HALLANDALE BEACH - Winning tickets on Gulfstream Park’s mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 today were each worth $14,626. There was $5,353,843 of new money bet into the pool.
The Rainbow 6 begins anew Sunday with a $100,000 guaranteed pool beginning with the sixth race, an allowance optional claiming event at 1 1/16 miles on the turf featuring a field of six. The first race in the sequence is followed by a maiden special weight event at five furlongs on the turf for 3-year-old fillies. There were four turf races in today’s Rainbow 6.
There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover Sunday of $8,740.
WHO’S HOT: Tyler Gaffalione rode three winners for the afternoon, capping the day with his victory aboard Ride a Comet in the Gr. III Tropical Turf. Gaffalione also won the third race with Shadwell Stable’s first-time starter, Lamutanaatty, a 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, and the allowance optional claimer fourth race with Bluegrass Parkway.
Trainer Bill Mott had a pair of 3-year-olds break their maidens. Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc.’s Candy Man Rocket, a son of Candy Ride making his second start, ran away from eight others to win over six furlongs by 9 ¼ lengths in 1:11.28. Donald Dizney’s homebred Simovitch won going a mile by 3 ½ lengths while covering the distance in 1:39.04.
After dominating Florida's freshman sire list for 2019, Journeyman Stud's Khozan came right back and made it no contest on the state's general sire list of 2020.
The son of Distorted Humor racked up progeny earnings of $3,496,717 in a year marked by less racing days, less races, and diminished purses. Arindel Farm's Brethren was a distant second with $2,250,607, still impressive because a large majority of his runners are home-breds.
Third on the list is Double Diamond Farm's consistent First Dude with $2,178,255, more than $300,000 ahead of Ocala Stud Farm's Adios Charlie ($1,847,153).
There are 12 stallions who reached earnings of more than $1 million, three of them from Ocala Stud. Pleasant Acres Stallions is next with two, and Arindel, Journeyman, Double Diamond and Northwest Stud have one each. The other three in the top 12 are Big Drama, who has no doubt set some kind of record with respect to the number of Marion County farms at which he has resided, Soldat, who is merely listed in the Blood-Horse as 'moved,' and Field Commission, who performed so respectably for Solera Farm despite a lesser number of foals, and who died recently.
Having to go up against the monsters in Kentucky, along with their bands of regally-bred broodmares, only four of Florida's stallions were able to get a graded stakes-winner: Brethren, Adios Charlie, Pleasant Acres' dual hemisphere ace Treasure Beach and Solera's 22-year-old Greatness.
Brethren's Cookie Dough won the Gr. III Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream Park, while Adios Charlie is the sire of the phenomenal Jean Elizabeth, who won the Gr. III Whimsical at Woodbine. She has captured her last eight in a row dating back to September 21 of 2019, amid a perfect in-the-money career record of 15-4-2 in 21 starts, with earnings of $662,786.
Treasure Beach can boast of Raymundo's Secret, winner of five of eight career starts with earnings of $200,971, and best in the Gr. II John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar. However, he has a slew of Gr. I stakes-winners in Argentina.
Lady's Island, by Greatness, won the Gr. III Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream less than one month ago and is an incredible 17-5-4 in 34 starts with earnings of $604,195. In 2020 alone, she went 4-2-1 in eight tries.
On the winners' side, First Dude was easily best from start to finish, and wound up with 64 runners who made it to the winners' circle at least one time. Brethren was second with 53, one ahead of Khozan. Adios Charlie was next with 51, and Northwest Stud's Gone Astray fifth with 44 even though he is severely handicapped by no longer making it into any of the stallion registers.
There were only two real members of the freshman class, and Ocala Stud's Jess's Dream defeated Pleasant Acres' Ride On Curlin, 7 to 3. There will be several more on the list for 2021.
(1) One of the biggest outrages serious handicappers face daily - odds taking huge drops on the tote board while the race is in progress - continues to haunt bettors at every track in the country.
A couple of recent examples: At Charles Town, Don't Spin Me, a filly by Handsome Mike, goes into the gate at odds of 21-1, and wins like a thief in the night. Her backers discover she is 10-1 as they hit the wire and she pays $22. A nice score but less than half of what the payoff might have been.
At Gulfstream Park, announcer Pete Aiello notes that Florida-bred What a Beaut is 8-1 entering the gate; she drops to 5-1 after they go 100 yards, and wins, naturally.
(2) Two Saturdays ago, the fourth race at Gulfstream went off at 1:31. The winner was Cowardly Act, who paid $105.80. Nine minutes later, the field in the fourth at Tampa Bay Downs left the gate and Holy Diver won and paid $120.20. Must have been something in the air floating from Hallandale Beach to Oldsmar, like the mysterious sea mist that enveloped Grant Williams in "The Incredible Shrinking Man."
(3) 'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the house, only two tracks (Gulfstream and Tampa) were simulcast, even for a mouse. With everybody else shuttered, Gulfstream handled $9,221,126 from all sources. Tampa's on-track handle was just $81,429 with an announced attendance of 1,307, and there was a low total of $167,225 added from around the state (ITW). But the ISW wagering from the rest of the free world reached $5,137,927, so it was a good day all around for both.
(4) Perhaps no Florida stallion has resided at more farms than Big Drama, who is now at a new nursery called Stormborne Stallions in Citra. Hal Queen's star runner has progeny earnings of nearly $9 million, but it easily could have been twice that if he had been at one solid establishment.
5) The turf course at Tampa Bay Downs is the equal of any in North America, and better than most.
(6) Because of early deadlines due to the holiday, the Stallion Progeny list for today in the Wire-to-Wire Racing Digest does not contain any runners listed for any Florida stallions, current or past. And, as usual, there are plenty. Today is the 27th, the list was published on the 23rd, apparently before Gulfstream's entries were available.
(7) In years to come, the most bizarre winning photos posted on the walls of just about every den or horse farm office in Marion County will feature a bunch of unidentifiable people wearing masks. Only the horse will be able to be identified.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam overwhelmed nine rivals in the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby, making an emphatic case for being extended an invitation to the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park.
The Tropical Park Derby, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for 3-year-olds, highlighted today’s 11-race program along with the $75,000 Tropical Park Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, and the $75,000 H. Allen Jerkens, a two-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.
Colonel Liam, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., was making his first start since Aug. 20 but showed no rust at all while pulling away to a 3 ¼- length victory. “He’d been training exceptionally well leading to this. We’re happy to get him back,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Hopefully, that earns him a spot in the Pegasus Turf.”
The son of Liam's Map rated several lengths behind the early pace while clear on the outside. Don Juan Kitten cut fractions of :24.30 and :48.51 seconds for the first half mile under Edgard Zayas and continued to show the way heading into the turn, but Colonel Liam launched a strong outside sweep that would carry him to the lead at the top of the stretch. The Kentucky-bred colt powered away from the field without much urging from Ortiz.
"I had a good trip, I broke out of there and tried to get a good position,” Ortiz said. “After the three-eighths pole, I tried to move on because I have probably the best horse and let him pick it up and he responded very well. He's a very nice horse." Don Juan Kitten held second, a neck ahead of Summer to Remember.
Colonel Liam ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.05 to record his third victory in five career start. The $1.2 million purchase at the 2019 OBS April sale graduated via the disqualification of the first-place finisher in his April 11 debut over Gulfstream’s main track before finishing third in an optional claiming allowance on May 20. Two months later, Colonel Liam scored an impressive 2 ¾-length allowance victory in his turf debut at Saratoga, before enduring a nightmare trip in a fourth-place finish in the Saratoga Derby, in which he was beaten by less than a length by Domestic Spending.
“He’s really taken to the turf. We saw that in his allowance at Saratoga. He got in a little trouble in the Saratoga Derby,” Pletcher said. “He came back great. I thought it was an impressive race. He kind of made a little bit of an early move and kept on going.”
Colonel Liam gives Pletcher three prime candidates for the Pegasus Turf, joining Largent, who captured the Gr. II Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 12, and Social Paranoia, a multiple graded stakes-winner and recent optional claiming allowance winner.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Sleepy Eyes Todd made a late inside surge to narrowly beat a rallying Firenze Fire in Saturday’s $100,000, Gr. III Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up honors the memory of Mr. Prospector, who set a Gulfstream track record of 1:07 4/5 while winning a six-furlong allowance on April 1, 1973 and went on to become the most influential stallion of his generation. Walter Blum rode Mr. Prospector, one race after he won the Florida Derby with Regal and Royal.
Sleepy Eyes Todd ($12.20), who traveled to South Florida after stops in Louisiana, Nebraska, Texas, West Virginia, California and Kentucky for his last six races, is likely to stay around for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 23.
“This is the plan,” trainer Miguel Silva said following the winner’s presentation.
Sleepy Eyes Todd, who was coming off a last-to-first victory in the seven-furlongLafayette on the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup undercard at Keeneland, was the recipient of a patient and well-judged ride from Tyler Gaffalione, his ninth rider in his last nine starts. The 4-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado broke well from the gate before settling into fifth place behind loose-on-the-lead long shot Wind of Change, who set fractions of :22.07 and :44.35 seconds for the first half-mile.
Sleepy Eyes Todd advanced along the rail on the turn into the stretch in pursuit of the tiring pacesetter, while Firenze Fire, the lukewarm 5-2 favorite slipped off the rail to make a bid between horses at the top of the stretch. Gaffalione eased Sleepy Eyes Todd off the rail to pass Wind of Change and the Kentucky-bred colt held off the challenge of Firenze Fire by one-half length. The $57,660 winner's check boosted the bargain Kentucky-bred's earnings to $744,825; he was a $9,000 Keeneland November yearling.
“Everything set up perfectly," Gaffalione said. "He broke well and put himself in the race. I was able to get a nice tracking spot inside. He gave me all the confidence going into the stretch and once he found a spot he accelerated and finished the job. All the credit goes to the trainer. He did a fabulous job getting him ready for today.
“To be honest, If you look at his form he’s run in all the big races across the country and he’s run at every track and he takes his form with him everywhere he goes, so you know he’s consistent and he shows up every time,” he added. “We just had to work out a trip. I thought I’d be tracking Firenze Fire but I wound up a little bit in front of him which I didn’t mind, and got the jump on him.”
Firenze Fire, who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last time out, settled in seventh along the backstretch before following Sleepy Eyes Todd with an inside run on the far turn. Irad Ortiz Jr. took him off the rail on the turn into the stretch and the multiple graded-stakes winners kicked in nicely, only to fall just short of catching the winner. The Florida-bred son of Poseidon's Warrior earned $18,600, increasing his total to a gaudy $2,236,850 on a record of 12-4-3 in 31 starts.
Sleepy Eyes Todd, who captured the Aug. 29 Gr. II Charles Town Classic by 7 ½ lengths at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Pegasus World Cup, ran seven furlongs in 1:22.67 while claiming his eighth victory in 15 starts.
“This is the best horse we’ve ever had,” Silva said. “We’ve always been high on him. We wanted to take him to the Kentucky Derby but he had a little issue and we had to stop with him. He’s always been a nice horse. We’ve always believed in him,”
Firenze Fire finished 2 ½ lengths ahead of Red Oaks Stable's Mind Control, who finished third under John Velazquez following a wide trip from his No. 12 post position.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 Saturday at Gulfstream Park could be life-changing, as the pool is expected to grow to $6 million or more. It features two stakes, four turf races, and a closing sequence featuring 11 juveniles going a mile in a maiden special weight event on the grass.
The challenging sequence, which begins with the sixth race, also includes the $100,000, Gr. III Mr. Prospector, featuring seven graded stakes-winners going seven furlongs, and the $100,000 Via Borghese, a 1 3/16-mile turf event for fillies and mares.
Gulfstream hosts and analysts Jason Blewitt, Acacia Courtney and Ron Nicoletti, along with Mike Welsch of the Daily Racing Form and Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press have put together tickets for the Rainbow 6.
Some of the more interesting selections include:
? Nicoletti using Hero Up (30-1) in the first leg
? Reynolds including Inventing Blame (12-1) in the third leg.
? Welsch putting Lasting Legacy (15-1) in the fifth leg
? Courtney including 20-1 shot Kentucky Pharoah in the final leg
Rainbow 6 Tickets
Jason Blewitt, Gulfstream analyst:
Race 6: 5-9-10
Race 7: 1-5-7-8
Race 8: 1-7
Race 9: 2-8-9
Race 10: 7-9
Race 11: 2-5-9-11 - Cost: $115.20
Acacia Courtney, Gulfstream analyst:
Race 6: 9-10
Race 7: 4-8
Race 8: 1-4
Race 9: 2-3-8
Race 10: 4-7-9
Race 11: 1-3-7-9-1 - Cost – $72
Ron Nicoletti, Gulfstream analyst:
Race 6: 4-9-10
Race 7: 1-4-7
Race 8: 1-9-12
Race 9: 2-8-9
Race 10: 7-9
Race 11: 4-5-11 - Cost: $97.20
Tim Reynolds, Associated Press:
Race 6: 5-7
Race 7: 3-4-7
Race 8: 4-9-12
Race 9: 2-4-8-9
Race 10: 7-9
Race 11: 1-3-9 - Cost: $86.40
Mike Welsch, Daily Racing Form:
Race 6: 5-7-10
Race 7: 1-4
Race 8: 1-7
Race 10: 1-7-9
Race 11: 1-2-4 - Cost: $64.80
HALLANDALE BEACH - A year-round force on the New York racing circuit for the past several years, jockey Junior Alvarado has returned to South Florida for the winter months to compete at Gulfstream Park, where he rode his first winner in the U.S. in 2007.
“It’s around 12 years since I’ve ridden full time here," Alvarado said. "I’m pretty happy to be here again. I love Florida. You can’t beat this nice weather in the wintertime. I’m glad things worked out this year. It’s very important to start off on the right foot.”
On his first day riding at the 2020-2021 Championship Meet, Alvarado guided Barclay Tagg-trained Niko’s Dream to victory in the $75,000 My Charmer and finished second aboard Tagg-trained Doswell in the $200,000, Gr. II Fort Lauderdale.
Alvarado’s move from Aqueduct to Gulfstream for the winter is hardly a case of needing a change of scenery. The 36-year-old journeyman has been extremely successful during the winter months at Aqueduct where he has won at rates of 27 percent, 24 percent and 23 percent the past three years.
“It was always on my mind, but sometimes you have to measure the right time," he said. "Things have to fall into place. I think this year with the COVID, having two kids being able to do school on the computer makes it easy for me to bring them here with me.” He has three children, sons Adrian and Axel, and daughter Adalyn, with his wife, Kelly. “This year, everything fell into place.”
Alvarado, a son of a jockey, rode his first winner in Venezuela in 2005 before venturing to South Florida in 2007. He rode in his first race in the U.S. at Gulfstream on Feb. 2, 2007 and registered his first win aboard Satira in a maiden claiming race two weeks later. Alvarado moved onto the Chicago circuit in 2008, winning the riding title at Arlington Park in 2009 before venturing to New York in 2010. He has become so well-established that he became Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s year-round go-to jockey in New York.
While he has remained behind in New York in past winters, Alvarado has followed Mott to South Florida this year. “That was one of the main reasons. Riding a lot of good horses for Bill Mott definitely pushes you to move your tack down here,” said Alvarado, who has ridden 1,760 winners during his career in the U.S.
Although he hasn’t ridden regularly in South Florida for several years, Alvarado ventured to Gulfstream in 2016 to ride Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Mohaymen to victory in the Gr. II Holy Bull and Gr. II Fountain of Youth. After a subpar showing in the Florida Derby, Mohaymen finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby while providing Alvarado with his first Triple Crown mount.
Through experience and close observation of racing at Gulfstream, Alvarado was prepared for the switch from New York to South Florida. “It’s definitely something you have to adjust to," he said. "You can’t leave a horse with too much to do, because you’ll never get there. I’ve been watching races to be able to translate that. Sometimes you need to adjust. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with the first horses I’ve been riding – to make sure to put them in the right spot, close enough so they don’t have too much to do.”
Millionaire and multiple graded stakes-winner Field Commission died suddenly Thursday morning in his paddock at Solera Farm, near Williston, from what appeared to be a heart attack.
“He looked fine this morning and was playing in his paddock as he usually does when turned out,” owner Krista Seltzer said. Minutes later the chestnut stallion collapsed and died.
Bred by Minshall Farms in Ontario, and owned and raced by Edward Seltzer, Field Commission won or placed in 10 of 19 stakes starts (eight graded) earning $1,030,266 from age three to seven. The son of Service Stripe was named Canada's Sprint Champion as a 4-year-old, after a campaign in which he won Woodbine's Gr. II Nearctic Stakes and Gr. III Vigil Stakes, and placed in four other graded races. Posting triple digit Beyers on dirt, turf and synthetic, he captured the 2012 Ponche Handicap at seven, setting a stakes record of 1:09.3 for the six-furlong test on the Calder Race Course surface.
From six crops of racing age and with 114 runners, Field Commission has progeny earnings of more than $4.6 million. Among his current runners are Drafted, who won in his 2-year-old career debut at Keeneland, setting a track record of :50.45 for 4 1/2 furlongs. The 6-year-old became a multiple stakes-winner and was Group-placed, and has career earnings of $690,633. Other 2020 black-type performers are Hall Rich Legacy and 2-year-old Ricki Ticki Taffi.
"Field Commission was a very very special soul," Krista Seltzer said. "He was truly all class. His racing talent was exceptional and certainly speaks for itself. Not only was he physically stunning and an incredible athlete with great speed, but he was kind and honest with a great mind. ‘Commish’ was the ultimate professional, both on and off the track. He was an absolute dream to be around every day. He was a true gentleman with just the right bit of mischief.
"Field Commission excelled in everything he did and he seemed to pass on his talent and great mind to his progeny. Like their sire, they just seem to get better with maturity. Field Commission was a farm favorite and one of his favorite things were his routine snacks of grapes. He knew he had a home here forever and, for certain, is gone too soon. ‘Commish’ touched many lives and was well loved by many. His loss is profound for all of us here at Solera."
A week ago or so, it was announced that "Frankie Dettori has won the title of 2020 World's Best Jockey, meaning the legendary rider has received the award for three consecutive years."
That also means he has won this subjective 'competition' in four of the last six years as determined by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, whoever they are. Baloney. As determined by the International Federation of Tracktimestoday Authorities, the world's best jockey is Joel Rosario.
According to the rules, the scoring process rewards jockeys for finishing in the top three in what the organization has determined are the world's top 100 Group or Grade I races. So if a rider buries the competition in Gr. I's that are outside the supposed top 100, he or she is out of luck.
Dettori won five of the supposed 'top 100,' plus some seconds and thirds, and in so doing earned 102 points. He defeated Ryan Moore, the 2014 and 2016 winner, by four points. William Buick was third with 66 points, and Irad Ortiz Jr. fourth with 64.
Joel Rosario, who the Tracktimestoda 's Authorities determined is No. 1, finished in a tie for 23rd with Javier Castellano in the Dettori poll. Javier is tied for No. 2 with Irad on the Tracktimestoday list.
Here are the five world-renowned Gr. I's Dettori won to nail down his trophy: the Gold Cup (Stradivarius) St. James Palace Stakes (Palace Pier), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Enable), Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes (Stradavarius), and Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard - Jacques Le Marois (Palace Pier).
First of all, as a non-follower of European racing, I have no idea what the names in parentheses are, other than I know that in two of the races the winner's trophy was a much-sought-after violin. In two others, they won a wooden walkway out into a body of water. Secondly, if those races are what the world's best jockey is determined by, these guys have a real problem.
For the first of Frankie's last three titles in a row, in 2018, I'd love to know how he made the grade against Mike Smith, who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Santa Anita Derby aboard Justify. That feat by itself would have made Mike No. 1 on the Tracktimestoday list without even having to search for races featuring violins and piers.
After Ortiz at No. 4, the next U. S.-based rider listed with IFHA is John Velasquez at No. 12, followed by Luis Saez at No. 20, then Rosario and Castellano.
Note to the IFHA: Find another category to give your award to, possibly, top 100 violin players.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Luis Saez, a two-time Championship Meet titlist who began his U.S. career in South Florida, rode the winners of six races on today’s 11-race program at Gulfstream Park.
The 28-year-old native of Panama rode the winners of five of the nine Claiming Crown stakes, including $150,000 Jewel victor Jesus’ Team. Saez won seven races in a day twice during the 2017-18 Championship Meet.
Saez began his big day with a win aboard Fighting Force ($5.80) in Race 3, a mile maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds on turf. After a victory aboard Jesus’ Team ($2.80) to kick off the Claiming Crown portion of the card, Saez returned to the winner’s circle with Jakarta ($3.60), winner of the $90,000 Distaff Dash; Queens Embrace ($6.60), who captured the $95,000 Tiara; Fiya ($3), who romped to victory in the $90,000 Canterbury; and Frost or Frippery ($8), who closed out the action with a narrow score in the $75,000 Iron Horse.
Saez won back-to-back Championship Meet titles in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 before finishing second behind Irad Ortiz Jr. the past two seasons.
Record $14.6 Million Total Handle on Claiming Crown Program
Total handle for the Claiming Crown program was $14.6 million, breaking the previous Claiming Crown mark of $13.9 million set last year. Total handle on the Claiming Crown program has increased each year since Gulfstream began playing host to the event in 2012.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $325,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $325,000 Sunday. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the fourth day today, when the six-race sequence included six Claiming Crown stakes. Multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $2,737.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 5-10, including back-to-back optional claiming allowances in Races 7 and 8.
Curlin's Honor, the graded stakes-placed and black-type winner from the family of Fappiano, will be standing in Florida for the 2021 breeding season at Pleasant Acres Stallions, with a fee of $2,500.
Curlin’s Honor is a son of Curlin, two-time Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old and Champion Older Horse. Curlin is the sire of 67 stakes-winners and 123 stakes horses. Curlin’s Honor’s dam, Franscat, has produced eight winners out of nine starters, including three black-type winners, and one graded black-type placer.
Trained by Mark Casse, Curlin’s Honor was in the money in 12 of 17 starts. At three, he won the 6f, $100,000 Woodstock Stakes (listed) in 1:08.85, by 2 ¼ lengths. He finished second in the 7f, $100,000, Paradise Creek Stakes (black type) and the 9f, $125,000, Gr. III Ontario Derby.
At four, he won the 8f, $150,000 Artie Schiller Stakes, receiving a 116 Equibase speed figure, one of eight times in his career his 'E' figure surpassed 100. He also had six in the 90s. Curlin's Honor was also second in the 8f, $175,000, Gr. II King Edward Stakes, and third in the 7f, $175,000, Gr. II Connaught Cup Stakes, the 7f, $175,000, Gr. II Play the King Stakes, the 6f, $125,000, Gr. III Jacques Cartier Stakes, and the 6.5f, $125,000, Gr. III Bold Venture Stakes. He earned $356,545.
When asked about Curlin’s Honor, Casse's succinct answer was: “Talented, Fast, Handsome and Pure Class.”
HALLANDALE BEACH - Thirteen stakes races during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet – including the Florida Derby, Fountain of Youth, Gulfstream Park Oaks, Fred W. Hooper and Sunshine Millions - will have bonuses for Florida-breds properly registered with the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (FTBOA).
A total of $400,000 in bonus money will be distributed throughout the meet beginning Jan. 9 with the $100,000 Tropical Turf. While a dozen of the races will have a $25,000 ‘win only’ bonus, the $800,000 Florida Derby will have
$100,000 in Florida-bred distributive purse supplement funds available with 70 percent going to a registered Florida-bred winner, 20 percent for a second-place finish and 10 percent for a third-place finish.
The $25,000 ‘win only’ bonuses will be available to properly registered Florida-breds in the races below:
Jan. 9: $100,000 Tropical Turf (G3)
Jan. 16: $100,000 Sunshine Millions Classic
$100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint
$100,000 Sunshine Millions Turf
$100,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf
Jan. 23: $150,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3)
Jan. 30: $200,000 Holy Bull (G3)
$100,000 Swale (G3)
Feb. 13: $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3)
Feb. 27: $350,000 Fountain of Youth (G2)
$200,000 Davona Dale (G2)
March 27: $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2)
NOTE: The $800,000 Florida Derby March 27 will have a $100,000 Florida-bred bonus.
Gulfstream’s Championship Meet begins Wednesday, Dec. 2. The first Saturday of the meet will feature the $835,000 Claiming Crown. On Saturday, Dec. 12, Gulfstream’s program will include five stakes, four graded, including the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) on the turf and the $100,000 Rampart (G3).
LAUREL, MD – The Stronach 5, with its low 12-percent takeout, will have a carryover Friday of $91,481.The wager, which has consistently offered bettors a strong return on investment, will feature races from Laurel Park and Gulfstream West.
The sequence begins at approximately 3:20 p.m. with Laurel’s seventh race, a $35,000 restricted allowance event at seven furlongs that attracted a field of nine including last year’s Gr. III Schuylerville runner-up Kiss the Girl and stakes-placed Stickingtogether.
The second leg will be Laurel’s eighth race, a starter optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs. Day the Music Died, Belle Tapisserie, Wonder In and Marco Island all enter off victories.
The action turns to Gulfstream West and its eighth race for the third leg, a claiming event for fillies and mares, before returning to Laurel for its ninth race, a $10,000 maiden claiming event at a mile that drew a field of 14.
The Stronach 5 concludes with Gulfstream’s ninth race, the lone turf event in the sequence. The five-furlong race will feature 3-year-olds and up including last-out winners R Man Joe and Balistico as well as Kantharos’ Image, who has a victory, two seconds and two thirds in his last five starts.
Friday’s races and sequence
· Leg One – Laurel Park 7th Race: (9 entries, 7 furlongs) 3:20 ET, 12:20 PT
· Leg Two –Laurel Park 8th Race: (11 entries, 6 furlong) 3:350 ET, 12:50 PT
· Leg Three –Gulfstream Park 8th Race: (9 entries, 6 ½ furlongs) 3:58 ET, 12:58 PT
· Leg Four –Laurel Park 9th Race: (14 entries, 5 ½ furlongs) 4:20 ET, 1:40 PT
· Leg Five –Gulfstream West 9th Race: (14 entries, 1 mile turf) 4:27 ET, 1:27 PT
The minimum wager on the Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday. If a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes.
Mike Mulligan's BetBestBreeze handicapping website has had too many blockbuster days to count, and on Saturday he added another big day to the list.
Mike had 19 runners listed at seven tracks: Aqueduct (2), Churchill Downs (6), Del Mar (1), Gulfstream West (3), Hawthorne (1), Laurel (4), and Woodbine (2). The final scoreboard read: 7 winners, 6 seconds, 2 thirds - and included were some real bombers.
It's difficult to ascertain what kind of profits handicappers following Mike's horses make because there are so many different methods of wagering. So I'm going to just list a win-place-show scenario to highlight how the picks fared, which would, of course, affect exacta, trifecta, superfecta and other exotic pool players. At least it will give some idea of what a superior day it was for BetBestBreeze.
First I'm picking out one method at random - out of many - that is, betting $20 to win on every horse, or $20 to place, or $20 to show.
A $20 win bet on all 19 horses would have cost $380. The total collection for the seven winners would have brought back $727, a modest profit of $347. The key winners were Empire Express at Aqueduct ($15.20); Journeytothemoon at Laurel ($24.20); and Gary Doing Biz at Laurel ($13.60).
A $20 place bet on all 19 also would have cost $380 and the total collection for the 13 who came in first or second would have been $994, headed by Lijana at Aqueduct ($20.80); Willtobelucky at Hawthorne ($23.60) and Journeytothemoon at Laurel ($10).
A $20 show bet on the 19, another outlay of $380, would have returned $840, led by Journeytothemoon at Laurel ($9.20); Lijana at Aqueduct ($9.30); Marvella Nasty at Laurel ($13.60); and Willtobelucky at Hawthorne ($13.80).
For those with strong hearts, and bankrolls to match, $20 across the board on all 19 would have cost $1,140. The total collection would have been $2,561. Not a bad haul and you don't even have to spend $12 on a Racing Form. And, not to forget the exotic aficionados, here's just one example from Saturday to munch on: the 50-cent trifecta on the fifth race at Laurel, won by Journeytothemoon, and with Marvella Nasty finishing third, paid $319.05; the $1 superfecta paid $10,149.
The handicappers on TVG, Fox and the individual telecasts from each track rarely, if ever, hit these kinds of numbers, not with their picks of 6/5 shots, and the going-out-on-the-limb 'value' picks of 4-1 or 5-1 shots, while worrying about the infamous 'bounce,' or if the No. 1 horse is going to get "mired on the rail' or 'bogged down on the inside' or 'have to work out a trip.'
BetBestBreeze doesn't bother with such trivialities.
MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $325,000 Saturday at Gulfstream West, where the $60,000 Millions Turf Preview and the $60,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf will highlight the multi-race wager’s six-race sequence (Races 4-9).
Anne Scott’s Galleon Mast is scheduled to seek his third-straight running of the Millions Turf Preview in the mile turf race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up. The David Fawkes-trained gelding’s two Turf Preview wins are also his only successes in his last 10 starts. Paco Lopez, who was aboard for those two wins the only two times he’s ridden the son of Mizzen Mast during that period, returns to the saddle. Rancho Alegre’s Monforte, who has won six of his last seven starts, will seek his third straight stakes score in the Turf Preview, which is carded as Race 5.
Arindel’s Quinoa Tifah will look for back-to-back stakes wins in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, a mile stakes for Florida-bred 2-year-old fillies carded as Race 7. The Juan Alvarado-trained daughter of Gemologist will seek her first win on turf after capturing the off-the-turf Our Dear Peggy at Gulfstream last time out. Live Oak Plantation’s Sweet Souper Sweet will also seek her first win on turf which notching back-to-back stakes scores. The daughter of First Samurai is coming off an impressive victory in the Presque Isle Downs Debutante over a synthetic track.
A well-stocked maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds has been programmed between the two stakes races in Race 6. Todd Pletcher-trained Deemed Essential has been installed at 6-5 on the morning-line off a strong debut effort over a sloppy Gulfstream West track Oct. 10. Lets Go Stable’s daughter of Upstart rallied to finish a head off the winner at Saturday’s 6 ½-furlong distance.
Whisper Hill Farm LLC’s Dance Awhile, a Ralph Nicks-trained daughter of Curlin; Al Rashid Stables LLC’s Mizzen, a Juan Carlos Avila-trained daughter of Street Sense; and Harold Lerner LLC, Magdalena Racing and Nehoc Stables’ The Jokes On Me, a Kenny McPeek-trained daughter of Mshawish, are scheduled to debut in Race 6.
The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 13th day today, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $5,824.
There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $9,297 heading into Saturday’s program.
MIAMI GARDENS - Ocala's Mark Casse became the 34th trainer in thoroughbred racing history to win 3,000 races today when Live Oak Plantation’s Souper Watson scored a decisive 1 ¾-length victory in Race 3 at Gulfstream West.
The 59-year-old son of the late Norman Casse, who was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame earlier this year, watched the milestone win on TV from his Ocala farm.
“It feels good," Casse said. "I watched it with my son, Colby, and we gave each other high-fives and celebrated.” I’m happy to be able to do it for [Live Oak Plantation’s] Mrs. [Charlotte] Weber.”
Nick Tomlinson, Casse’s South Florida-based assistant trainer, saddled Souper Watson ($17), who graduated under jockey Miguel Vasquez while coming off a 6 ½-month layoff in the 7 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on turf.
“This is something I’ve just wanted to do my entire life," Casse said. " Milestones mean a lot. This has made me think back over the years. I went through a period of seven or eight years where I didn’t train many horses. We kicked back in, I want to say, 20 years ago. When we won 1,000, I said, ‘Well, that was nice.’ Then, when we won 2,000, I said, ‘I don’t think there will be 3,000.’ I don’t know if there will be 4,000. We’ll see.”
Souper Watson entered the race off a sixth-place finish at Gulfstream Park in an April 25 maiden special weight event that has turned out to be a mega key race. All eight of the 3-year-old son of Ghostzapper’s rivals have gone on to graduate, including four next-out winners.
“I was just talking with my assistant, Nick Tomlinson. We weren’t shocked at all,” Casse said. “We honestly thought he was a pretty good horse early on. That last race came up a little tough. We sent him home and gave him a little break and he came back blockbusters.”
Born in Indiana, Casse took out his trainer’s license at the age of 17 in Massachusetts. He saddled his first winner, Joe’s Coming, in 1979 at Keeneland and his first graded stakes-winner in 1984 when winning the Gr. III Jamaica at Belmont Park with Raja’s Shark.
A 12-time Sovereign Award winner, Casse is ranked sixth in North America this year in wins (172) and purse earnings ($10.7 million). Just a few of Casse’s many highlights include saddling winners in the 2019 Preakness (War of Will) and 2019 Belmont (Sir Winston) and training two-time champion Tepin, winner of the Gr. I Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Casse has won training titles at Woodbine, Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Turfway Park.
(Editor's note:) Mark's first interview for any publication came when he was 15 years old and was based on what a great handicapper his dad claimed he was. The interviewer was, of all people, the guy whose picture is at the top of this page.
It's been a long time since we went over the casino statistics for Florida's eight pari-mutuel facilities, which have been devastated by the virus situation. The division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering is only up-to-date through the end of September, so we only have three months worth of stats to report on since the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
Several things have changed since the last report, with Dania Jai Alai and Gulfstream Park moving way up on the list, and all the numbers going down.
(1) The Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park continues to lead the way. The home of the trotters has taken in $229,763,064 in the three-month period and has a net slot revenue of $18,153,184. The daily average revenue per machine is $263. All this despite the fact that Pompano's percentage of payouts is 90.75, worst among all the facilities.
In the last fiscal year, 2019-2020, Pompano's net slot revenue was $83,220,629, but March through June killed the bottom line as the virus spread and people stayed home. Like all the facilities, the casino was closed in all of April and May, and parts of March and June.
(2) It took a while for patrons to gravitate to 'The Casino at Dania Beach' after its extensive renovation, but now it has moved into second place with "credits in" of $165,788,072. The net slot revenue is $10,294,544.
(3) 'The Big Easy Casino,' formerly Hollywood dogs, is third with credits in of $147,194,957, and net slot revenue of $9,010,483. The net revenue for all of last year was $24,937,954, greatly affected by the closures.
(4) Gulfstream Park has moved up to fourth with credits in of $123,341,449 and net slot revenue of $8,009,400. The closures hurt all aspects of the racing spectrum, especially the horsemen and breeders, with net revenue of just $30,373,007.
(5) Flagler Dog Track's 'Magic City Casino,' perennially second to Pompano Park, has dropped three spots to fifth with credits in of $125,729,791 and net revenue of $7,723,695. The lower numbers are partly due to Flagler's second-highest payout percentage of 93.42.
(6) Hialeah Park's numbers are also being affected by payout percentage. The once-revered Flamingo track gives back the most of all the facilities - 93.63%, and has credits in of $109,235,104, with net revenue of $6,540,055.
(7) Miami Jai Alai is next-to-last on the list with credits in of $95,124,789, and a monster drop in net revenue of $5,991,356. Last year's net revenue was $53,344,457.
(8) The bottom rung is occupied by Calder Casino and Race Course with credits in of $81,737,520 and an even bigger drop in net revenue at $5,802,891. Last year, Calder was third with $70,520,842.
Coming up: report on how the card rooms are faring.
MIAMI GARDENS - Souper Watson, who can provide trainer Mark Casse career win No. ,in Thursday’s Race 3 at Gulfstream Park West, is 10-1 in the morning line for the 7 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on turf. However, handicappers who put a lot of weight on last-out key races will give the Live Oak Plantation homebred a very long look.
Souper Watson will enter the race off a sixth-place finish at Gulfstream in an April 25 maiden special weight event that has turned out to be a mega key race. All eight of the 3-year-old son of Ghostzapper’s rivals have gone on to graduate, including four next-out winners.
Victorious Venezuelan Hug won his next race at Gulfstream and went on to win an allowance race at Saratoga. Runner-up Shamrocket came back to graduate at Belmont Park in his next race and most recently finished third in the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs. Third-place finisher Mystery Bank graduated at Saratoga in his next start.
Freedom Force, Winter’s Wonder and Disturbin Bourbon – who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively – all graduated two starts later. Seventh-place finisher Jealous Boyfriend won next time out at Gulfstream and last-place finisher Viper came back three races later to win the first of back-to-back victories.
On Thursday, Casse has six chances to get No. 3,000 - two horses at Gulfstream, two at Churchill Downs and two at Woodbine. Souper Watson is scheduled to be first-up. The Florida-bred gelding, who will race without blinkers for the first time, finished third, beaten by a half-length, in his turf debut at Gulfstream Feb. 13 before finishing fifth after a troubled start Mar. 4 and participating in the April 25 key race.
Should Souper Watson not become the fifth next-out winner from the April 25 race and Casse’s entrant in Churchill Downs’ Race 5 fails to win, the Hall of Famer will have a chance at the career milestone in Gulfstream’s Race 6. Gary Barber’s What a Beaut, who is 9-2 in the morning line, is scheduled to make her first start in the optional claiming allowance for Florida-bred fillies and mares since finishing a close second at Gulfstream Park West last Nov. 19.
Race 3 will kick off Thursday’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 sequence that will conclude in Race 8. The jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $250,000. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 11th day today, and multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $9,668.58.
OLDSMAR - The most frequent question Tampa Bay Downs officials have received the past several weeks is: “Are you guys going to allow fans to come watch the races?”
In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, customer health and safety are the track’s foremost concerns. Tampa Bay Downs, which has allowed on-track simulcast wagering since July 2 and Silks Poker Room play since mid-June, has formulated plans to permit spectators for its 2020-2021 meeting, beginning with the opening-day racing card on Nov. 25.
The 90-day meeting runs through May 2, followed by the annual Summer Festival of Racing on June 30 and July 1. Tampa Bay Downs will race most Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, adding Sundays starting Dec. 20 and also racing Thursday, Dec. 24.
For the foreseeable future, fans will be required to wear masks both inside and outside the facility, unless they are eating or drinking.
Various measures have been established to ensure social distancing, including:
· The creation of more outdoor, private spaces for small groups
· A limited number of benches on the apron of the grandstand, with increased spacing
· Computer-generated, socially distanced grandstand seating
· A reduction in box seating, from eight to six seats per box
Those changes, and many others, are designed to provide patrons with a high level of comfort and security when they arrive for an afternoon of racing during the track’s 95th anniversary season.
Tampa Bay Downs has developed a website for fans to reserve seating that provides social distancing. The cost is $5 per seat and must be paid in advance. To purchase seats through the website, go to www.tbdseats.com.
The track raced without spectators last season from March 17 through the annual two-day Summer Festival of Racing, generating income and purses for horsemen and horsewomen through account wagering.
Peter Berube, the track’s Vice President-General Manager, expressed optimism that a shared sense of responsibility and respect among track employees, horsemen, jockeys and fans will enable spectators to attend all season.
“We understand that many of our patrons would like to see a return to pre-Coronavirus status, while many others are concerned about venturing outside their homes while the pandemic continues to pose a threat,” Berube said. “We believe it is important to listen to and respect all viewpoints, but our biggest duty is doing everything possible to keep our customers and employees healthy. Without fans at the track, racing loses some of its excitement and charm, and our on-track business suffers.”
Tampa Bay Downs has also implemented rules to protect jockeys. Riders, jockey room staff, starting gate personnel, etc., will undergo rapid COVID testing prior to their arrival, with twice-weekly testing from there on. No newcomers will be allowed without a negative test, and jockeys will be restricted to their designated areas on race days and required to leave the room following their last ride of the day.
Other elements of the track’s COVID-19 protocol include increasing the number of hand-sanitizing stations throughout the facility; ongoing cleaning and sterilizing of high-touch surfaces and areas; socially distanced markers on the floors; providing disinfecting wipes next to wagering machines, replay TVs and high-touch machines; and installing Plexiglas partitions between employees and customers at the Customer Service desk, program windows, concession stands and Gift Shop.
The stakes schedule, which begins with the Dec. 5 Cotillion Festival Day card, remains virtually the same as last season. The 41st annual Gr. II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, a showcase for Triple Crown prospects, will be held March 6 as part of an outstanding Festival Day of racing program, featuring four graded races and total stakes purse money of $1 million.
Other major race days include Festival Preview Day on Feb. 6, highlighted by the Gr. III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for 3-year-olds; Florida Cup Day on March 28, featuring six $110,000 stakes races for registered Florida-breds; and Kentucky Derby Day on May 1.
Nine of last season’s top 10 jockeys have returned for the 2020-2021 meeting. Daniel Centeno and Antonio Gallardo, who have amassed a combined 11 Oldsmar riding championships, are approaching major career milestones at the outset of the meeting. Centeno, who has won a record six Tampa Bay Downs titles, has ridden 2,987 North American winners (to go with 847 in his native Venezuela).
Gallardo, a five-time track champion and last year’s leading jockey with 122 winners, has 1,955 victories in North America.
Samy Camacho, who won the 2020 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on King Guillermo, is also expected to contend for the top spot in this year’s standings. Other top returning jockeys include Pablo Morales, who rode career winner No. 2,000 here last season; four-time Oldsmar track champion Ronnie Allen Jr.; two-time champion Jesus Castanon; and veterans Jose Ferrer, Willie Martinez and Scott Spieth.
The Tampa Bay Downs trainers roster also features nine of the top 10 finishers in last season’s standings, headed by defending champion Gerald Bennett, who has won the last five Oldsmar training titles and six overall. Bennett, who saddled 61 winners last season, has 3,920 winners in his career, 14th on the all-time list.
Last season’s runner-up with 33 winners, Kathleen O’Connell, is a two-time Tampa Bay Downs training champion. Her career total of 2,190 victories is behind only Kim Hammond (2,321) among North American women trainers.
Michael Stidham, last season’s third-place trainer with 31 victories, returns, along with Mike Dini and Jose H. Delgado, who tied for fourth. Other conditioners who may lack the numbers to compete for a title, but bear watching, include Arnaud Delacour, H. Graham Motion, Tim Hamm, Eoin Harty and Anthony Granitz.
Joining the backside roster this season are Mike Maker, whose 2,600-plus career training victories include the recent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with Fire At Will, plus 12 other graded stakes victories in 2020; Jon Arnett, who recently sent out career winner No. 2,000 at Prairie Meadows in Iowa; and David Van Winkle, a veteran of more than 30 seasons with almost 1,100 victories.
MIAMI GARDENS - Quenane, the longest shot in a field full of stakes- winners, showed off his fondness for the course and conditions by splashing to a one-length victory over late-running favorite Noble Drama in the $60,000 Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West.
The Classic Preview for 3-year-olds and up, shortened to one mile this year, was the first of five dirt stakes for Florida-breds on the program, serving as a prep for the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 16 during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet.
Quenane ($57.60), a 6-year-old Algorithms gelding, led every step of the way to earn his 13th lifetime victory and fourth in seven tries at Gulfstream West. For his career, Quenane has a record of 4-4-1 in 13 attempts on an off track.
Jockey Angel Arroyo and Quenane raced to the outside of Debbie’s Passion on the short run to the first turn and around the bend before taking over willingly into the backstretch, with defending champion Red Crescent also racing forwardly in third. The first quarter-mile went in 24.40 seconds as Red Crescent moved up to a pressing position.
Red Crescent continued to loom a threat through a half in 47.70, a half-length behind Quenane, with Debbie’s Passion third and favorite Noble Drama beginning to rev up along the inside after trailing early. Red Crescent appeared to nudge a neck in front between calls but Quenane responded by surging again and remaining in front after six furlongs in 1:11.97.
Arroyo hugged the rail turning for home and set sail for the wire while Noble Drama, a winner of back-to-back stakes but engaged in a long drive under Emisael Jaramillo, shifted to the far outside to make a belated bid for second. Debbie’s Passion held third, followed by Garter and Tie and Red Crescent.
“Noble Drama is in terrific form and Red Crescent won this race last year, and so far Quenane in keeping company with them over the summer really hadn’t been effective with them and he faced some challenges when running against them,” winning trainer Tamara Levy said. “Not to slight Quenane – he’s a very good horse and he’s exceeded our expectations of him time and time again. If he can work it out and find away, he’ll get it done.”
Claimed by Levy as a 3-year-old for $6,250 out of a third-place finish in 2017 in what was his 10th start, Quenane moved over the $300,000 mark in lifetime purses with this victory. Levy plans to point him to the 22nd Claiming Crown Dec. 5 on opening day of the 2020-2021 Championship Meet.
“He’s never won gate-to-wire in his career," Levy said. "He knows the pace, he’s an older horse. He knows where the wire is. He knows the job, so you’ve got to kind of let him decide. Sometimes he knows best. Angel did a terrific job today."
Stallion - 2021 Fee - 2020 Fe
Adios Charlie . . . $4,000 . . . $4,000
Ami's Flatter . . . $2,500 . . . $3,500
Awesome of Course . . . $2,000 . . . $4,000
Awesome Slew . . . $4,000 . . . $5,000
Battalion Runner . . . $1,500 . . . Private
Brooks 'n Down . . . $1,500 . . . $2,500
Dak Attack . . . $2,500 . . . NEW
Fort Loudon . . . $1,500 . . . $2,500
Girvin . . . $6,000 . . . $7,500
Greenpointcrusader . . . $3,500 . . . $5,000
In Summation . . . $2,500 . . . $2,500
Jess's Dream . . . $4,000 . . . $5,000
Noble Bird . . . $4,000 . . . $5,000
Seeking the Soul . . . $5,000 . . . NEW
The Big Beast . . . $4,000 . . . $6,000
Win Win Win . . . $5,000 . . . NEW
Canadian classic winner Breaking Lucky will be standing in Florida for the 2021 breeding season at Pleasant Acres Stallions, with a fee of $5,000.
He began his stallion career at Blue Star Racing in Louisiana for the 2020 breeding season. Before retiring to Louisiana, Breaking Lucky successfully raced for the partnerships of West Point Thoroughbreds, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Eric Young, and R.A. Hill Stable.
“Our mission has always been to expand Florida’s breeding program by offering exceptional stallion bloodlines,” said Joe Barbazon, owner of Pleasant Acres Stallions. “Bringing Breaking Lucky to Pleasant Acres Stallions is a huge win for all of us in the state. This successful GSW millionaire is the the ONLY son of Lookin at Lucky to be standing in Florida and we are proud to have him.”
Hailing from the red-hot sire line of Lookin at Lucky (Smart Strike), Breaking Lucky also comes from an impressive female family. His dam, GSP Shooting Party (Sky Classic), broke her maiden in her first race. She was second in the G1 Garden City BrHailingeeders’ Cup Handicap and third in both the G3 Pebbles Handicap and the G2 Nassau County Stakes.
She had already produced Breaking Lucky – who went on to win $1,196,376. Currently, she is the dam of four winners, including Quake Lake (War Chant) – the dam of Kentucky Derby winner Country House (Looking at Lucky).
Breaking Lucky’s sire stands in Kentucky for $20,000 and is well on his way to becoming a sire of sires. A champion at two and three, he won nine races including the G1 Preakness Stakes, the G1 Izod Haskell Invitational Stakes, the G1 Del Mar Futurity, the G1 Norfolk Stakes, and the G1 CashCall Futurity. Lookin at Lucky was in the money 11 out of 13 starts with career earnings of $3,307,278. He is the sire of G1 Accelerate (standing for $17,500 in KY), G1 Country House (standing for $7,500 in KY), G1 Wow Cat, G2 Madefromlucky, G2 Money Multiplier, G2 Dr Dorr, G2 Diamond Oops, etc.
On the track, Breaking Lucky won the 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes – the second leg of Canada’s Triple Crown – while defeating MG1SW and 2015 Sovereign Award Champion 3-Year-Old Shaman Ghost. In 2016, he won the G3 Seagram Cup Stakes at Woodbine. Breaking Lucky went on to place in the G1 Clark Handicap, G1 Whitney Stakes and G1 Stephen Foster Handicap behind Horse of the Year Gun Runner. In total, Breaking Lucky was on the board in 10 graded stakes and two black-type races.
Tampa Bay Downs kicks off its winter season on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and for the first time since mid-March spectators will be permitted to attend the races.
The 90-day season runs through Sunday, May 2, the day after the Kentucky Derby, assuming the Derby is run on the first Saturday in May next year.
There will be just three racing days in November - opening day, Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th. After an in-and-out schedule in December, the January through April schedule features racing on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, except for April 4 (Easter Sunday).
During the season, all fans and media members, horsemen, track officials and employees will be required to wear masks or facial coverings inside and outside the facility, and practice social distancing.
Hand-sanitizing stations have been made prominent throughout; an air sterilizer and purification system has been installed to protect patrons; socially distanced markers have been placed on the floors; and disinfecting wipes will be provided next to wagering machines, replay TVs and high-touch machines.
In addition, the elevator capacity will be limited to four people; touchless door openers have been added to the restrooms; socially distanced seating will be employed in all areas throughout the grandstand and clubhouse, and plexiglass partitions between employees and customers will be installed at the customer service desk, the program and lottery windows and the gift shop.
The biggest day on the calendar, as usual, is Festival Day 41 on Saturday, March 6, with five stakes races worth a combined $1 million in purse money, headed by the Gr. II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby and the Gr. II, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes for older fillies and mares on the grass.
Feb. 6 is Sam F. Davis Stakes day. with four stakes worth a combined $750,000. The Gr. II, $250,000 Sam F. Davis for 3-year-olds is a "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points race, as is the Tampa Bay Derby.
MIAMI GARDENS - A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream West yielded a payoff of $13,725.66 to multiple ticket-holders today.
The multi-race wager had gone unsolved for eight programs following a $249,204 jackpot hit on Oct. 18.
There was a carryover of $111,271 at the start of betting, generating a handle of $890,459 on the six-race sequence.
Island Commish Tops Noms for Showing Up Stakes
Racing action kicks into high gear next Saturday with the first stakes of the 2020 season with the running of the $60,000 Showing Up and the $60,000 Cellars Shiraz.
Matthew Schera’s Island Commish, a close second in the Gr. III Franklin Simpson at Kentucky Downs last time out, tops a list of 24 nominations for the Showing Up, a one-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained son of Commissioner, who led in the stretch before falling a neck short of holding off Guildsman’s late rally, captured the Gr. III Kitten’s Joy during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet last January.
Leonard Green and Jonathan Green’s Another Miracle, the third-place finisher in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, is nominated for a rematch with Island Commish after being eliminated by bumping at the start of the Franklin Simpson. The Joe Orseno-trained son of American Pharoah won the My Frenchman at Monmouth in his prior start.
Rancho Alegre’s Monforte, who has won five of his last six starts, including the Bears Den at Gulfstream last time out, is also prominent on the list of nominations, as is Rodolphe Brisset-trained Ragtime Blues, who was second in the Gr. III Laz Barrera at Santa Anita in June.
Trainer Michael Maker is expected to be well-represented in both stakes. He nominated two for the Showing Up and five for the Cellars Shiraz, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies that attracted 33 nominations. Maker will be represented by Gelfenstein Farm and Andry Blanco’s Angelus Warrior, the runner-up in the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury in June, and Skychai Racing’s Jolting Joe, a New York-bred stakes-winner.
Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Evil Lyn, who captured the Hilltop Stakes on the Preakness Stakes undercard at Pimlico on Oct. 1, tops the Maker nominees for the Cellars Shiraz.
The nominations list also includes fillies trained by Championship Meet regulars Christophe Clement, Arnaud Delacoeur and Mark Casse, as well as Maker and newcomer Brad Cox.
Clement is represented by R Unicorn Stable’s Faccio Io, a graded stakes-placed filly in Europe who has yet to start in the U. S., and Malibeauty, who has won two of five starts on dirt. Delacoeur nominated Secret Time, a graded stakes-placed filly in Europe who finished a troubled fifth in the Hilltop in her U. S. debut, and Lucky Money, who finished third in the Dueling Grounds Oaks before winning a Keeneland allowance.
Casse nominated three, including Mo of the West, who has won three of her last four starts, all at Gulfstream. Cox-trained A d’Oro, who has three published works at Gulfstream’s satellite training facility Palm Meadows, is coming off a maiden win at Belmont Park.
The Gulfstream Park West stakes action will continue on , Nov. 14 with nine stakes, including five Sunshine Millions Preview races.
Vasquez Wins Four
Jockey Miguel Vasquez visited the winner’s circle four times this afternoon. Vasquez won the first race aboard Long Beach Kid ($23), the sixth on Friendly Fella ($8), the seventh on Front Loaded ($14), and the eighth with Victory Crusade ($38.60)
MIAMI GARDENS - A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool has been scheduled for Saturday’s program at Gulfstream West.
Heading into Friday’s program, the multi-race wager has gone unsolved for seven programs following a $249,204 jackpot hit on Oct. 18. Multiple tickets with five out of six winners today were each worth $843.22. The jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $175,000 for Friday’s program.
Friday’s sequence will span Races 3-8, kicked off by a mile optional claiming allowance on turf for state-bred 3-year-olds and up. Sassy But Smart, who was beaten by less than two lengths in a fourth-place finish in the Palm Beach during the Championship Meet, and Till the End, who has been 1-2-3 in his last four starts at the level, appear to be the key contenders.
Race 4 is a six-furlong race for $50,000 maiden claiming 2-year-old fillies. Terry’s Dream, a daughter of Jess’s Dream who finished second in her recent debut, will be taken on by a pair of first-time starters by California Chrome and Not This Time, and four others. A five-furlong turf dash for Florida-bred fillies and mares follows in Race 5, featuring the return of Daddy’s Joy, who graduated in her first start for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. in her first start at Gulfstream Park last time out. In only her third career start, the daughter of Daddy Long Legs will concede considerable experience to her eight rivals.
A seven-furlong maiden special weight race for fillies and mares will start off the second half of the sequence in Race 6. Todd Pletcher-trained Abilene Trail, a 3-year-old daughter of Curlin, will return from a 13-month layoff while facing five rivals, including Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Cozy Café, who finished a troubled third in her recent debut. The sequence will be wrapped up with a mile race for $8,000 claimers in Race 8 and a 1 1/16-mile turf race for $16,000 maiden claimers, 3-year-olds and up, in Race 9
Journeyman Stud's Khozan is No. 1 on the list of mares bred by Florida stallions this season with 181, and with good reason. The son of Distorted Humor ran away with Florida's leading freshman sire title in 2019 and is the runaway leader again on this year's general sire list with progeny earnings approaching $3 million.
Khozan currently has bred 20 more mares than Pleasant Acres' Bucchero, whose second crop breedings have reached 161. The statistics supplied by The Jockey Club are not complete, awaiting late reports. Journeyman also has the No. 5 sire on the list, St. Patrick's Day, the full brother to American Pharoah, with 116.
There are 72 Florida stallions on the U. S. list and Ocala Stud leads among the Floridians with seven in the top 23. Pleasant Acres has five.
The top 23:
1 - Khozan (Journeyman Stud) - 181
2 - Bucchero (Pleasant Acres) -161
3 - Adios Charlie (Ocala Stud) - 138
4 - Girvin (Ocala Stud) - 124
5- St. Patrick's Day (Journeyman Stud) - 116
6 - The Big Beast (Ocala Stud) - 84
7 - Awesome Slew (Ocala Stud) - 71
8- Neolithic (Pleasant Aces) - 61
9 - Brethren (Arindel) - 60
10 - Jess's Dream (Ocala Stud) - 57
11 - Cajun Breeze (Stonehedge Farm) - 45
12 - First Dude (Double Diamond) - 44
13 - Valiant Minister (Bridlewood) - 41
14 - Katz My Song (Champagne Farm) - 37
15 - Rogueish (Oakton Farm Stallions) - 34
16 - Greenpointcrusader (Ocala Stud) - 33
17 - Bahamian Squall (Double Diamond) - 29
Noble Bird (Ocala Stud) - 29
19 - Long On Value (Pleasant Acres) - 24
20 - Big Drama (Oakton Farm Stallions) - 21
21 - Handsome Mike (Pleasant Acres) - 20
Chitu (Bridlewood) - 20
23 - Ride On Curlin (Pleasant Acres) - 19
Three Diamonds Farm’s Blue Gator is two-for-two and a stakes-winner after pressing the pace from the outside in Monday’s $218,075 New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes, taking command after straightening away in the stretch and drawing off to win by 4 1/2 lengths.
Trained by Mike Maker, the 2-year-old colt by Liam’s Map has earned $159,445 to date. Consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, to the 2020 OBS Spring Sale, he went through the ring after breezing an Under Tack quarter in :21 2/5.
A pair of 2020 OBS March graduates broke their maidens in Japan on Saturday, followed by a third on Sunday.
Kazumi Yoshida’s Russian Samovar scored at first asking at Kyoto, taking over in mid-stretch, then holding off a late charge to score by a head in an 1800m maiden test. The 2-year-old daughter of American Pharoah, trained by Mikio Matsunaga, earned $66,667 USD for the effort. At the March Sale, she sped an Under Tack quarter in :20 2/5, then was purchased for $650,000 out of the Wavertree Stables consignment.
Trainer Hideyuki Mori unveiled Yui Matsushima’s Super Wooper for her first start at Kyoto in a 1200m turf test and the 2-year-old daughter of Overanalyze did not disappoint, taking the lead at the start and never looking back en route to a two-length score worth $66,667 USD. At the sale, she turned in an Under Tack eighth in :9 4/5 and was sold by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds, Agent, for $150,000.
Yukio Baba’s Olympic Day scored on Sunday in his second start, posting a two-length victory in a 1200m maiden test at Nigata for trainer Masayuki Nishimura. The 2-year-old colt by Medaglia d’Oro, who has earned $55,238 USD to date, was consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, and sold for $420,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 1/5 at the Under Tack Show.
(1) In another of those bizarre finishes much like reported in the last 'Notes' where the numbers of the five horses in one race wound up 5-4-3-2-1, here's one that occurred on Oct. 16 at Gulfstream West.
The winner in the six-horse field was Swaggy George, who was the even-money favorite. Finishing second was Heavenly Blessing, who was the second choice at 4-1. Third was Exchange Day, who was the third choice at 9/2. Fourth was Savatiano, the fourth choice at 5-1. Fifth was Osprey, the fifth choice at 6-1. Sixth and last was Gege Conquest, the sixth choice at 9-1.
Congratulations to the betting public that day; they got it right on the money in this one.
(2) I'm far from being a trainer and I'm certainly not familiar with many of the little nuances of entering a horse in a race, then keeping him or her in the race instead of scratching due to weather or track surface changes. However, I wonder why, in certain cases (with big purses), a trainer wouldn't let a horse run if that race came off the grass and there were so many scratches that remaining in the field would wind up in an easy payday even if the horse didn't run well.
Here's one instance to illustrate the point. When Circle 8 Ranch's Dur a Cuire was making her 2-year-old debut at Churchill Downs, the one-mile maiden special turf race with a juicy purse of $95,000 was switched to the main track. From an original field of 16 - which included also-eligibles - there were 12 scratches, but owner Troy Levy and trainer Michelle Nihei opted to leave Dur a Cuire in to make up a four-horse field.
The filly was off last with Channing Hill and was never a threat, finishing 28 lengths behind on the sloppy track. And the check for fourth place was $4,750. That's about three months or so of training bills, and Dur a Cuire certainly wasn't hurt by the effort; in fact, she was probably ready to race again in short order. Something to think about.
(3) It's no secret that the number of mares being bred in Florida has plummeted in recent years, making it more and more difficult to bring stallions in at the end of their racing careers. Proving that point is this season's Florida freshman sire list, which consists of just three names, one of whom is inconsequential. The number of Kentucky stallions who get books of more than 100 dwarfs that of Florida, where the 100+ types are few and far between.
One who has bucked the trend is Bucchero, the first son of Kantharos to go to stud and who started out with a bang at Pleasant Acres Stallions last year. Despite arriving late, the near-millionaire proved to be very popular and Joe and Helen Barbazon were able to get 130 mares to him in his initial book. It was going to be very interesting to see what the second year brought, and it turns out it has been even better - Bucchero bred 161 mares this season.
(4) Kentucky Downs has announced its schedule for 2021, and there will be six racing days again for the meeting that has been featuring the highest average field size in the country in recent years. The meet opens on Sept. 5 and takes in the Labor Day weekend, with purses averaging about $2 million a day.
This year, there were 62 races contested over the six days and it produced a record handle for the track - $59,828,444. Last year, for five days, 50 races produced a handle of $41,239,699.
There are several major benefits for handicappers making wagers at Kentucky Downs.
(1) The huge pools make it rare for a horse to drop three points as the race is in progress as happens at so many other tracks.
(2) The competitive fields make for very few 3/5 and 4/5 shots.
(3) Some of the best jockeys in the country show up for the festivities.
(4) The seemingly interminable stretch run gives late runners a much better chance to be competitive than at tracks where if they're 8 or 10 lengths behind at the top of the stretch they have very little chance to win.
MIAMI GARDENS – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was solved today at Gulfstream West for a jackpot payoff of $249,204.
The multi-race wager had gone unsolved for the first 11 racing days of the Fall Turf Festival before a single ticket was purchased with the 3-8-6-8-7-13 winning combination.
Galit Jak ($4.60) kicked off the sequence in Race 4, followed by Myfirstexwife ($64.40), Running for Riz ($32.60), I Get It ($19.20) and She’s All Woman ($6.40). Shendam ($9.20), one of nine ‘live’ horses in a 12-horse field in the finale, completed the jackpot-winning ticket.
The Rainbow 6 will start anew Wednesday. There will be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $2,342,35 heading into the program.
Miss Auramet Makes Triumphant Return
Miss Auramet impressed in her return to Gulfstream West, validating her 3-5 favoritism with a thoroughly professional 1 ½-length triumph in Race 3, a five-furlong optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares on the grass.
The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained 4-year-old filly, who spent a productive summer in the Mid-Atlantic with trainer Jorge Duarte Jr., won for the seventh time in 16 career starts while capturing her third straight. The daughter of Uncaptured, owned by Laurie Plesa, Leon Ellman and David Melin, was coming off back-to-back off-the-turf victories at Delaware Park and Laurel Park.
Miss Auramet pressed the pace set by Hear My Prayer, who cut out fractions of :21.96 and :44.68 for the first half-mile. She drew away in the stretch under Edgard Zayas to complete the five furlongs over a ‘good’ course in :57.50.
Prior to shipping out of town, the versatile Miss Auramet had scored three straight victories, two on turf and one on a sloppy main track, during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet.
Paco Lopez Back in Action Wednesday
Paco Lopez, who, like Miss Auramet, spend a productive summer in the Mid-Atlantic, is slated to make his 2020 debut at GW Wednesday. Lopez, who celebrated his 35th birthday today, has been named to ride in five races. The Veracruz, Mexico native, who is coming off his second-straight title at Monmouth Park, captured the 2019 riding title at Gulfstream West while riding full-time here.
Hip No. 149, a daughter of Not This Time consigned by Abbie Road Farm (Lisa McGreevy), Agent, went to Tonja Terranova, Agent, for $225,000 to top the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Selected Sale of Yearlings. The dark bay or brown filly is out of Midnight Magic, by Midnight Lute, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Coalport.
Hip No. 248, a daughter of Into Mischief consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent, was purchased by Colt Pike Bloodstock, Agent for $200,000. The bay filly, a half-sister to stakes-winner March X Press, is out of stakes-placed Indian Rush, by Indian Charlie.
Hip No. 121, a son of Wildcat Red consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent, was sold to Patrice Miller, EQB Inc., Agent, for $180,000. The chestnut colt is out of Ivory Meadow, by Meadowlake, a daughter of stakes-placed Ivory Dance.
Karl & Cathi Glassman paid $140,000 for Hip No. 173, a son of Practical Joke consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent. The bay colt is out of Polyester, by Tiz Wonderful, and is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Harpers First Ride, winner of the Gr. III Pimlico Special on Oct. 2.
Hip No. 194, a daughter of Uncaptured consigned by Dynasty Thoroughbreds, was sold for $140,000 to Randy Bradshaw. The bay filly, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Elusive Lady, is out of Song of Royalty, by Unbridled’s Song.
Hip No. 179, Ready’s Humor, a son of Distorted Humor consigned by Colin Brennan Bloodstock, Agent, was purchased by Paul Sharp for $125,000. The chestnut colt, a full brother to graded stakes-winner Machen, is out of graded stakes-winner Ready’s Gal, by More Than Ready.
Champion Equine LLC paid $125,000 for Hip No. 209, a daughter of Upstart consigned by Silver Oaks Farm (Danielle Loya), Agent. The dark bay or brown filly is out of Who’sbeeninmybed, by The Daddy, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Mr. Bowling.
Hip No. 180, a daughter of Valiant Minister consigned by Colin Brennan Bloodstock, Agent for Baoma Corp, went to Quarter Pole Enterprises LLC for $120,000. The gray or roan filly is out of Resilient Humor, by Distorted Humor, a daughter of Gr. I winner Sassy Image.
Zedan Racing Stables, Inc. went to $155,000 for Hip No. 39, a son of Empire Maker consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, to top the 2-Year Olds and Horses of Racing Age section. The 2-year-old bay colt, whose quarter in :21 1/5 was co-fastest at the distance at the Under Tack Show, is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Majestic River out of graded stakes-placed stakes winner Tempus Fugit, by Alphabet Soup.
Hip No. 58, Slashing, a 2-year-old son of Nyquist who won impressively in maiden special weight company last Wednesday at Gulfstream West, was sold to Red Oak Farm Inc. for $100,000. The bay colt, consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent, is a half brother to champion Proud Spell out of graded stakes-placed Proud Pearl, by Proud Citizen.
For the Selected Yearling Sale, 80 horses sold for $3,338,000, compared with 130 yearlings bringing $5,689,200 a year ago. The average price was $41,725, compared with $43,763 last year, while the median price was $29,000, compared with $30,000 in 2019. The buyback percentage was 40.7%; it was 30.1% a year ago.
For the 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age section, 29 horses sold for $816,500, averaging $28,155 with a $16,000 median figure.
A filly by Candy Ride, a gelding by Uncaptured and a colt by Empire Maker sped quarters in : 21 1/5 to share honors for the fastest work at the distance at the Under Tack Show for the 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age section of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s October Sale.
Hip No. 2, consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, is a bay filly by Candy Ride out of stakes-placed Garnet Crystals, by Lion Heart, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Rerun.
Hip No. 35, a bay gelding by Uncaptured consigned by Ocala Stud, is out of stakes- winner Shining Moment, by Yes It’s True.
Hip No. 39, a bay colt by Empire Maker also consigned by Top Line, is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Majestic River out of graded stakes-placed stakes-winner Tempus Fugit, by Alphabet Soup.
Hip No. 17, a bay colt by Kitten’s Joy consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, turned in a quarter in :21 2/5. He’s out of Magicalcarpetride, by Smart Strike, a half-sister to Gr. I stakes-winner Smooth Roller.
The fastest three eighths was by Hip No. 44, a colt by Anchor Down consigned by Navas Equine, Agent, who stopped the timer in :33 2/5. He’s a half- brother to stakes- placed Tale Twister out of Abounding Love, by Tale of the Cat.
Hip No. 56, Annette’s Humor, a 4-year-old chestnut filly by Shackleford consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, breezed the day’s fastest three eighths, clocked in :33 1/5. She’s a half-sister to stakes-winner Sweet Juana out of Whimsical Miss, by Distorted Humor.
Hip No. 50, a bay filly by Speightster consigned by Julie Davies LLC, Agent, worked the session’s fastest eighth, stopping the timer in :10 1/5. She’s out of Bern Legacy, by Bernstein, a daughter of graded stakes-placed stakes-winner Penny Marie.
Hip No. 58, Slashing, a colt by Nyquist consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent, broke his maiden impressively in maiden special weight company this past Wednesday at Gulfstream West, leading all the way and winning by 5 1/4 lengths. The bay colt is out of graded stakes-placed Proud Pearl, by Proud Citizen, a full sister to champion Proud Spell.
The October Sale begins Tuesday, at noon with the 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age section, cataloged as Hip No.’s 1 – 59. The Selected Yearling Sale begins immediately following the Horses of Racing Age, selling as Hip No.’s 101 – 270. The Open Yearling Sale, now cataloged as Hip No.’s 301 – 721, is set for Wednesday and will begin at 10:30 a.m.
MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 tomorrow at Gulfstream West.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the fourth day at the Fall Turf Festival Meet today, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $8,281.
Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, including five races with full fields of 12, three of them on turf. The featured Race 8, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance on turf, attracted a field of 12 3-year-olds and up, plus three also-eligibles. Carlos David-trained Sir Seamus, 3-1 in the morning line, had won three turf races in a row before finishing fourth last time out in an off-the-turf optional claiming allowance. Patrick Biancone-trained Prince of Arabia enters the feature off a troubled third-place finish in the Richard Henry Lee Stakes at Gulfstream. Rohan Crichton-trained American Phenom, who recently captured an maiden special weight race impressively, is one of four last-out winners in the field.
First-race post time is set for noon, kicking off a three-day Columbus Day holiday weekend. There will be live-racing program on Monday.
Dont Float the Ice Dazzles in Speedy Debut Win
Dont Float the Ice, a 2-year-old son of Can the Man, made a dazzling debut today, scoring a front-running maiden special weight victory on turf.
Ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, Dont Float the Ice rocketed out of the starting gate and set fractions of :21.58 and :44.70 on his way to a :57.02 clocking for five furlongs over a firm turf course. The Florida-bred colt is trained by Carl Deville, whose stable is based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County since departing hurricane-stricken Louisiana.
Dont Float the Ice, who is owned by Jerry Caroom, finished 5 ¼ lengths clear of Jose Pinchin-trained Driving Wind, who was making a bid to become the first offspring of Big Blue Kitten to win a race.
Later on the program, trainer Herman Wilensky saddled his first starter since May of 2019 and visited the winner’s circle after homebred Harry’s Ontheloose ($15) captured the Race 7 feature, a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf.
BALTIMORE – Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver prevailed over Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in a thrilling stretch duel to capture the 145th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, becoming the sixth filly to win the 1 3/16-mile classic for 3-year-olds.
The Preakness, traditionally the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, concluded the classic series for 3-year-olds after being postponed from May 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Jockey Club’s signature event was renewed without fans in attendance, as were the Belmont Stakes on June 20 and the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.
Swiss Skydiver ($25.40) defeated Authentic by a neck to become the first filly since Rachel Alexandra (2009) to win the race while thwarting the bid by the 3-2 favorite’s trainer, Bob Baffert, to win a record-breaking eighth Preakness.
Trained by Kenny McPeek, the 3-year-old daughter of Daredevil joined Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906), Flocarline (1903), and Rachel Alexandra as the only fillies to beat the boys in the Preakness. She joined such a rare club while turning in a final running time of 1:53.28, second only to 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat’s 1:53 clocking.
Swiss Skydiver, who had finished second in the July 11 Blue Grass at Keeneland in her only previous start against colts, was the beneficiary of a quick decision by jockey Robby Albarado that helped propel her to the lead leaving the backstretch. From there, she fought off a relentless outside challenge from Authentic around the turn and throughout the stretch run to win her fifth graded stakes this year.
“She is just a real bull," McPeek said. "She loves what she does every day. She likes to go to work. She wants to go out early because she doesn't want to wait to go out. And Robby and I have had a great week here this week. We basically flew up together. We had breakfast, lunch, dinner. I think we were rowing in the same direction and the mojo was good and it happened.”
????????????????????????????????????????? Swiss Skydiver provided Albarado his first Gr. 1 stakes victory since 2017. The????????? veteran jockey, who rode Curlin to a Preakness score in 2007, has ridden more than???? 5,200 winners during his career, and hadn’t won a graded stakes this year until today. When Tyler Gaffalione opted out of traveling to Pimlico for the Preakness, McPeek? decided to give Albarado a shot despite the fact that his business had slowed the past?????? few ?yea?rs.??????
“Well, I owe it all to Kenny. I mean, he believed in me still and, sorry, it's Kenny. It's all Kenny,” Albarado said. “People started thinking I can't do it anymore and Kenny was there, just when I needed someone.”
???? It looked like a genius decision by McPeek following his first success in the Preakness. Albarado saved ground aboard Swiss Skydiver around the first turn and along the backstretch before easing her around tiring pacesetter Thousand Words, who set fractions of :24.48 and :47.65 for the first half mile, nearing the half-mile pole. After splitting horses, Albarado sent Swiss Skydiver back to the rail, where she pulled alongside Authentic heading into the far turn and was talented and tough enough to beat the Derby winner to the finish.
“I've had a lot of special horses in my career, but she's definitely right there at the top right now and I don't see a long time until another one does something like that to me,” McPeek said. “We work hard every day. And it's a game of failures is the thing about it. I've had actually a streak for Peter that I wasn't proud of. It seemed like we went six or seven years and we really didn't have the kind of horses we wanted.”
Swiss Skydiver captured her fifth graded stakes win in a season that included triumphs in the Gr. II Gulfstream Park Oaks, Gr. III Fantasy at Oaklawn, Gr. II Santa Anita Oaks and Gr. I Alabama at Saratoga. She was coming off a second-place finish in the Gr. I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Sept. 5.
Authentic, who captured the Kentucky Derby with a dominating front-running performance, was beaten to the lead by Thousand Words, and sat outside his Baffert-trained stablemate around the first turn and into the backstretch before taking a brief lead.
“By the backstretch, I tried to open up, but he just stood there and Swiss Skydiver came to him,” said Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who was seeking his first Preakness victory. “I tried to get him rolling again, but he just stayed with that other horse from the half-mile pole to the wire.”
When Baffert saddled Triple Crown champion Justify for a victory in the 2018 Preakness, he tied the record for most wins by a trainer with Robert Wyndham Walden, who saddled seven between 1875 and 1888.
Authentic finished 9 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Jesus’ Team, who was a neck ahead of Art Collector, the 5-2 second choice.
“I was hoping he was on the lead. But he got beat. He had the whole stretch to get by her. She ran a gallant race,” Baffert said. “He’s a free-running horse and likes to be on the lead. I saw he wasn’t on the lead and was struggling a little bit.”
Authentic’s second-place finish marked the first time that a Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner lost the Preakness. However, his previous five Derby winners came back in two weeks to win the Preakness. There was a four-week span between the two classics this year.
McPeek said the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares at Keeneland on Nov. 7 is the likely target for Swiss Skydiver but didn’t completely rule out the Breeder’s Cup Classic the same day.
The South Florida racing scene shifts to Gulfstream West tomorrow with a 10-race program that has drawn 115 entries, even with one 6-horse race carded and one with seven. First post is at noon.
The meeting at old Calder Race Course runs through Nov. 28.
There is $211,000 in purse money waiting for the top finishers in five claiming races, four maiden claimers, and the featured ninth race, a $38,000 allowance optional claimer at five furlongs on the grass, with 14 entered. In all, there are five races scheduled for the grass.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Princess Secret didn’t sweep the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. But she did the next best thing, taking the final two legs, including Saturday’s $400,000 My Dear Girl Division.
The 2-year-old daughter of Khozan ran down Restofthestory in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race to take the third and final leg of the annual fixture for offspring of registered Florida sires.
“This is what horse racing’s all about,” said winning trainer and owner Daniel Pita. “It’s about trying to get the one horse that will put you on the map.”
With Miguel Vasquez in the irons, Princess Secret settled into a stalking position, several lengths behind a determined Restofthestory, before making her move on the final turn and pulling off late to win by a half-length.
“She fights every time. She’s all heart,” Pita said. “The pace set up exactly how we thought it would be. We knew Restofthestory was going to be the pace setter. It was smart of Miguel to sit back and save the horse for the end.”
Big Rings, the 6-5 favorite, ran third.
Princess Secret was making her fifth career start, and her first in a two-turn event. She had finished second to Go Jo Jo Go in the first leg of the series, the Desert Vixen, on Aug. 1 before winning the second leg, the Susan’s Girl, on Aug. 29. She has never finished worse than second in any of her races and now has career earnings of $430,300 – not bad for a filly who was a $30,000 yearling purchase by Pita out of the Journeyman Stud consignment at the OBS October sale in 2019. She was bred by Brent and Crystal Fernung, owners of Journeyman Stud, where Florida's leading sire, the immensely successful Khozan, stands.
“Every single time she shows up, and you can see what kind of special filly she is,” Pita said.
The question now becomes whether Pita decides to continue racing her this year or prefers to give her some time off to freshen up and prepare for a 3-year-old campaign. A possible date in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland in November has not been ruled out.
“She’s run hard all summer,” Pita said. “We won’t know, probably, until the beginning of next week if she’s going to remain in training for the rest of the year. She probably deserves a rest. She’ll tell us if she can give us another effort and, believe me, Keeneland’s in the back of my mind a little bit. But I’m not going to commit to anything just yet.”
Boca Boy Plays Spoiler as Breeze On By Falls Short in Bid for Sire Stakes Sweep
HALLANDALE BEACH - Breeze On By had dead aim on Boca Boy seeking a historic sweep of the Florida Sire Stakes for male 2-year-olds. With a furlong to the wire, he had pulled to within two lengths of the frontrunner.
But Boca Boy refused to allow the 1-5 favorite to blow on by and held on for a two-length victory in the $400,000 In Reality Division of the annual series for offspring of registered Florida sires, springing the upset at odds of 12-1.
Ridden by Edgard Zayas, Boca Boy – who was coming out of a one-mile turf stakes – took well to the sloppy going, assumed early command in the 1 1/16-mile race, and maintained his lead to the wire, easily defeating the Cajun Breeze colt from Stonehedge Farm.
Boca Boy, trained by Cheryl Winebaugh for owner Kenneth E. Fishbein, is a son of Prospective and was making his fourth career start today. The victory was his first since he broke his maiden over a sloppy track at Gulfstream on July 17.
The two geldings met in the first leg of the series, the six-furlong Dr. Fager Divi, back on Aug. 1, with Boca Boy finishing more than nine lengths behind in third. But he was a new horse in the In Reality, and both the slop and added distance of the proved to his liking.
“I came into the race planning to make the best out of my horse and, at the same time, find a way to beat Breeze on By,” Zayas said. “I was trying to get the trip I wanted and put him in the spot to control the race from there. My horse kept on fighting and relaxed very well on the lead, which helped him a lot in the stretch.”
Boca Boy, bred by Carol Hershe, paid $26.20 and earned a check for $240,000. Breeze On By went into the race with earnings of $223,000 and added $80,000 for a total of $303,000. Stonehedge's Seazan finished third, two lengths behind the runner-up, and collected $44,000. Fourth and fifth went to a pair of sons of Brethren from Arindel Farm - Gatsby banking $24,000 and Hercules $12,000.
HALLANDALE BEACH - A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 pool is scheduled for Sunday’s closing-day program of the Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream Park.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 13th racing day today, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $2,967. The carryover jackpot pool grew to $636,676. However, there will be a jackpot pool guarantee of $900,000 for Friday’s Rainbow 6.
Should the Rainbow 6 go unsolved Friday and Saturday, the pool will build into the millions for Sunday.
Friday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, including a second-level optional claiming allowance featuring Tatweej’s quest for three wins in a row.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the late-developing 4-year-old, who brought a bid of $2.5 million at the 2017 Keeneland September sale, has scored dominating back-to-back victories at Friday’s distance of a mile.
The son of Tapit, who finished third in his June 21 debut at Gulfstream, broke his maiden in front-running style by 3 ¾ lengths on July 25. The Kentucky-bred colt, who is out of Gr. 1 stakes-winner Tiz Miz Sue, came right back to score by 2 ½ lengths on Aug. 22. Edgard Zayas has the return mount, when Tatweej will take on five rivals, including Brewmeister, who will also be seeking his third straight victory at Gulfstream.
Formerly trained by Chad Brown, Brewmeister finished third on June 13 in his first start for Lisa Lewis, before graduating at 6 ½ furlongs on July 4 and coming right back to rally from far back to score by a half-length. Ronnie Allen Jr. has the return call on the 3-year-old gelded son of Point of Entry.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will be highlighted by six juvenile stakes, including the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl, the final legs of the Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida.
The $150,000 FSS Wildcat Heir, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up, will kick off the sequence in Race 6, followed by the $75,000 Hollywood Beach, at five furlongs on the turf; the My Dear Girl, the 1 1/16-mile final for fillies; the $75,000 Armed Forces, a one-mile turf stakes; the In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile open division final; and the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy, a one-mile turf race for fillies.
(1) Double Diamond Farm's First Dude passed the $18 million mark in career progeny earnings in the past two days.
(2) Journeyman Stud's Khozan, last year's leading Florida freshman sire, is easily the leading second-crop sire this year with progeny earnings of $2,330,047. He's going after First Dude's record of the last six years - $3,249,001.
(3)) Just before the seventh race last night at Mountaineer Resort, Race Track and Casino in West Virginia, the cameras fixed on a wonderful sight. Three young deer bounded across the turf course, then the main track, and disappeared under the grandstand.
(4) In Ocala's Wire-to-Wire magazine each day, there are a couple of pages titled "Florida Stallion Progeny for . . . ." followed by the next two days of runners at every track in North America. The lists include progeny for current and former Florida stallions. The stallion with by far the most runners every day is Congrats, who hasn't been in Florida for years, and is now 20 years old and at WinStar Farm in Kentucky. He has 1,059 lifetime foals, with 855 starters, 259 this year.
While other stallions routinely have one to five runners each day, Congrats routinely has many more. Examples: on Friday he had 10 entered; Saturday - 11; Sunday - 6; and on sparse race days - Monday - 6; today - 5.
(5) Aside from many political factors affecting the handle at tracks around the country, numbers are down due to several other factors. They include: no on-track betting; tracks often forced to schedule less races, including as little as seven; and short fields, which greatly limits exotic bets of all kinds. For instance, wheeling a horse in a $2 exacta in an 8-horse race costs $14, in a 12-horse race it costs $22.
(6) With all the knowledgeable handicappers available from coast to coast, it's puzzling that NYRABets, on its betting site, has selections from Trackmaster, and the guy (or gal) who handles it is a decided neophyte. The comments are mainly juvenile, and almost every one of his (or her) 1-2-3 picks is dominated by the horse's Equibase speed figure. No 'horse got in trouble,' or jockey or surface switch, or change of distance. Very surprising.
BALTIMORE – For the fourth consecutive year, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering the $100,000 Sentient Jet trainer bonus to horsemen who accumulate the most points during stakes races over Preakness weekend, Oct. 1-3, at Pimlico Race Course.
Highlighted by the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes, presented this year as the final jewel in a refashioned Triple Crown and a “Win and You”re In” qualifier for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic, 15 stakes, nine graded, worth $3.35 million will be contested over three days.
Trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races will be eligible for bonus money, with $50,000 going to the trainer with the most points, $25,000 for second, $12,000 for third, $7,000 for fourth, $4,000 for fifth and $2,000 for sixth. Points will be accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third (five) and fourth (three) and by having a starter (one) in each of Pimlico’s stakes.
Preakness weekend stakes action begins Thursday with the $200,000, Gr. III Chick Lang, $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint and $100,000 The Very One. The historic $250,000, Gr. III Pimlico Special highlights the Friday card that also serves as Claiming Crown Preview Day.
Joining the $1 million Preakness on Saturday is the 96th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies. They are supported by the $250,000, Gr. II Dinner Party, $200,000, Gr. III Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, $150,000, Gr. III Miss Preakness, $150,000, Gr. III Gallorette, $150,000 Laurel Futurity, $150,000 Selima, $100,000 Skipat, $100,000 James W. Murphy, $100,000 Hilltop and $100,000 The Very One.
Nominations for all 15 stakes close tomorrow.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen captured the $50,000 prize in 2017 and 2018, but finished second to Brad Cox last year. Cox led the way with 36 points, three more than Asmussen, including running third and fourth with Owendale and Warrior’s Charge in the Preakness, Cox’s Triple Crown race debut.
Cox won the Miss Preakness with eventual champion Covfefe in track-record time of 1:07.70 for six furlongs and the Gr. III Allaire duPont Distaff with Mylady Curlin; he was second with Ulele in the Black-Eyed Susan. Asmussen picked up wins in the Pimlico Special with Tenfold and the Gr. III Maryland Sprint with New York Central. He was fifth in the Preakness with Laughing Fox.
Here are the latest in the tidbits category from around the country:
(1) Every once in a while, a long-time racing media personality hits a home run on the race track. Jim Rome is one recent example. The latest is Steven Crist, former New York Times racing columnist, long-time head of Daily Racing Form, founder of the ill-fated Racing Times and a frequent visitor to the mutuel windows.
Steve and his three partners, who include trainer Phil Gleaves, scored with Thin White Duke in the $150,000 Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga on Friday. The 2-year-old New York-bred gelding is by Spendthrift sire Dominus, and is now 1-2-2 in five starts. The check of $82,500 raised his earnings to $120,020. Mutuel price of $12.20 no doubt raised Crist's earnings substantially.
(2) Travis Stone called the first several races at Churchill Downs on Saturday before Larry Collmus took over. (Collmus is the lone race-caller in the U. S. who pronounces Leparoux correctly). In race No. 1, Stone incorrectly called Hog Creek Hustle, in mid-track, as being barely in front in a battle with 6/5 Midnight Sands with about 100 yards to go.
But it was obvious to TV viewers that Bourbon Resolution and Leparoux had already slipped through at that moment and taken the lead on the rail. Stone had to atone for the error a few moments later and he did it by having Bourbon Resolution "nail him on the wire." Not true.
(3) Maryland-bred Intrepid Dream gave Florida frosh sire Jess's Dream (Ocala Stud) his second winner, breaking her maiden at Delaware Park on Sept. 2 for owner/breeder Paul Fowler Jr. Jess's Dream leads Pleasant Acres' Ride On Curlin, 2 winners to 1. Both sires are by Curlin.
(4) Lady's Island is a 6-year-old mare by Solera Farm's Greatness, a stallion still active at the age of 21. Lady's Island finished second by less than a length to 6/5 favorite Come Dancing yesterday in the Gr. II Honorable Miss Stakes at the Spa, which went in 1:08.74 for the six furlongs.
Lady's Island has a sensational career record of 16-5-4 in 32 starts, with earnings of $540,815. In her last 18 tries, dating back to June 22 of 2018, her record is an astonishing 12-3-2-1. This year, she's 3-2-1 in six starts with earnings of $156,020.
(5) The ever-present Ken and Sarah Ramsey had a good day with their fabulous sire, Kitten's Joy, at Gulfstream Saturday as breeders of second-race winner Cactus Kitten and fifth-race winner Spinning Kitten. They are also the owners of Cactus Kitten. It looked as though that success carried through on Sunday with the winner of the second race, according to Wire-to-Wire's charts. But it turned out that the magazine had reprinted Saturday's second, third and fourth races in Sunday's charts.
OCALA – Tommy Root Jr., who trained in New York and Florida and was the conditioner of multiple graded-stakes winner Redundancy and 1977 Preakness runner-up Iron Constitution, passed away here Friday. He was 87.
A graduate of Ohio State, Root, along with his father, Thomas Sr., and brother, Richard, worked for Harry T. Mangurian Jr. and his Mockingbird Farm for more than 20 years.
Root saddled his first horse, Admiral Cherry, for his father in 1951 at the age of 17. Along with Redundancy, winner of the 1976 Gallorette and Columbiana, Root saddled Iron Constitution to victory in the 1977 Withers and to a second-place finish behind Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in the ’77 Preakness, and also trained multiple graded stakes-placed Proud and Valid.
Root also trained for Nelson Bunker Hunt and worked with his father, who trained two-time Eclipse Award-winning filly Desert Vixen, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
Root’s son, Tom, said he retired in 1995 and moved to Ocala in 2005. He won 199 races during his training career.
Services are pending.
The field for Kentucky Derby 146 'only' numbers 18 this year as so many possibles fell by the wayside over the past few weeks. That, along with the fact that Tiz the Law looks like a cinch, if there is such a thing.
Amazingly, the top three picks in Mike Battaglia's morning line drew the three outside post positions in the new 20-horse gate at Churchill Downs. Honor A. P. (5-1) drew No. 16, Tiz the Law (3/5) No. 17 and Authentic (8-1) No. 18. Just as amazing, after Authentic there's only one of the other 15 with a line of less than 20-1, and that's Thousand Words at 15-1. No less than eight are listed at 50-1.
Tiz the Law is looking to become the second New York-bred to wear the roses for the charismatic Sackatoga Stable, which first accomplished the feat with Funny Cide 17 years ago. There's a second New York-bred in the field, Ny Traffic, who drew No. 16 and is 20-1.
King Guillermo, winner of the Gr. II Tampa Bay Derby and lighting up the tote board at $100.40 for former Major League Baseball star Victor Martinez, drew No. 6 and is listed at 20-1. Sole Volante, second behind King Guillermo at odds of 3/2, drew No. 12 and is 30-1. He was beaten by 4 3/4 lengths after winning the Gr. III Sam F. Davis Stakes in his previous start.
There are rarely sentimental choices in the Derby, but there will be this time with Tiz the Law and Sackatoga.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Breeze On By led an astonishing 1-2-3-4 finish for Stonehedge Farm South at Gulfstream Park with a commanding 7 ½-length victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Affirmed, the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes.
The seven-furlong Affirmed co-headlined Saturday’s program along with the $200,000 Susan’s Girl, the seven-furlong stakes for fillies. They were supported by the $75,000 Proud Truth, a one-mile turf stakes for 2-year-olds, and the $75,000 Sharp Susan, a one-mile turf stakes for juvenile fillies. All four stakes were included in the six-race sequence of the Rainbow 6 on the day of a mandatory payout.
Trainer Ralph Nicks, who had saddled Breeze On By for a victory in the $100,000 Dr. Fager in the first leg of the Sire Stakes four weeks earlier, won his fourth consecutive running of the Affirmed. The son of Cajun Breeze also gave Nicks his eighth Florida Sire Stakes success since 2016 while providing Gilbert Campbell’s Stonehedge Farm with a 15th victory in the tradition-rich series.
“I just feel blessed to be in Florida for seven years and win this many in the Series,” said Nicks, who captured the race in the previous three seasons with Soutache (2017), Garter and Tie (2018) and Liam’s Lucky Charm (2019). “I learned early on that you need to be a part of this and was lucky to have owners send me some talented horses and it's worked.”
The Nicks-trained Big Daddy Dave and Seazan finished second and third, while Top Boss, trained for Stonehedge by Kathleen O'Connell, finished fourth to round out the superfecta, which paid $245.30 for a dollar.
Breeze On By, now undefeated in three starts, ran seven furlongs in 1:22.75. Big Daddy Dave made a wide bid on the turn to finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of a late-rallying Seazan.
“They're nice horses," Nicks said. "Thank you to Stonehedge for sending us some great horses. We're lucky to work with such talented horses. Breeze On By was able to rate and sit there with Big Daddy Dave in the hunt and could have pushed if he needed to, but he will settle and follow if he needs to."
Breeze On By is scheduled to make his bid to become the fifth male to sweep the Florida Sire Stakes in the $400,000 In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile series finale on Sept. 26. With a victory he would join Three Rules (2016), Sir Oscar (2003), Seacliff (1995) and Smile (1984). Smile went on to win an Eclipse Award as the country's leading sprinter as a 4-year-old in 1986.
“Doing this series is tough on them and we'll see," Nicks said. "There are two other horses in this race that ran well so nothing will be a gift, but it's nice to have a horse this talented and have those options in front of you.
Breeze On By earned $120,000 for the victory, boosting his total to $223,000 for three races. Big Daddy Dave collected $40,000 and raised his total to $83,000, while Seazan added $20,000 to his account, which now totals $74,090, and Top Boss earned $12,000 for a total of $51,850. The quartet picked up $194,000 of the $200,000 purse in the Affirmed, and as a group their earnings have swelled the Stonehedge coffers to the tune of $431,940 in the space of a few months.
The fifth-place finisher in the race was Arindel's Gatsby, the 5/2 second choice who took home the remaining $6,000.
While Breeze On By is a homebred by Stonehedge stallion Cajun Breeze, the other three are by Journeyman Stud's leading Sire, Khozan, in whom Stonehedge owns an interest. Big Daddy Dave and Top Boss are also homebreds, but Seazan was bred by Susan Kahn and was purchased by Stonehedge for $10,000 out of the 2019 OBS Winter sale.
Here are some of the sport's latest intriguing tidbits:
(1) At Monmouth Park Saturday, in the first race: Midnight Banker is the prohibitive favorite and wins, paying $2.80. Charletee, who is 116-1, is second and pays $34.60 and $15.80. Tricky Print, who is 148-1, finishes third and pays $24.40. Micks Blast, who is 34-1, finishes fourth.
With a 2/5 shot winning, in most cases at most tracks, the 10-cent superfecta might pay $3, or $4, or $5, or $10. This one lights up the board at $1,241.46.
Not to be outdone, in the second race American Quality wins at odds of 50-1 and pays $103.00, $18.40 and $7.80. He was bred by the Horse Research Center in Zuber and there's a breeder's award coming of between $3,000 and $4,000.
(2) Ready to Runaway is a 4-year-old filly by First Dude, bred in Minnesota, of all places. She was a $4,000 Minnesota August yearling in 2017. After winning the recent $51,000 Glitter Star at Canterbury Park for the second straight year, by 8 1/2 lengths, her stakes record at the track is five victories and a second in six efforts. She received an Equibase 'E' rating of 105, her best ever.
Ready to Runaway remained in-the-money perfect with a record of 8-4-3 in 15 starts, and her earnings jumped to $299,980, ninth best among First Dude's runners.
(3) What kind of wagering is there at Chippewa Downs in Belcourt, North Dakota, which holds a meeting of two days a week for four weeks in August? Black Elk, a 3-year-old son of Pleasant Acres stallion Amira's Prince, competed in a $5,000 claimer there yesterday and went off at $10.40-1. The total win-place-show betting came to $168, and there was just one winning show ticket; it paid $99.00. Black Elk earned $312 for finishing third.
(4) Latest on late odds changes: In the ninth race at Gulfstream yesterday, Projected walked into the gate at 6-1 and finished fourth - at odds of 3-1.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Stonehedge Farm's Breeze On By is scheduled to seek his third straight victory and second leg of the 2020 Florida Sire Stakes series on Aug. 29 in the $200,000 Affirmed at Gulfstream Park.
The gelded son of Cajun Breeze is set to square off against Arindel’s Gatsby, whom he defeated by a hard-fought length in the $100,000 Dr. Fager, the Aug. 1 first leg of the tradition rich series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions. The homebred gelding rushed to the lead from his rail post position, set a pressured pace and battled back when headed by Gatsby to prevail in the six-furlong test.
Trained by Ralph Nicks, Breeze On By is undefeated in two starts, including a sensational front-running six-length victory in his July 12 debut. Stonehedge and Nicks will also be represented by Seazan, a son of Khozan who broke his maiden in his second career start on the Dr. Fager undercard.
Gatsby, a homebred son of Brethren who finished 8 ¼ lengths clear of the third-place finisher in the Dr. Fager, won in his April 12 debut, in which he chased odds-on favorite Golden Pal into the stretch before edging away to victory by three-quarters of a length. The Wesley Ward-trained Golden Pal went on to finish second in the Gr. II Norfolk at Royal Ascot, while Gatsby finished off the board in the June 27 Gr. III Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs. Gatsby rebounded with a strong effort in the Dr. Fager.
The field for the seven-furlong Affirmed is also expected to include Kenneth Fishbein’s Boca Boy and Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Famous Gent, who finished third and fourth in the Dr. Fager.
Kenny McPeek, who trains the No. 1-ranked 3-year-old filly in the country in Gulfstream Park Oaks and Alabama winner Swiss Skydiver, will seek dominance in the Florida Sire Stakes filly division with newcomer Raining Sunshine in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl . Marti Erin Haught’s homebred daughter of First Dude graduated in her second career start while romping to a 5 ¾-length maiden victory on Aug. 2.
Gilbert Campbell's Stonehedge Farm, which has won 14 Florida Sire Stakes series races, will also be well represented in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl by Go Jo Jo Go, who captured the first leg of the series for fillies. The Michael Yates-trained daughter of Khozan closed from last to capture the $100,000 Desert Vixen by 1 ¼ lengths over favored Princess Secret. Stonehedge will also be represented by Oh Deborah, a Ralph Nicks-trained daughter of Winslow Homer who debuted with a 3 ½-length victory in a $50,000 maiden claiming race on July 19.
Princess Secret, a daughter of Khozan owned and trained by Daniel Pita, is expected to try to make amends in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl. The filly debuted on May 7 with a four-length victory, then finished a troubled second behind highly-regarded Papetu while taking on the boys in a July 5 allowance before finishing second in the Desert Vixen.
Arindel’s Freak, a daughter of Brethren who finished a nose behind Princess Secret while checking in third in the Desert Vixen, is slated to return in the Susan’s Girl. Arindel will also be represented by Lyrical, a daughter of Brethren who finished sixth in the Desert Vixen. Brethren stands at Arindel.
Trainer Steven Dwoskin’s Alluramore, a daughter of Gone Astray who finished an even fourth in the Desert Vixen, is also expected to run in the Susan’s Girl.
The Florida Sire Stakes series is scheduled to wrap up on Sept. 26 with the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies.