Thursday, February 21, 2019
Carryover surpasses $169,000 . . .

    LAUREL, MD –The Stronach 5 will have a record pool Friday when the national wager with an industry-low 12-percent takeout begins with a carryover of $169,305.51.

    The Stronach 5 will kick off at 4:35 p.m. with the ninth race at Laurel Park. It will be followed by a pair of turf races from Gulfstream Park and a five-furlong dash from Golden Gate Fields, before finishing at Santa Anita Park with an allowance optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill course.

    There were no winning tickets in last week’s Stronach 5 after there was a $140 winner at Golden Gate and an $89.20 winner at Gulfstream.

    Stronach 5 past performances:

    Friday’s sequence:

?   Leg One – Laurel Park, 9th Race – (10 entries, 6 furlongs) 4:35 ET, 1:35 PT

?   Leg Two - Gulfstream Park, 10th Race - (16 entries, 1 1/16 miles, turf) 5:12 ET, 2:12 PT

?   Leg Three – Gulfstream Park, 11th Race – (16 entries, one mile, turf) 5:42 ET, 2:42 PT

?   Leg Four – Golden Gate Fields, 5th Race – (12 entries, 5 furlongs) 5:54 ET, 2:54 PT

?   Leg Five – Santa Anita Park, 5th Race – (12 entries, 6 ½ furlongs, turf) 6:-07 ET, 3:07 PT

    The minimum wager on the 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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Eclipse Award winner has 22 winners in 6 days . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Hot riding Irad Ortiz Jr. notched his sixth straight multi-win day Monday, riding six winners, five in starter stakes, on the President's Day program at Gulfstream Park.

The reigning Eclipse Award winner scored aboard Lucky Long ($3.60) in the $60,000 Mary Todd (Race 5), Wildwood Dancer ($4.80) in the $60,000 Rail Splitter (Race 6), Midtown Rose ($4.40) in the $60,000 Queen Mother (Race 8),  Zulu ($6.20) in the $60,000 Old Hickory (Race 10), Your Only Man ($6.20) in the $60,000 Old Man Eloquent (Race 11), and Souper Jaguar ($5.80) in a maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds on turf (Race 12).

    The six-win day, which was one win short of the Gulfstream record co-held by Luis Saez, Tyler Gaffalione and Jerry Bailey, was a personal best for Ortiz. “It’s amazing winning six races in one day," Ortiz said. "I’m so happy. I’m blessed. I’m just happy to be able to stay healthy and ride these kind of horses. My agent [Steve Rushing] does a great job and the owners and trainers, they give me the opportunity. I appreciate that.” Ortiz has won 22 races in the last six racing days at Gulfstream.

RAINBOW 6 GROWS AGAIN - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot for Wednesday’s program will be $119,458.32. The multi-race wager has gone unsolved for three racing days after an Xpressbet player hit the jackpot for a $227,505 payoff last Friday. Multiple tickets with all six winners Monday were each worth $4,429.88

WHO ELSE IS HOT - Leading trainer Jorge Navarro tripled with Starship Reina ($4.80) in the $50,000 Lady Bird (Race 2), Wildwood Dancer and Zulu.


Sunday, February 17, 2019
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Trainer Jorge Navarro unveiled an exciting 3-year-old...

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Trainer Jorge Navarro unveiled an exciting 3-year-old prospect in Saturday’s well-stocked third race at Gulfstream Park, saddling Shancelot ($27.60) for a sizzling front-running debut victory.

    Owned by Gelfenstein Farm and Albert and Michelle Crawford, the son of Shanghai Bobby ran seven furlongs in 1:22.15 after posting dazzling fractions of 22.27, 44.29 and 1:08.82 under Emisael Jaramillo. Shancelot held gamely to hold off a determined late bid by Bodexpress, who finished 5 ½ lengths clear of favored Fort Worth.

    The finish was a tribute to Ocalan Mike Mulligan's picks on his BetBestBreeze website, with the first three finishers all spotted by him in his pre-race selections. Mike travels to all the 2-year-old sales and gives each horse a number from 1 (the best) to 9 based on the under tack shows, incorporating many more factors than just the horse's clocking. He has quite a record for spotting winners their first time out, and Shancelot was one of them, along with Bodexpress and Fort Worth. Shancelot had been given the top number, while Bodexpress was a 5 and Fort Worth a 2. 

     “Albert and Michelle Crawford and Gelfenstein Farm gave me an opportunity to go to the sales. They spent a lot of money on babies,” Navarro said. “We bought six and this one was working like [he just ran].” Shancelot was purchased for $245,000 at the 2018 OBS March sale. “I loved the way he worked – the gallop-out,” Navarro said. “The gallop-out was amazing.”

     Navarro’s success has come primarily with older horses, such as X Y Jet, Private Zone, Sharp Azteca, Delta Bluesman and Aztec Sense, but Shancelot’s eye-catching debut provides his stable with a new dimension. “He’s kind of built like Sharp Azteca. He reminds me of Sharp Azteca,” Navarro said. “When he works in the morning he reminds me of Sharp Azteca.”

     One race later, trainer Mario Pino sent out first-time starter Karama ($5.80) for an extremely impressive debut. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy totally dominated five other 3-year-old fillies during a front-running triumph under Nik Juarez to win by 4 ½ lengths. The Shadwell homebred filly ran seven furlongs in 1:23.19 on fractions of 22.42, 45.07 and 1:09.80.

 Who’s Hot: Streaking Irad Ortiz Jr. won three more races Saturday to move into a tie with two-time Championship Meet titlist Luis Saez at the top of the jockey standings, 84-84. Ortiz, who has won 13 races on the last four programs in the absence of Saez, scored aboard Blamed ($3.80) in the $150,000 Royal Delta in Race 11, as well as winning with Stronger Kat ($3.40) in Race 8 and Flowmotion ($6.80) in Race 12.

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Krampus moves up from fifth to fourth . . .

    Thumbs up to Bill Mott for a good piece of replay watching at Gulfstream Park last Saturday.

    Mott had Bill Schettine's Krampus running in the 11th race, the $100,000 El Prado Stakes at about 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf; Manoel Cruz was the rider. In the mad dash to the wire, Krampus, still in contention, was chopped off badly between eventual winner Hembree to his right and runner-up Mr. Cub to his left. Cruz stood straight up, then continued to ride Krampus to the wire, finishing fifth. 

    In the aftermath, Cruz claimed foul against Hembree and rider Irad Ortiz, and Mott, apparently, went right to the replay TVs. What he saw, along with thousands of others, was that Hembree had kept a straight course through the lane and that it was Mr. Cub, with Chris Landeros, who had made a huge right turn toward Hembree and it was he who cut off Krampus. So Mott called the stewards and claimed against the runner-up.

    The stewards agreed with Mott, because the infraction was obvious, and disqualified Mr. Cub to fifth, behind Krampus, who was moved up to fourth. The difference in purse money wasn't great - Krampus went from the $2,790 for fifth to $4,650 for fourth - but in this game, every penny counts and owner Schettine will accept it. 

    Almost lost in the incident was that Hembree, a 5-year-old by Proud Citizen, broke the course record for the distance, putting 1:27.06 on the teletimer. 




Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Kantharos gelding romps by nearly 8 lengths . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - X Y Jet romped to a 7 ¾-length victory in today's ninth race at Gulfstream Park, punching his ticket to Dubai for a third run in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 30. Sent to post as the 2-5 favorite in a field of six in the stakes-caliber six-furlong optional claiming allowance, X Y Jet and jockey Emisael Jaramillo enjoyed a carefree trip while registering an uncontested front-running victory.

    Trainer Jorge Navarro, however, had some uneasy moments leading up to today’s pivotal race. “I’m a little emotional," he said. "We were going to scratch him. He tied up on us Sunday for the first time. Thank God, we have an amazing team.”

    The 7-year-old gelding rebounded from the cramping condition, racing six furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:09.98, built on fractions of 22.4, 45.45 and 57.63 seconds. Santiamen finished second, three lengths ahead of Reason to Soar. Louisiana Derby winner Noble Indy finished fourth.

    Navarro said a return trip to Dubai hinges on how X Y Jet exits the race. “He looked good hitting the ground. Jaramillo felt everything perfect,” he said, referring to physical issues that have interrupted his career on several occasions. X Y Jet has won 11 of 24 starts and more than $1.5 million in purses. The popular 7-year-old gelding finished second twice in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, a neck behind Muarrab in 2016 and a head behind Mind Your Biscuits last year.

    X Y Jet returned from Dubai last year to capture the Smile Sprint at Gulfstream on June 30 before heading to the sidelines for 6 ½ months. The son of Kantharos was upset in his Jan. 19 return in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, in which he came up uncharacteristically short to finish fourth after breaking from the rail post position and being subjected to heavy pace pressure.

Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Grows to $58,824

    The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot for Thursday’s program grew to $58,824.10, when the multi-race wager went unsolved for the second day since a mandatory payout yielded multiple payoffs of $100,919 last Saturday. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $429.84.

Who’s Hot: Irad Ortiz Jr. rode four winners in a row, scoring aboard King Leo ($8) in Race 5, Star Juancho ($14.60) in Race 6, Unbridled Holiday ($12) in Race, and Skywire ($8.40) in Race 8. Ortiz closed to within nine wins of idle Luis Saez, the two-time defending Championship Meet titlist who has a meet-leading 84 victories