Friday, September 22, 2023
HALLANDALE BEACH - Having quickly recovered from a fever that knocked her out of the $100,000 Desert Vixen on Sept. 9, R Harper Rose is expected to be heavily favored for today’s feature at Gulfstream Park.
The 2-year-old daughter of Khozan, who breezed three furlongs Monday morning at Gulfstream, is rated at 7-5 in the morning line in a deep eight-horse field assembled for Race 6, a 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance for juvenile fillies.
“She’s bounced back well,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said Thursday morning. “She’s in good order.”
R Harper Rose, who is owned by Averill Racing and Twi Eight Racing, was also a heavy morning-line favorite for the Desert Vixen, the first leg of the 2023 Florida Sire Stakes series, based on a brilliant Aug. 5 front-running debut victory.
Edgard Zayas, who teamed with Joseph-trained Accomplished Girl for a victory in Monday’s Gr. II Presque Isle Masters, has the return mount on R Harper Rose, who won her debut by 6 ¼ lengths.
“She’s good to go,” Joseph said. “She’s fit enough to hopefully win. There’s a horse on the inside of Dwoskin’s that won nicely first time out, so she’s going to have to improve quite a bit.”
Owner/trainer Steve Dwoskin’s Fay’s Rhonda Cares, who is rated second at 7-2 in the morning line, made an auspicious debut while graduating with an off-the-pace 5 ¼-length score at 5 ½ furlongs on Tapeta. Luca Panici has the return call on the daughter of Mendelson, who was purchased for $100,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September sale.
Marc Casse-trained Demar’s Legacy, a daughter of Enticed who sold for $150,000 at the OBS April sale; and Bobby Dibona-trained Star of Saturn, a Florida-bred daughter of The Big Beast; are also exiting debut victories at Gulfstream.
Meanwhile, Joseph is busy making next-out arrangements for some of his stable stars, including Skippylongstocking, who captured the $1 million. Gr. II Charles Town Classic last time out. No decision has been made for his next start.
“He’s probably going to breeze this week. We’re working back from the [Breeders’ Cup] Classic. He might go to the Classic. We’ll see how he does and see how it’s shaping up,” Joseph said. “He’s going to train towards that, at least.”
Stablemate O’Connor, who closed from last to finish second in the Charles Town Classic, is scheduled to return in either the Gr. II Woodward at Aqueduct or the Gr. II Lukas Classic at Churchill on Sept. 30.
Joseph-trained West Coast Cowboy, who finished second in the Gr. III West Virginia Derby last time out, is entered in Saturday’s $1 million, Gr. I Pennsylvania Derby at Parx.
Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 today, after the multi-race wager went unsolved for six days following back-to-back jackpot hits.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, including R Harper Rose’s return in Race 6, which will be followed by a maiden special weight race for juvenile fillies in Race 7. Leading Sunshine Meet trainer Jose D’Angelo is represented by two entrants in the field of nine fillies – Bubbly Champagne, who overcame early trouble while rallying from 11th to third behind highly regarded Fay’s Rhonda Cares in her debut; and Party Shaker, a daughter of Practical Joke who is slated to make her debut in the 5 ½-furlong sprint.
Trainer Jose Pinchin, who is scheduled to saddle first-time starter Windrush in Race 7, has been reunited with Atomically, who is entered in Race 8, a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares. Atomically won two legs of the 2022 Florida Sire Stakes before being sold to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Michael Bernard and Harry Colburn and transferred to Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. After going 0-for-3 for her new connections, the daughter of Girvin will return from a six-month layoff for Pinchin in Friday’s co-feature.
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