Tuesday, March 30, 2021
HALLANDALE BEACH - The Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream will kick off Thursday with an eight-race program. First-race post is set for 1 p.m. during the meet that will run through Sept. 30. The stakes schedule will be worth $3.5 million with $500,000 in incentives offer by the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association for Florida-bred and Florida-sired horses.
The $350,000, Gr. II Princess Rooney Invitational and the $200,000, Gr. III Smile Sprint Invitational will be contested on the July 3 Summit of Speed card, highlighting a program of 34 stakes. The seven-furlong Princess Rooney is a designated Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race with the winner earning a spot in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Del Mar.
The tradition-rich FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series will offer $1.3 million in purses for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions. The series will kick off with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and the $100,000 Desert Vixen on July 31, followed by the $200,000 Affirmed and $200,000 Susan’s Girl on Aug. 28 and the $350,000 In Reality and $350,000 My Dear Girl on Sept. 25.
On Thursday’s opening day program, Stonehedge Farm’s Seazan, who finished third in both the Affirmed and In Reality last year, is 8-5 in the morning line in the Race 2 feature, a $47,000 optional claiming allowance for Florida-bred 3-year-olds at a mile. The Ralph Nicks trainee, who finished off the board while trying turf for the first time last time out, was beaten by just a half length while finishing second in an open optional claiming allowance at a mile in his previous start.
Jockey Edgard Zayas, the defending Spring/Summer Meet titlist, has seven mounts while coming off a career-best Championship Meet.
Gonzalez Gets Acquainted with Gulfstream Winner’s Circle
Edwin Gonzalez rode three winners on Sunday’s program while preparing to ride during the Spring/Summer Meet for the first time. The Puerto Rico-born jockey, who had been winning at more than a 30-percent clip the past few years while dominating at Penn National, scored aboard Ian Wilkes-trained Keitany ($5.40) in Race 1 with a ground-saving journey in the 1 1/16-mile maiden claiming race on turf. He came back to score aboard Keep Quiet ($) for trainer Saffie Joseph in Race 7, a $16,000 claiming race at one mile on turf, and Race 10 aboard Phat Man ($11.20).
On Saturday, his first day of riding at Gulfstream, Gonzalez came within a half-length of winning the Sir Shackleton aboard Frosted Grace, who held on gamely to finish second behind multiple Gr. 1 winner Basin. Gonzalez rode 443 winners in Puerto Rico, and scored his 1,000th win in the U.S. on March 10 at Penn National. Agent Kevin Meyocks will book mounts for Gonzalez, who has been named on four horses Thursday.
Championship Meet Titlists Honored
The leading trainer, jockey and owner for the 2020-2021 Championship Meet were honored on Sunday’s closing-day program at. Todd Pletcher, who won his record 17th title with 58 wins, was honored in the winner’s circle following Race 8. Irad Ortiz, who won his third straight title with a record 140 wins, was honored following Race 9. Paradise Farms and David Staudacher, who had 13 winners, were recognized following the Race 7.
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