HALLANDALE BEACH – Todd Pletcher-trained Valkyrie Gold stamped herself as a strong prospect for the 2018 Florida Sire Stakes series Thursday at Gulfstream Park while capturing the first race of the year for 2-year-olds.
The daughter of Florida stallion Exclusive Quality broke alertly under Tyler Gaffalione to press the pace set by Nancysaidso through fractions of 21.93 seconds and 45.50 before launching a late drive to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Kenneth English and Alan Braun’s homebred filly ran 4 ½ furlongs in a solid :51.79 seconds as the even-money favorite.
“In these type of races you need to break well and she did that and got away good. I thought she was very professional,” Pletcher said. He said the primary goal for Valkyrie Gold is the Florida Sire Stakes series that gets under way with the $100,000 Desert Vixen Aug. 4.
“We’ll leave her down here and point to those races,” Pletcher said.
Nancysaidso held on for second, well clear of Cookie Dough.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot rose to $229,955 for Friday’s 10-race program at Gulfstream Park when the multi-race wager went unsolved for the sixth straight racing day. Multiple tickets with all six winners were worth $3,481.10.