Sunday, February 7, 2021
HALLANDALE BEACH - Two-time defending Championship Meet titlist Irad Ortiz Jr. rode six winners on Saturday’s 12-race program at Gulfstream Park.
After notching a consecutive triple with victories aboard Hard Game ($8) in Race 2, Noble Empire ($3) in Race 3 and Bourbon in May ($7.60) in Race 4, Ortiz scored aboard Great Island ($2.60) in Race 6, the $100,000 Suwannee River, Democracy ($15.60) in Race 7, and R Mercedes Boy ($5.60) in Race 9.
He started the day by selecting the winners of the first nine races. They were Girl Dad ($6.60), Hard Game ($8), Noble Empire ($3), Bourbon in May ($7.60), Augusta Melody ($3), Great Island ($2.60), Democracy ($15.60), Yodel E.A. Who ($4.60), and R Mercedes Boy ($5.60). Nicoletti scratched into Great Island when his top selection, La Signare, was withdrawn from the Suwannee River when the race was taken off the turf.
Ortiz has ridden a meet-leading 76 winners, 16 more than Luis Saez.
“You never think that you’re going to win that many races, but you come here positive,” Ortiz said. “You try to win every race. I ride all my horses with the same mind. I try to win, no matter what. I think that helps. I got the right horses, too. My agent does a great job and all the trainers support me. They give me a lot of good chances . . . and the owners. Right now, we’re in a good position. I’m glad. I feel great.
“You don’t have too many days like this, so I just enjoy it. For me, honestly, I go home and it’s just another day. Tomorrow everybody will forget what happened today. I just move on. I celebrate the way I want to; I go home with my family. That’s it, and tomorrow is a new day.”
The record for most wins on a Gulfstream program is seven, shared by Jerry Bailey (3/11/96), Tyler Gaffalione (7/4/17), Luis Saez (1/24/18 and 3/29/18) and Paco Lopez (3/21/20).
Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $1.1 Million
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $1.1 million today. It went unsolved for the ninth straight day Saturday, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $1,638.
The sequence will span Races 6-11, kicked off by a well-stocked maiden special weight race for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Red Hot and Blue, a Shug McGaughey-trained daughter of Candy Ride who cost $650,000 as a yearling, heads a group of well-bred fillies who will make their respective debuts, including daughters of Medaglia d’Oro, Pioneerof the Nile and Quality Road, as well as three daughters of leading sire Into Mischief.
Todd Pletcher-trained Jouster, who won by nearly nine lengths in her auspicious turf debut, is 6-5 in the morning-line for Race 7, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Kelsey Danner-trained Gladys, a full sister to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, is entered to make her turf debut.
Race 8, a five-furlong turf sprint for $16,000 claimers, could prove to be a popular ‘spread’ race with bettors. Chad Brown-trained Precipitate, a Juddmonte Farms’ home-bred daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, is rated at 2-1 in the morning line for Race 9, a mile maiden special weight race for 3-year-old fillies. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Born Again, a daughter of Not This Time who finished third in her recent debut; and Bill Mott-trained Obligatory, a daughter of Curlin who finished fourth in her debut after bumping at the start; are also likely to receive strong support.
A 6 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance for older horses follows in Race 10. Michael Yates-trained Reservenotattained will seek his third straight victory after winning both of his last two by 6 ½ lengths. A mile turf race with a full field of $16,000 claimers in Race 11 figures to offer a strong challenge to bettors looking for a ‘single’ to complete their Rainbow 6 tickets.
Nicoletti Picks 10 Winners on Saturday’s Program
Gulfstream's long-time host and analyst picked 10 winners on Saturday's 12-race program.
After his 10th-race selection, Bourbon Highway, lost his rider, Nicoletti added the 11th-race winner in Lady’s Island ($4.40) in the Ladies’ Turf Sprint. His selection in the last race finished fourth.
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