HALLANDALE BEACH – The $1.4 million FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes – a series which has produced some of Florida racing’s biggest stars over the past 37 summers – kicks off Saturday at Gulfstream Park with the $100,000 Dr. Fager for 2-year-old colts and geldings and $100,000 Desert Vixen for 2-year-old fillies.
The six-furlong events, for juveniles sired by nominated Florida stallions, begin the rich, three-race series that continues with the $200,000, seven-furlong Affirmed and Susan's Girl on Sept. 1, and culminates with the $400,000, 1 1/16-mile In Reality and My Dear Girl on Sept. 29.
Saturday’s 13-race Sire Stakes program will have a first-race post time of 12:15 p.m.
The Sire Stakes, formerly the Florida Stallion Stakes, dates back to 1982 and was created by Ocala breeder and owner Dan Lasater, who was the country's leading owner by money won for four consecutive years from 1973-1976, and by number of winners from 1974-1977.
In 1974, Lasater set a single-season money record of $3,022,960, which stood until 1984 when it was broken by John Franks, who, ironically, had earlier purchased Lasater Farm. In '74, Lasater also broke the record for number of winners with 494, a record which lasted until 2012 when it was broken by Midwest Thoroughbreds, with 542.
Sire Stakes participants have included Awesome Feather, Jackson Bend, Smile, Brave Raj, Mecke, Early Lunch, Three Ring, Blazing Sword, Sugar’s Image, Rexson’s Hope and Three Rules, who last year became the fourth colt to sweep the series. Awesome Feather, Brave Raj and Smile all went on to win Breeders' Cup races.
Jose Pinchin, who trained Three Rules, will likely have the favorite in Saturday’s Dr. Fager in Fully Loaded, a son of Two Step Salsa who is undefeated in his only two starts.
The Sire Stakes continue to grow in popularity. For the 2019 editions, 740 foals of 2017 have paid a May yearling fee, according to the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association. This is up by 13 percent compared to 651 foals of 2016.
Gulfstream will also host the first Taste of the Track Saturday in the Ten Palms restaurant. The Taste of the Track will feature unlimited cheese and wine tastings for $25 per person online and $30 per person at the door.
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Nearly $600,000
When racing resumes Thursday at Gulfstream bettors will have a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $589.483.52. Multiple winning tickets Sunday returned $6,379.92. There was $148,149 bet into Sunday’s Rainbow 6 pool.
The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 16 straight racing days following the June 30 mandatory payout of a pool in excess of $4 million that yielded a $196,953.84 payoff for each ticket with all six winners.
NOTE: First Mondays, a Maryland-bred son of Curlin who brought $450,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2016 Yearling sale, drew away from his opponents to win Sunday’s ninth race, an optional claimer. First Mondays is undefeated in his two starts. The 3-year-old colt, trained by Jason Servis, covered the mile in 1:37.12…Trainer Jena Antonucci swept Sunday’s early double with Fame Galore ($24) in the first and Motivate ($33) in the second.