attorney in race 10. I’m giving him one more chance off a narrow seventh-place finish (I’m serious!) in a weirdly run Kitten’s Joy last month.

And I’ll be lining up at the window to cash (I’ll be happy to save you a spot in line) with Laythatpistoldown and Conquest Sandman in race 12. Best of luck!


R8: 1-10




R12: 6-8

Cost - $18





Friday, February 9, 2018
No Tepin in Gr. III race Saturday . . .



   OLDSMAR – Tampa Bay Downs trainer Michele Boyce says her 7-year-old mare Lovely Loyree will tell her when it’s time to leave the racetrack. Judging by the way she’s acted this winter, that day isn’t coming any time soon.

    The Illinois-bred Lovely Loyree, who breezed 6 furlongs Sunday in 1:15.20 under Daniel Centeno, is one of eight entrants for Saturday's Gr. III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour, which is the ninth race on the Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South card. She will break from the No. 5 post.

    “I just hope I’m not overmatching her,” said Boyce, knowing full well Lovely Loyree will need an outstanding effort to compete against the likes of Group/Grade I winners Dona Bruja and La Coronel. “There are some really nice fillies in there, and I have no prep races in her, which makes me feel as if I might not have her quite as tight as I would like her.”

    On the flip side, Lovely Loyree will enter the starting gate with fresh legs, having last raced at September in Arlington. And Boyce is also buoyed by the outcome the previous times Lovely Loyree raced at Tampa Bay Downs two years ago, when she finished third in both the Lambholm South Endeavour and the Gr. II Hillsborough Stakes, both won by that year’s Eclipse Award-winning Grass Female, Tepin.

    “When you’re on the board against Tepin, it’s a mark of accomplishment,” Boyce said, chuckling at the memory. “She’s as good a racehorse as you’ll see in many a year. “(Lovely Loyree) put in a good effort in those races. I don’t know if she still has that ability, but she’s training well, and I’m very happy with that. I just haven’t had enough opportunity this year to run her.”

    Lovely Loyree, who will be ridden by Centeno, is owned by Boyce’s Cherrywood Racing Stables II in partnership with Marty Nixon’s Feel The Thunder Stable, Margaret Burlingham’s Oak Rock Racing and Terry Biondo. In addition to her two graded-stakes placings here, she has won stakes at Hawthorne, Indiana Grand and Arlington. The daughter of Cactus Ridge prefers to run on or near the lead, and has a lifetime mark of seven victories, four seconds and five thirds from 19 starts, with earnings of $293,948. All but three of her starts have come on turf, where she is 6-for-16 with one out-of-the-money finish.

    Boyce, who has saddled more than 500 winners, won the 2006 Grade III Hawthorne Derby on the turf with Best of Buddies for breeder-owner Barr Three, LLC, also the breeder of Lovely Loyree. She also trained Saint Leon, who raced until age 10 and won three consecutive editions of the Arlington Sprint Stakes from 2012-2014.