Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Only Wildcat Heir has accomplished the feat . . .

    Here's an interesting fact concerning Florida's general sire list. Since the turn of the century, only one stallion has been able to reach $5 million or more in progeny earnings for a single year. That stallion is the late Wildcat Heir, who stood at Journeyman Stud until his premature death in 2015.

    Wildcat Heir topped the Florida list in 2014 with $6.2 million; 2015 with nearly $7 million; 2016 with $6 million, and 2017 with $6.3 million. Again, no other stallion has reached $5 million. 

    This year, Double Diamond Farm's First Dude is the leader with $4,792,397 as of this morning. Can the son of Stephen Got Even add another $207,603 by Dec. 31? Stay tuned.   



Monday, December 10, 2018
Only a few spot remaining for $9 million race . . .

  Gunnevera Confirmed for $9 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1)


    HALLANDALE BEACH - Salomon Del Valle purchased a spot in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, confirming multiple graded stakes-winner Gunnevera for North America’s richest race set for Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. Gunnevera, who finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, most recently ran second in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3.

    “I’m paying all the money myself,” said Del Valle, a Venezuelan businessman who entered Gunnevera as part of a partnership in last year’s Pegasus. “I’m happy to be in the race.”

    The Pegasus World Cup will be accompanied by the inaugural running of $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on the Jan. 26 program in the newly-created $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series. Owners can secure a spot in the starting gate for the Pegasus World Cup for a $500,000 fee and will be given preference in purchasing a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf for $500,000. A $1 million bonus is being offered if an owner should win both races.

    Gunnevera, who has $4.1 million in career earnings, captured the 2017 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained 4-year-old son of Dialed In has also won the 2016 Saratoga Special and the $1 million Delta Jackpot and has been stakes-placed in the 2017 Travers and the 2018 Woodward at Saratoga.

    “I have a good chance. He just got beat by a length in the Breeders’ Cup,” Sano said. “Maybe there will be more speed in the Pegasus. One more chance. It’s in my house.”

    In addition to Gunnevera, Hronis Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Accelerate, Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul, and Calumet Farm’s Bravazo and True Timber are confirmed for the World Cup. Tabor, Magnier and Smith’s Coolmore has also purchased a spot for a horse to be determined.

    Audible, the 2018 Florida Derby winner, is also being pointed to the World Cup and is scheduled to be entered in next Saturday’s $100,000, Gr. III Harlan’s Holiday Stakes to prep for the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus. Owned by China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners, Todd Pletcher-trained Audible finished third in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

    Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Patternrecognition, who defeated True Timber by three-quarters of a length in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct last time out, is also under consideration. The Stronach Group is currently negotiating with other groups, with only a few open spots remaining. 

Monday, December 10, 2018
Sunday winners get $3,028 . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - For the seventh straight program Sunday at Gulfstream Park, the 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved to push the carryover jackpot to $197,569.67 for the return of live racing on Wednesday. Post time for the 10-race program is 12:35 p.m.

    A total of $133,857 was bet into the multi-race wager Sunday, which produced multiple winning tickets worth $3,028.28.

   The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique 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.

    Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 sequence, which includes three races on Gulfstream’s newly refurbished turf course, will span Races 5-10 and drew a total of 68 entries or 11.3 horses per race. There will also be a $1 Super Hi-5 carryover of $8,968.70 for Wednesday’s opener.

    Who’s Hot: Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., spending his first full winter in South Florida, won his first two races of the Championship Meet aboard Miss Harry ($6.20) in the third and Four K’s ($11.60) in the ninth.



Sunday, December 9, 2018
Wins both premier races in series . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Mexican star filly Jala Jala made history Saturday at Gulfstream Park, saving ground early before drawing off to an impressive 4 ¾-length triumph in the $100,000 Copa Confraternidad del Caribe. The victory, coupled with her nine-length romp in the Clasico del Caribe last December, made Cuadra San Jorge’s Jala Jala ($4.40) the first filly ever to sweep the Clasico Internacional del Caribe’s premier races for 3-year-olds and older horses, beating males both times.

    The 1 ¼-mile Copa Confraternidad was the fourth of five stakes, worth more than $700,000 in purses, as part of the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, Latin America and the Caribbean’s premier thoroughbred event hosted by Gulfstream for the second consecutive year.

    Last year, Gulfstream became the first pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America or the Caribbean to host the Clasico Internacional del Caribe since its inception in 1966. Jala Jala is the second straight horse to win both the Clasico and Confraternidad in successive years, following Panamanian colt El Tigre Mono in 2016 and 2017.

    It was the second Clasico win of the day for Puerto Rican jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., following Michegas’ runaway victory in the Copa Invitacional three races earlier. The winning time was 2:08.46 over a fast track.

   Ortiz settled Jala Jala in fifth along the rail as Bold Master posted early fractions of 24.38 and 49.95, pressed by fellow Puerto Rican contender Exclusivo, a multiple group stakes-winner with 15 wins from 17 career starts. Exclusivo cruised past leaving the backstretch after going six furlongs in 1:15.08, but Jala Jala was creeping up the inside and into contention.

    Tipped to the outside by Ortiz once clear of 2017 Clasico del Caribe runner-up Fray Angelico on the turn, Jala Jala met no resistance as she assumed the lead and straightened for home in front, pulling clear under a hand ride. Fray Angelico was a decisive second, 10 lengths ahead of Exclusivo. Puerto Rican Triple Crown winner Justiciero was fourth.


Michegas, Ortiz Jr. Win for Puerto Rico in Copa Invitacional

    Michegas, representing Puerto Rico, put on a show in the $77,500 Copa Invitacional, kicking off Saturday’s program with a 10 ¼-length romp in the 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Michegas was the 1-5 favorite in a field reduced to five starters by the early scratches of defending champion Coltimus Prime from Panama and morning-line favorite California Music of Panama.

   Trained by Jose Velez for owner Oscar D. Establo, Michegas ran 1 ¼ miles in 2:07.05 to post his 11th victory in 31 starts, sparking an enthusiastic celebration at the winner’s circle by the Puerto Rico fans.

Brigantia Heads Panamanian Exacta in Copa Dama del Gama

     Owned and trained by Alberto ‘Droopy’ Paz Rodriguez, a Panamanian legend with more than 6,400 career wins, Brigantia put away Mexican filly Triple Crown winner Kutzamala at the top of the stretch and held on for a 1 ½-length win in the Copa Dama del Caribe for 3-year-old fillies. 

    Ridden by Luis Saez, a native of Panama and graduate of its jockey school, Brigantia ($15.40) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:49.91 to top a Panamanian exacta with runner-up Rosa Salvaje, who edged Mexico’s Etruska for by a neck. It was three lengths to Kutzamala in fourth.

   Kutzamala, favored at 7-5 in a field of nine, lost for the second straight time after sweeping three Group 1 races in Mexico for trainer Fausto Gutierrez. The Point Determined filly was in front through fractions of 24.90 and 49.37 seconds, pressed by 30-1 long shot Visionaria. Saez and Brigantia ranged up next to Kutzamala midway around the turn, surged past and straightened for home in command, avoiding free-running Salmiana, who lost rider Manny Cruz after bobbling badly out of the gate.

   “I’m crying because my wife isn’t here and I cry because of this win. Any win is a big win, I’m just so happy,” Rodriguez said. “I’m surrounded by family and friends today.”

Venezuela’s Big Boris One Takes Copa Velocidad del Caribe

    Big Boris One, who was victorious in his two career starts in Venezuela, remained undefeated with a triumph in the $105,000 Copa Velocidad del Caribe. The 3-year-old colt, trained by Juan Carlos Avila, pressed the pace set by Mexico’s Tati along the backstretch before taking the lead on the turn and holding off a late run from Mexico’s Magno by three quarters of a length.

    Big Boris One ran six furlongs in 1:13.66 under Paco Lopez to prevail in his stakes debut. Magno finished two lengths ahead of late-closing Puerto Rico’s Don William R.




Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Competed in all 3 Triple Crown races . . .

        HALLANDALE BEACH - Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday that Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and second in the Preakness Stakes, is being pointed toward the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Saturday, Jan 26 at Gulfstream Park.

     “That’s surely where we’re headed if everything goes well,” Lukas said.

     Bravazo, who finished second in the Gr. I Clark Handicap on Nov. 23, has raced in eight consecutive Gr. 1 events at six tracks and is the only horse other than Justify this year to compete in all three Triple Crown races.

     “We’ve got a window of about seven weeks so we’ll get him in a work pattern,” Lukas said. “We did ship him to Arkansas where he’s getting a week to just take it easy. We’ll start picking up a work tab schedule in mid-December. He’s really done well. He’s fit, his weight is excellent. He’s run eight straight Grade 1’s and a lot of people would think he would taper off but he seems to only have gotten better. He’s a picture of consistency.”

     Lukas said his first inclination would be to ship Bravazo to Gulfstream a week before the race. “I don’t think we’ll come in right on top of it,” he said.

     A winner of 14 Triple Crown events, Lukas said he supports the Pegasus Championship Invitational Series, which for the first time will include a $7 million turf event.

    “I think it's a significant development in the big picture of racing,” he said. “One of the things we’ve struggled with in thoroughbred racing is keeping superstars on the track. I think this is a step in the right direction. Any time you start the season with a $9 million race . . . it better be on your radar.”