HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 32nd consecutive racing day of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $2,371,994 for Wednesday’s program. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $2,223.
Million-Dollar Spice Is Nice Debuts Impressively
Todd Pletcher unveiled an exciting 3-year-old filly prospect in Spice Is Nice on Sunday’s program. The daughter of Curlin scored a 12-length victory in Race 6, a mile maiden special weight race. Spice Is Nice, who was purchased for $1.05 million at the 2017 Keeneland September sale by Robert and Lawana Low, rated off the early pace before moving to the lead along the rail under John Velazquez on the turn into the stretch and drawing clear. Spice Is Nice ran a mile in 1:36.06 in her impressive debut.
Earlier on the card, Motivated Seller, a 3-year-old daughter of Into Mischief trained by Chad Brown, set a fast pressured pace before drawing away to a six-length score. Owned by Klaravich Stables Inc., Motivated Seller ran six furlongs in 1:10.99 under Javier Castellano in her career debut.
Who’s Hot: Luis Saez tripled Sunday, scoring aboard Mr. Atila ($6) in Race 2, By the Sey Shore ($11.40) in Race 5, and Bold Painter ($14.40) in Race 7. Defending champ Irad Ortiz Jr. rode a pair of winners, scoring aboard Hard Count ($2.40) in Race 3 and New York’s Finest ($5) in Race 9.
LAUREL, MD – Without a favorite winning even one race, there were seven winning tickets in Friday’s Stronach 5, each returning $25,941. The wager, with a 12-percent takeout, had a guaranteed pool of $100,000, but the final total handle reached $206,397.
The lowest payoff in the sequence was $11.20, and that came in the opening leg at Laurel Park. Also featured were races from Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park and Golden Gate Fields.
Friday’s Stronach 5 Sequence:
? Leg One: Laurel Park 8th Race: Factor It In - $11.20
? Leg Two: Santa Anita 1sr Race: Lavender - $13.40
? Leg Three: Gulfstream Park 9th Race: Ekhitibaar - $14.40
? Leg Four: Golden Gate Fields: Hot n’Famous - $12.80
? Leg Five: Gulfstream Park Race 10th Race: Lady Grace - $13.40
The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool is carried over to the next Friday.
The Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream survived again, and there's a guaranteed pool of $2.5 million today.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 30th consecutive racing day of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet, and multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $13,234.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 pool will be guaranteed at $2 million Thursday at Gulfstream Park. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 28th consecutive day of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet today, when multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $20,721.
There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $3,903.83 heading into Thursday’s program.
WHO'S HOT - Irad Ortiz Jr. rode three winners on today’s program, scoring aboard Hey Kitten ($3.80) in Race 4, Elusive Ro ($7.40) in Race 7, and Codrington ($4) in Race 8.
After the passing of Dave Erb on Nov. 22, the oldest living Kentucky Derby-winning jockey is now Bobby Ussery. Erb was the rider of Needles, the first Derby winner bred in Florida, in 1956. He was 95. Ussery won the Derby in 1967 aboard Proud Clarion; he'll be 85 in September.
Ussery is three years older than Gulfstream steward Don Brumfield, winner of the 1966 Derby aboard Kauai King, and Gustavo Avila, winner in 1971 on Canonero II.
Braulio Baeza, winner in 1962 with Chateaugay and now a jockey's agent, will be 80 in March; Ronnie Turcotte, two-time winner with Riva Ridge (1972) and Secretariat (1973), will be 79 in July; Angel Cordero, winner in 1974 with Cannonade and also a jockey's agent, will be 78 in November, and Ocala's Jacinto Vasquez, winner on Foolish Pleasure (1975) and Genuine Risk (1980), turned 76 on Jan. 4.
A little more than a year ago, Brent and Crystal Fernung, owners of Journeyman Stud, announced that their confidence in Khozan's first crop was so great that if the son of Distorted Humor did not end 2019 as Florida's leading freshman sire, the first 25 breeders who sent mares to the stallion in the spring of 2019 would not have to pay the stud fee of $4,000. After Khozan bounced out of the gate with a flurry of early winners, there was never a doubt that the Fernungs had nothing to worry about.
Khozan opened up a big lead in the money-earnings department, greatly aided by Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell's many winners from their Stonehedge Farm South farm in Williston, and the outcome of that race was a foregone conclusion. He wound up with earnings of $1,258,517, easily outdistancing Ocala Stud's The Big Beast ($678,306). Double Diamond Farm's Bahamian Squall was third with $292,966, followed by Journeyman's Fury Kapcori ($280,002).
Khozan also led in the winners department all season, although The Big Beast made a big move late in the year that fell just short. Khozan wound up with 18 winners, two better than The Big Beast and 11 more than both Bahamian Squall and Fury Kapcori.
Four other Florida freshmen had winners - Bridlewood Farm's Chitu (5), Goldmark Farm's Young Brian (2), and Pleasant Acres' Amira's Prince and Champagne Farm's Katz My Song, one apiece.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 23rd consecutive racing day of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet Wednesday, producing a carryover jackpot of $1,322,193 for today’s program.
Multiple tickets with all six winners on the New Year’s Day card were each worth $67,649.
Omaha Beach Arrives - Omaha Beach, one of the favorites for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Jan. 25, arrived safely from California Tuesday evening. Omaha Beach, a son of War Front, was the early morning-line choice for the Kentucky Derby after victories in the Gr. II Rebel and Gr. I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. He was scratched three days before the race, however, after being diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis.
The colt owned by Fox Hill Farms returned five months later to win the Gr. I Santa Anita Sprint Championship before a game second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. In his last start prior to arriving at Gulfstream, he handily beat four others in the Gr. I Malibu Dec. 28 at Santa Anita.
OLDSMAR - Hall of Fame jockey Jacinto Vasquez will be the featured guest on track announcer Richard Grunder’s “Morning Glory Club” Show at 10 a.m. on Saturday on the first floor of the grandstand.
Vasquez retired in 1996 with 5,228 victories, which is 26th best all-time among North American jockeys. The Ocala resident rode an additional race in 2008 at Santa Anita that included eight Hall of Fame riders.
Vasquez won the Kentucky Derby on Florida-bred Foolish Pleasure in 1975 and on the filly Genuine Risk in 1980, but may be more well known as the jockey for Ruffian, who won her first 10 starts before breaking down in a match race against Foolish Pleasure on July 6, 1975 at Belmont Park. Attempts to save her were unsuccessful and she was euthanized the following day. Vasquez rode Ruffian in the match race, saying she was the better of the two horses.
The rider’s other filly of renown, Genuine Risk, was the first of her sex to win the Run for the Roses since Regret in 1915. Both Ruffian and Genuine Risk are in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga. Among the many other top thoroughbreds ridden by Vasquez were Turkoman, Smile, Highland Blade, Forego, Forever Silver, Sensitive Prince and Princess Rooney. He won the Tampa Bay Derby in 1990 on Champagneforashley.
Vasquez will be accompanied Saturday by his close friend, sports writer Bernie Dickman, whose Tampa Bay Downs selections appeared in the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times) for 22 seasons. Dickman, who also gave handicapping seminars at Tampa Bay Downs for 15 years, will sign copies of his book “Thrills of a Lifetime – My 62 years as a sports writer.” He currently opines on various facets of the racing and breeding industries on his website, www.tracktimestoday.net.
Copies of the book signed by Dickman and Vasquez will be on sale for $22. Vasquez will also sign glossy photographs of Ruffian and Genuine Risk for $12 apiece and will be available to sign other memorabilia.
Fans who attend the “Morning Glory Club” Show on Saturday will receive free coffee and donuts and free admission to the races in the afternoon.
CHANCE TO WIN BIG - The second annual High Rollers Handicapping Contest, featuring a potential first-place prize of $20,000, will be held Saturday, Jan. 11 in the VIP Room.
Players are required to deposit $1,000, of which $500 will serve as the player’s wagering bankroll and $500 will go to the prize pool. Any dollar amount remaining in their bankroll at the conclusion of the contest goes directly to the player, meaning all of the prize money is returned to the entrants.
Wagers will be limited to win, place and/or show, with each player required to bet $100 on five races on the card. Anyone wagering on less or more than five races will be disqualified. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five finishers, with $20,000 to the winner, or 50 percent of the prize pool if there are fewer than 100 entrants; $8,000/20 percent to the second-place finisher; $6,000/15 percent to third; $4,000/10 percent to fourth; and $2,000/5 percent to fifth.
Only races at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 11 will be included in the contest, and players must wager at the contest site to be eligible. The first and second-place finishers will also earn a seat in either of the next two National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championships in Las Vegas (this year’s event will be held Feb. 7-9 at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino). Players can enter online at www.tampabaydowns.com . The entry deadline is noon on Jan. 11. For additional details, call (813) 855-4401, extension 1368.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 pool will be guaranteed at $1.5 million for Wednesday’s New Year’s Day program at Gulfstream Park. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 22nd racing day of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet Sunday. Multiple winning tickets returned $1,019.
WHO'S HOT: Marcos Meneses notched a triple on Sunday’s card riding back-to-back winners Gran Causeway ($3) in Race 4 and Pango ($11) in Race 5, before scoring aboard Rebelde ($6.40) in Race 7.
Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode five winners on Friday and three Saturday, made two visits to the winner’s circle, scoring with Gufo ($5) in Race 3 and Blood Moon ($4) in Race 6.
Tyler Gaffalione, who rode two stakes winners on Saturday’s card, rode back-to-back winners Sunday aboard Tap the Mojo ($19.80) in Race 9 and Krammy Boy ($5.40) in Race 10.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Leonard C. Green’s A Threat of Blue will be on a quest to maintain a perfect record over the Gulfstream Park turf course in Saturday’s $75,000 Tropical Park Derby, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds, one of six stakes on an 11-race program.
The son of Hard Spun was undefeated in three starts during the 2018-2019 Championship Meet. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt won an optional claiming allowance by 2 ¾ lengths before capturing the Dania Beach by 3 ½ lengths and the Palm Beach by three-quarters of a length.
The Tropical Park Derby could well prove to be a prep for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on Jan. 25.
“We were going to Del Mar for the [Nov. 30] Hollywood Derby, but with all the weather and flight issues, we changed up,” McLaughlin said. “We were looking at the Pegasus, then we decided to run here. We still could go to the Pegasus. We’ll see. It was either this race or others here and there. Doing this we might be able to do both, because it’s back in four weeks."
The McLaughlin-trained Lucullan, a graded-stakes winner owned by Godolphin LLC, is also a prospect for the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf, in which all participants will run medication-free. “I think it’s a good thing,”McLaughlin said. “I commend them for doing the changes.”
A Thread of Blue, who will be ridden by Luis Saez, has been installed at 7-2 in the morning line, a price that likely would have been lower had he not drawn the No. 14 post position.
Harrell Ventures LLC’s Halladay, who is coming off a pair of third-place finishes in New York stakes, and Calumet Farm’s English Bee, who won the Gr. III Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs and the Parx Fall Derby in his last two starts, were rated second and third in the morning line at 9-2 and 6-1, respectively. Halladay (No. 12) and English Bee (No. 11) also drew outside post positions. John Velazquez has the call on Halladay, while Chris Landeros is scheduled to ride English Bee.
Patricia Generazio’s Timmy M. drew the No. 1 post position for a quest to win his first stakes race. The homebred son of Morning Line has placed three times in stakes, including a runner-up finish in the Sept. 21 Bear’s Den, in which he recovered from a bumping incident entering the stretch. “He belongs and it’s the last 3-year-old race of the year,” trainer Joe Orseno said. “He’s pretty honest. He’s had some rough trips. That’s his biggest problem. He’s been beaten by bad luck.” Paco Lopez has the mount.
Arindel’s Scraps, a homebred son of of Brethren who defeated Timmy M. in the Bear’s Den, enters the Tropical Park Derby off a fast-closing victory in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream. Jairo Rendon has the return mount.
Monarch Stables Inc.’s Art G Is Back is a multiple stakes-winner who will seek his first stakes victory on turf. The son of Exchange Rate, who finished fourth behind A Thread of Blue in the Palm Beach, has been second or third in four of his six turf starts, including a second-place finish in the English Channel, which he lost by a nose.
“I think he’s a little better on dirt, but he’s been close on turf,” trainer Ron Spatz said. “It’s the last race for 3-year-olds, so why not?” Rajiv Maragh is scheduled to ride Art G Is Back for the first time Saturday.
Paradise Farms Corp. and Mad Dog Racing’s Temple and Phoenix Thoroughbred III’s Kadar, who finished first and second, a nose apart, respectively, ahead of Halladay in the Nov. 29 Gio Ponti at Aqueduct, will return to action in the Tropical Park Derby. Both horses are trained by Michael Maker, who also entered Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Faraway Kitten. Temple, who was claimed for $25,000 at Gulfstream in July before winning the $600,000 Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs, will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Kadir, a 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy who started his career in England before arriving n the U.S. this year, will be ridden by Jose Ortiz.
Tyler Gaffalione has the mount aboard Faraway Kitten, who captured the Arlington Derby (G3) in July.
Forever Mo, Stirling Drive, Notorious Nick, Jais’s Solitude and Armistice Day round out the field.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 continued to elude bettors today, and the multi-race wager went unsolved for the 15th consecutive racing day at Gulfstream Park. A carryover jackpot of $649,106 awaits bettors for Friday’s program.
Tickets with all six winners today were each worth $8,480.
The carryover jackpot stood at $591,970 at the start of wagering today, and $238,079 was bet into the multi-race pool.
Friday’s sequence will span Races 5-10. Races 8-10 will also be included in the Stronach 5 sequence that will be kicked off by Laurel Park’s Race 8. Laurel’s Race 9 will be the third leg of the Stronach 5.
Race 9 at Gulfstream is a one-mile optional claiming allowance for 2-year-olds, featuring Juddmonte Farms’ Toledo, a son of Into Mischief who broke his maiden at Aqueduct in his second career start.
Among the other prominent entrants are Ian Wilkes-trained Churn N Burn, a gelded son of Liam’s Map who broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his second career start; Patrick Biancone-trained Ete Indien, a son of Summer Front who will make his dirt debut after breaking his maiden at first asking at Gulfstream and finishing off the board in the Gr. III Bourbon at Keeneland; Jorge Abreu-trained Liveyourbestlife, a debut winner who finished off the board in the Gr. III Nashua at Aqueduct last time out; and Gilberto Zerpa-trained Masterday, who scored an impressive debut win at Gulfstream Park West.
WHO'S HOT: Emisael Jaramillo scored a four-bagger today, winning aboard Clamor ($34) in Race 3, Micah’s Girl ($6.20) in Race 4, Fast Loaded ($20.20) in Race 9 and Abaca Dream ($5.60) in Race 10.
It's a little too late for Ocala Stud Farm's The Big Beast to catch Journeyman Stud's Khozan for the Florida freshman sire money-earnings title, but the winners crown figures to go right down to the wire.
Hauntedbythemusic saw to that Saturday with an eye-opening score in his six-furlong debut at Tampa Bay Downs. It was the 15th winner for the son of Yes It's True, tying Khozan for the lead with 23 days remaining on the racing calendar.
With Antonio Gallardo aboard, the colt bred by Sorrento Oaks Farm was in a three-way battle for the lead from the outset through fractions of :22.19, :45.34 and :57.48, but from the top of the stretch home it was no contest. Hauntedbythemusic left the other two behind and scampered off to win by 6 1/4 lengths, clocked in a sharp 1:09.69, just one second off the track record. He paid a generous $19.20, earned a check for $16,300, and promises to be a major factor in the upcoming 3-year-old races at Tampa.
To put Hauntedbythemusic's performance in perspective, two races earlier Zaino Boyz was an easy winner of the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes and was clocked in 1:09.95. He received a 92 'E' rating from Equibase compared to the 95 for Hauntedbythemusic an hour later.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 21st running of the Claiming Crown Saturday at Gulfstream Park produced an all-time handle record of $13.846 million. The previous record for the event was $13.612 million set last year.
The 11-race program was highlighted by Leitone’s victory in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel and four stakes victories by jockey Paco Lopez.
“We’re ecstatic with the results from the Claiming Crown,” said Mike Lakow, Gulfstream’s Vice President of Racing. “It continues to grow and we witnessed some special performances from our horses and jockeys. We appreciate the support from the horsemen as well as our fans. We believe this is a special weekend at Gulfstream with the Claiming Crown and the Clasico Internacional del Caribe. We’re looking forward to another memorable day Sunday with the best thoroughbreds from Latin America and the Caribbean. The energy in the building will be incredible once again.”
Dan Metzger, President of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, said; “It’s extremely gratifying to see the Claiming Crown set a wagering record. It is improving every year and it’s become a real can’t-miss spot on the calendar for horsemen and fans alike. We appreciate the support of Gulfstream Park, the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and all the fans and horsemen.”
Today’s card will be highlighted by the $300,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe, and five races featuring the best from Latin America and the Caribbean. First race post is 11:40 a.m. The Clasico will feature a Taste of the Caribbean as well as a concert after the races by De La Ghetto.
Rainbow 6 carryover will have guaranteed pool
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a guaranteed pool of $300,000 when racing resumes. It will begin with the sixth race, an allowance race at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares. The remaining five races in the sequence will feature the races of the Clasico Internacional del Caribe.
The Ocala Breeders Sales Co. was scheduled to run eight quarter horse races followed by the two OBS sprints worth $125,000 each on Tuesday, with betting allowed on races 1-8. It turned out that only four quarter horses races filled, so racing secretary Jay Friedman was able to substitute four thoroughbred races, with betting, instead.
Here's a breakdown of how the betting went, for the edification of those who would like to bring pari-mutuel wagering to Ocala.
Race 1 - Win, place, show: $1,271; exacta: $1,873. Total - $3,144.
Race 2 - WPS: $1,757; daily double: $102; exacta: $810. Total - $2,669.
Race 3 - WPS: $1,644; daily double: $75; exacta: $1,170. Total - $2,889.
Race 4 - WPS: $1,436; daily double: $75; exacta: $1,362. Total - $2,873.
Total betting for 4 quarter horse races = $11,575.
Race 5 - WPS: $2,622; daily double: $137; exacta: $1,176. Total - $3,935.
Race 6 - WPS: $2,007; daily double: $215; exacta: $1,031. Total - $3,253.
Race 7 - WPS: $1,937; daily double: $241; exacta: $1,007. Total - $3,185.
Race 8 - WPS: $15,435; daily double: $256; exacta: $1,301. Total - $16,992.
Total for 8 races - $38,940.
What can be learned from this, if anything?
(1) The daily double, locally, isn't too popular.
(2) Exactas are the most popular, since the win-place-show totals have to be divided by three.
(3) The big jump in WPS for Race 8 can probably be explained thusly. First, Kitchen Fire was such a standout (he went off at 2/5 and won by 17 1/4 lengths) that he commanded some huge bets, and second, a late-arriving crowd that came just to see the two stakes. Kitchen Fire's payoffs were stunning - $2.80, $6.00, $3.60.
The 4-year-old gelding had finished 10th by 14 1/4 lengths at Tampa Bay Downs on the grass in his first 2019 start. Switching to synthetic tracks - Presque Isle Downs and Woodbine - and Kitchen Fire went 3-3-1 in seven tries, so his liking for the OBS track was no surprise.
EARLY NEW YEAR'S WISHES:
I wish all racetracks would close their windows when the first horse enters the gate. Maybe - just maybe - I wouldn't be so disappointed when a horse I bet was 6-1 as they neared the gate, and went to 2-1 during the running. It happens way too often and I am far from being the only one who is angered by the policy.
I wish the Blood-Horse - on its stallion website pages - would stop the practice of not including all runners by a stallion who are to compete on any day in the "upcoming races" column. I complained about this once before several years ago and received an answer from one of the editors (Mark Simon, I believe), who explained that stallion owners don't want to see entries for cheaper runners listed. Why not? Do they think the people who search for runners are stupid and don't know that some of the stallion's horses run in cheaper races?
If a horse's victory total is updated on a stallion's ledger, and how much it earned in the cheaper race is included in its totals, then it should also be included in upcoming entries. Quick example: in today's entries for Handsome Mike, Love Daddy isn't mentioned and she's running in the first at Woodbine. The 3-year-old filly is 3-2-2 in 8 starts with earnings of $64,849 and she's in a $40,000 claimer with a purse of $45,000 plus thousands in enhancements. Doesn't make sense.
Wire-to-Wire magazine has its Florida Stallion Progeny page, and it includes EVERY horse by a stallion running at every track in North America that day. Regardless of class.
Speaking of Wire-to-Wire, every race story in the magazine that discusses winners, and every advance detailing upcoming races, leads off with the owner/owners of each horse mentioned. So why is it that the charts for Gulfstream, Gulfstream West and Tampa Bay Downs include the breeders, but don't include the names of the owners? If the owners are so important that they make up a good part of every column, why aren't they important enough to be listed in the charts?
And, why do the Florida Stallion Progeny pages list stallions that haven't been here for years, and the runners listed so often are not Florida-breds. Quick example - in today's pages Formal Class is listed under the stallion Formal Dinner, who hasn't been in Ocala since the War of 1812. Formal Class is a 7-year-old mare bred in Pennsylvania. What person reading Wire-to-Wire cares about this horse?
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 2019-2020 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park will get under way Friday for 89 days of world-class racing, and featuring the country's top tier thoroughbreds, trainers and jockeys.
An eight-decade tradition of racing will continue through March 29 while the bar will be raised to provide Gulfstream patrons with a more enjoyable and exciting day at the races.
Gulfstream is undergoing an extensive $20 million modernization project designed to enhance the racing, dining and entertainment experiences of its fans. Although not all elements will be completed by Friday, highlights of the project include a new infield tote board measuring 100 feet by 30 feet boasting a high-density pixel LED screen; an enhanced sound system on the apron and grandstand areas; additional LED screens and televisions throughout the facility; a new open-air Dining Terrace on the second floor overlooking the racetrack, featuring luxury boxes with private TVs, as well as a lounge section, both offering food and beverage service from Ten Palms.
First-race post time is set for 12:35 p.m. for Friday’s 10-race program that will feature a $100,000 pool guarantee for the 20-cent Rainbow 6. Live racing will primarily be conducted on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule through the fall and winter months.
The Championship Meet schedule includes 98 stakes (39 graded) worth more than $28.6 million in purses.
The $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational series will bring together the best in thoroughbred racing and entertainment for a memorable world-class event on Jan. 25. The $9 million Pegasus World Cup, won in 2019 by City of Light, and the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, captured by Bricks and Mortar in last season’s inaugural running, will co-headline a program with nine stakes, including four other graded stakes.
The $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby will headline a seven-stakes program on March 28 that will include the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies. The Florida Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds that has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown races, was won last year by Maximum Security, who went on to finish first in the Kentucky Derby, only to be controversially disqualified.
The Road to the Triple Crown will also include the $350,000 Holy Bull, which will anchor a program with six graded stakes on Feb. 1, and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth, which will headline a blockbuster Feb. 29 program that will offer nine graded stakes.
The stakes schedule will be kicked off Saturday by the Juvenile Showcase program featuring six stakes for 2-year-olds.
The second weekend of the Championship Meet will be co-headlined by the $1.1 million Claiming Crown, an event with nine stakes for horses that have started in a claiming race. The colorful Clasico Internacional del Caribe card with five stakes for horses from the Caribbean and Latin America, featuring the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe, is set for Sunday, Dec. 8.
Irad Ortiz Jr., who edged two-time defending champion Luis Saez, 135-134, to capture his first Championship Meet riding title last season, will return for a title defense, joining his brother, Jose Ortiz, as well as Hall of Famers John Velazquez and Javier Castellano, in a world-class jockey’s room.
Jorge Navarro, who snapped his streak of three consecutive second-place finishes behind 15-time training titlist Todd Pletcher to win the 2018-2019 Championship Meet crown, is gearing up for a title defense while saddling horses beside Hall of Famers Bill Mott and Shug McGaughey, along with reigning three-time Eclipse Award winner Chad Brown and numerous other prominent conditioners.
Brown will be in the running for a fourth honor at the 49th annual Eclipse Awards, which will be hosted by Gulfstream for the eighth consecutive year on Jan. 23.
MIAMI GARDENS - Gulfstream Park West closed its 40-day Fall Turf Festival meet Sunday with a mandatory payout in the 20-cent Rainbow 6, which returned $4,761 to multiple tickets with all six winners.
Unsolved by a single bettor for the duration of the meet, which began Oct. 2, the multi-race wager had a total pool of $4,709,660 after $3,615,196 was bet Sunday on top of a carryover of $1,094,464 from Saturday’s program.
Sunday’s card also had mandatory payouts of $1,656 in the 50-cent Late Pick 5, $337 in the 50-cent Late Pick 4 and $4,364 in the $1 Super Hi-5.
Jockey Paco Lopez won once on Sunday and finished as the meet’s leading rider with 38 victories, six more than Emisael Jaramillo and apprentice Cristian Torres. His mounts earned more than $825,000, despite the fact that he was riding at Monmouth Park for the first month of the meeting.
Saffie Joseph Jr. earned his second straight fall meet championship with 22 winner's circle visits from 57 starts, with earnings of more than $450,000. Ralph Nicks, Jorge Navarro and Victor Barboza tied for second with eight winners. Frank Calabrese led the owners with eight victories, and Arindel's $245,000 led the money-winning title.
Live racing moves to Gulfstream Park for the 2019-2020 Championship Meet, the premier winter meet in the country, which opens its 89-day stand on Friday. Post time for the first of 10 races is 12:35 p.m.
OLDSMAR - Thoroughbred racing returns to Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 27 with the opening-day card of the 2019-2020 meeting. Admission is free.
The track is celebrating its 94th anniversary season with a boatload of activities and promotions planned throughout the 90-day meeting to enhance the equine energy. Oldsmar oval visitors will notice a new face picking the races and providing handicapping information: TVG analyst Matt Carothers, a lifelong fan and racing follower.
Carothers, TVG’s first on-the-air handicapper in 1999, will present his selections over the Tampa Bay Downs closed-circuit telecast each racing day. Before joining TVG, he worked for three years as the on-track handicapper and TV host at Canterbury Park in Minnesota; at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands in New Jersey; and for New York City OTB, partnering with track announcer Dave Johnson.
Carothers says he looks for natural speed and value for his buck when handicapping and wagering, and he is eager to offer his angles on profiting from the consistently large Tampa Bay Downs fields.
Bettors should expect Carothers to pay close attention to the track’s exciting new wager: the Ultimate Pick-6, requiring bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races on a single card.
The minimum Ultimate Pick-6 wager is 20 cents. Because of the wager’s carryover jackpot format, the Ultimate Pick-6 could be a life-changer for one or more bettors. For anyone to collect the jackpot on a given day, they must have the only ticket correctly selecting all six winners. Otherwise, 75 percent of the pari-mutuel pool will be split among those bettors selecting the greatest number of first-place finishers, with the remainder added to the carryover jackpot the next day.
The Saturday, Nov. 30 program offers fans chances galore to win cash and prizes. In addition to the racing action, the meeting’s first Saturday is “Tampa Bay Sport Day,” with in-the-know fans having an opportunity to win tickets to various professional and college events by correctly answering trivia questions and spinning a prize wheel.
Tickets will be awarded for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Lightning, the Rays, the Outback Bowl, the Gasparilla Bowl, USF men’s and women’s basketball and the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship.
Nov. 30 also marks the start of the “10 Days of Festivus On-Line Handicapping Contest,” which runs through Dec. 21. There is no charge to enter and the winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, with a second prize of $500. The Festivus contest allows fans and bettors to test their skills against the best Oldsmar oval handicappers from across the nation. Go to www.festivuschallenge.com for rules and to enter.
The primary focus throughout the winter and spring, as always, will be on the racetrack, where excitement has been building to a fever pitch the last three weeks during morning workouts. A stakes schedule that gets underway on Dec. 7 with a pair of $100,000, 6-furlong races for 2-year-olds will be highlighted by the March 7 Festival Day program, featuring the 40th edition of the Gr. II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby for 3-year-old Kentucky Derby prospects at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth. The first four finishers in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby earn qualifying points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.”
Also part of the Festival Day program are a pair of big-money graded races on the turf course: the Gr. II, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes for older fillies and mares and the Gr. III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.
The track’s three other graded stakes will be contested on Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South, Feb. 8: the Gr. III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for 3-year-olds, the Gr. III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes for older horses on the turf and the Gr. III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes for older fillies and mares on the turf.
The Sam F. Davis awards points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” to the first four finishers, while that day’s $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies awards points on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” to the first four finishers.
Florida Cup Day is March 29, with six stakes on both dirt and turf offering $110,000 apiece to the owners of registered Florida-bred horses.
Almost all of the track’s top trainers and jockeys have returned. Heading a powerful training contingent are Gerald Bennett, who has won the last four conditioner titles and five overall; last year’s runner-up, two-time track champion Kathleen O’Connell; third-place finisher Michael Stidham, who is two shy of 2,000 career victories; and 2019 Breeders’ Cup-winning trainers Ignacio Correas IV and H. Graham Motion.
Leading jockeys set to compete include defending champion Samy Camacho; four-time kingpin Antonio Gallardo; six-time champion Daniel Centeno; and Pablo Morales.
Tampa Bay Downs races on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with Sundays added to the mix on Dec. 22. There is no racing on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and Easter, April 12. A special Thursday card will be offered on Dec. 26.
The track is open every day except Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), Christmas and Easter for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.
MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 35th consecutive day Sunday at Gulfstream Park West, and the carryover jackpot jumped to $909,175 for the return of live racing on Wednesday.
First-race post time is 1:20 p.m.
A total of $196,968 was wagered into the Rainbow 6 Sunday, on top of a carryover of $861,911 from Saturday’s program. Multiple tickets with all six winners each returned $1,003.66.
No single bettor has solved the multi-race wager during the Fall Turf Festival meet, which began Oct. 2 and runs through Sunday. The Rainbow 6 was last taken down for a $2.2 jackpot payoff Sept. 27 at Gulfstream Park.
Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 spans Races 3-8. The sequence includes the return in Race 7 of Bodexpress, fresh off his maiden triumph last month,in a $45,000 allowance for 3-year-olds and up going one mile on the main track.
NOTES: Jockey Jairo Rendon rode three winners Sunday, including back-to-back scores on Lavi ($94.60) in Race 2 and Shyza ($8.60) in Race 3. Rendon completed his triple aboard Victor Lounge ($5.80) in Race 7.
MIAMI GARDENS - No single bettor solved the 20-cent Rainbow 6 for the 31st consecutive racing day Wednesday at Gulfstream Park West, with the carryover jackpot rising to $768,774 for today’s eight-race card. First race post time is 1:20 p.m.
Multiple tickets with all six winners Wednesday were each worth $4,250
Today’s Rainbow 6 covers Races 3-8 highlighted by a $39,000 optional claimer going a mile on the turf in Race 6 which attracted a field of nine Florida-breds led by 9-5 program favorite Mozzo Bello.
Horses Arriving Wednesday from Mexico for Clasico del Caribe
Three contenders for the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe were among 14 horses arriving from Mexico Wednesday to compete in the Clasico Internacional del Caribe Sunday, Dec. 8 at Gulfstream Park.
El Santo, Lopecitos and Thibaut are all expected to run in the 1 1/8-mile Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds, the richest of five stakes worth $690,000 in purses on the Clasico Internacional del Caribe program.
This will be the third consecutive year that Gulfstream has served as host for the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, remaining the only pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the event since its inception in 1966.
Notes: Jockeys Paco Lopez and Jairo Rendon alternated winning Wednesday’s first four races. Lopez took Race 1 with Frank’s Legacy ($2.80) and Race 3 on Babie Monster ($16.60) while Rendon was first on Itsmyluckyknight ($6) in Race 2 and Captain Ron ($6) in Race 4.
It's been almost a year since Brent and Crystal Fernung announced an intriguing deal concerning their soon-to-be freshman sire, Khozan. It was a simple premise - if the son of Distorted Humor didn't wind up 2019 as Florida's leading sire, the first 25 breeders who sent a mare to him would receive free breedings.
With an announced stud fee of $4,000 for this year, that would have amounted to a $100,000 hit for the Fernungs' Journeyman Stud.
With about a month and a half remaining in the season, it would take a miracle for runner-up The Big Beast to catch Khozan in the money-earnings department. Khozan is on top today with his runners collecting $1,037,820, and TBB is well behind at $564,471.
However, in the winners department, TBB had a winner at Gulfstream West yesterday - Quality On Tap - who became his sire's 13th winner, and he's now just one behind. Khozan has also been the leader on that list since day one, and he's sitting at 14 today. But even if TBB caught Khozan before Dec. 31, the money-earnings list will rule.
The third and fourth sires on the frosh list with six winners each are Double Diamond's Bahamian Squall and Journeyman's second-stringer, Fury Kapcori.
William and Corrine Heiligbrodt’s Mitole made an emphatic case for one or more Eclipse Awards with a sharp score in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint yesterday.
Cleverly rated off the early pace by Ricardo Santana Jr., he went after front-running fellow OBS graduate Shancelot (March ’18) in the stretch, caught him a furlong from home and beat him to the wire by a length and a quarter. OBS graduate Engage (March ’17) settled for fourth.
Mitole was consigned to the 2017 April Sale by Grassroots Training & Sales. The 4-year-old colt by Eskendereya was sold for $140,000 after an under tack eighth in :10 seconds flat. Trained by Steve Asmussen, his seventh stakes victory leaves him with a sensational career record of 14-10-2-2 with earnings of $3,104,910.
MIAMI GARDENS – The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 12th consecutive racing day at Gulfstream Park West Thursday, producing a $150,928 carryover jackpot for today’s program. Tickets with six winners were each worth $2,927.96.
The Rainbow 6 was solved at Gulfstream Park for a $2.2 million jackpot Sept. 27 after going unsolved for 47 consecutive racing days.
Double Late Pick 5 Carryover Sparks $1.25 Million in Betting
A double carryover for the 50-cent Late Pick 5 of $163,572 sparked $1,253,056 in new betting on Thursday’s sequence that spanned Races 4-8. No tickets with all five winners were purchased on Sunday or Monday, creating a strong incentive for value-seeking bettors.
Tickets with all five winners Thursday were each worth $1,109.80.
MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 10th racing day in a row at Gulfstream Park West today, producing a carryover jackpot of $110,111 for Monday’s Columbus Day program. Multiple tickets with five of six winners were each worth $12,869.
The Rainbow 6 was solved at Gulfstream Park for a $2.2 million jackpot on Sept. 27 after going unsolved for 47 consecutive racing days.
There will also be a Late Pick 5 carryover of $31,618, as well as a Super Hi-5 carryover of $7,327 for Monday’s card that will get underway at 1 p.m.
Hip No. 224, a son of Liam’s Map consigned by Select Sales, Agent, went to de Meric Stables, Agent, for $230,000 to top the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2019 Selected Sale of Yearlings. The gray or roan colt is out of Dad’ssilverpitcher, by Giant’s Causeway, a half-sister to stakes-winner Melodic.
Hip No. 185, a son of Empire Maker consigned by Summerfield (Francis & Barbara Vanlangendonck), Agent, was also sold to de Meric Stables, Agent, for $190,000. The bay colt is out of Sweetest Sound, by Smart Strike, a full sister to graded stakes-placed Saint Vigeur from the family of champion Sweet Catomine.
Hip No. 103, a chestnut colt by Palace Malice consigned by The Acorn LLC, Agent, was sold to Golden Star Farm for $170,000. He’s out of stakes-placed Like a Queen, by Corinthian.
Hip No. 223, a daughter of Into Mischief consigned by Select Sales, Agent, was purchased by Blue Collar Stable for $140,000. The gray or roan filly is out of Unbridled Quest, by Unbridled’s Song, a half-sister to grade one stakes-placed Aripeka.
Insignia Bloodstock went to $125,000 for Hip No. 105, a son of Nyquist consigned by Select Sales, Agent. The bay colt is out of graded stakes-placed stakes-winner Little Ms Protocol, by El Corredor.
Hip No. 92, a Bernardini filly consigned by Summerfield (Francis & Barbara Vanlangendonck), Agent, was purchased for $120,000 by Patrice Miller, EQB, Inc., Agent. The bay filly is out of J. Quirk, by Unbridled’s Song, from the family of champion and major sire Tiznow.
Insignia Bloodstock paid $110,000 for Hip No. 188, a bay colt by Runhappy consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent for Highclere. He’s a half-brother to stakes-placed Moms Choice out of Tazarine, by Cat Thief.
Hip No. 175, a daughter of Liam’s Map consigned by Sequel New York, Agent, was purchased by Patrice Miller, EQB, Inc., Agent, for $105,000. The gray or roan filly, a half-sister to stakes-placed Salute With Honor, is out of stakes-winner Snow Cone, by Cryptoclearance.
For the day, 121 horses sold for a total of $5,605,200, compared with 138 yearlings bringing $5,658,000 at the 2018 Selected Sale. The average price was $46,324, up 13% compared with $41,000 last year, while the median price was $35,000, a 25% increase compared with $28,000 in 2018. The buyback percentage was 34.9%; it was 24.3% a year ago. Sixteen horses sold for $100,000 or more compared with nine a year ago.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Two days before a mandatory payout has been scheduled, the 20-cent Rainbow 6 was solved for a jackpot payoff of $2,211,783 at Gulfstream Park Friday. The multi-race wager had gone unsolved for 47 consecutive racing days. The winning combination was 5-1-3-9-6-5.
A mandatory payout for the Rainbow 6, as well as the Late Pick 5 and last-race Super Hi-5, are still scheduled for Sunday, closing day of the Summer Meet. If no one had hit the Rainbow 6 before Sunday, the pool could have been be as high as $10 million.
The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
The carryover jackpot stood at $1,965,546 at the start of Rainbow 6 wagering Friday, and $307,901 was bet into the pool.
The Rainbow 6 will start anew on today’s Florida Sire Stakes program. First race post time for the 14-race program featuring eight stakes worth $1.35 million is set for noon.
The 14-race program will be co-headlined by the $400,000 FSS In Reality in Race 13 and the $400,000 FSS My Dear Girl in Race 11. Liam’s Lucky Charm, the $200,000 FSS Affirmed winner, and Chance It, the $100,000 Dr. Fager victor, will clash in the In Reality for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Ceci Valentina, the winner of the $200,000 FSS Susan’s Girl, will seek to double up in the $400,000 FSS My Dear Girl for 2-year-old fillies.
Both stakes will be included in the Rainbow 6 (Races 9-14), Late Pick 5 (Races 10-14) and Late Pick 4 (Races 11-14). There will be pool guarantees for the Late Pick-5 ($100,000) and the Late Pick 4 ($150,000).
HALLANDALE BEACH - Stonehedge Farm’s Liam’s Lucky Charm and Shooting Star Thoroughbreds’ Chance It are ready to battle for Florida Sire Stakes supremacy in Saturday’s $400,000 In Reality at Gulfstream Park.
The In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile final leg of the lucrative series for 2-year-old colts and geldings sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida, will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies. A total of eight stakes worth $1.325 million in purses will be contested on the 14-race card.
There will be a $150,000 guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 4 and a $100,000 guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 5.
The Flamingo Room will also play host to the third and final Taste of the Track – Bourbon, Beer & BBQ. Fans can sample hand-selected bourbons, local craft beers and BBQ bites and sliders while watching the races. The event starts at 1 p.m.
And finally, closing day Sunday will feature mandatory payouts on the 20-cent Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 and Super Hi 5. If no one hits the Rainbow 6 through Saturday, the pool could be as high as $10 million Sunday afternoon.
Liam’s Lucky Charm, who finished second behind Chance It in the $100,000 FSS Dr. Fager on Aug. 3, turned the tables in the $200,000 FSS Affirmed with a narrow decision over Chance It on Aug. 31. The Stonehedge homebred rated in third behind pacesetting Chance It, who was pressed by Absolute Grit along the backstretch run, before making a three-wide move on the far turn to engage the Dr. Fager winner at the top of the stretch. A memorable stretch duel ensued before Liam’s Lucky Charm edged away to win by a head.
“He showed guts and steadiness. He never quit. He maintained his pace and kept running,” said trainer Ralph Nicks, who saddled Soutache for an In Reality victory in 2017. “Chance It is a very, very good horse that I have the utmost respect for. It’s a shame they’re in the same year, probably.”
The battle for FSS Supremacy will rage around two turns between a pair of colts who will both enter the In Reality with a lack of experience beyond the seven furlongs of the one-turn Affirmed.
“I think two turns is well within his grasp. I think it will be beneficial to him if anything,” said Nicks, who will also be represented in the In Reality field by Jacks or Better Farm’s Shivaree, a maiden who finished fourth in the Affirmed. “I think he’s been asking for distance. I’ve said that all along. We’ll see what happens Saturday.
Liam’s Lucky Charm, who finished third in his May 12 debut, graduated by 6 ¾ lengths at five furlongs on June 9. He would go on to finish 3 ¼ lengths behind Chance It in the six-furlong Dr. Fager, in which the son of Khozan was bumped leaving the backstretch and staged a four-wide move on the turn and into the homestretch. Reylu Gutierrez has the return mount aboard Liam’s Lucky Charm. Jeffrey Sanchez has been named on Shivaree.
In defeat in the Affirmed, Chance It registered his third straight 91 Beyer Speed Figure to claim three of the 10 fastest numbers recorded by a 2-year-old in the country this year. “If a horse runs a good Beyer or a good figure once, I’m always questioning it, but to do it repeatedly, that’s legit. He’s no phony. He’s a legit horse,” Joseph said. “I think he has a lot of talent. I’m excited to see him run Saturday.”
Chance It’s two-turn quest may well hinge on how he breaks in the 1 1/16-mile test, which will have a relatively short run to the first turn. “I believe, on the dirt, you have to break well. The break is important,” Joseph said. “On turf, you have to be patient. On dirt, you have to use a little to get position, after that the race is easier once you break from there.”
Chance It, who finished second in his debut, turned in a dazzling performance while graduating by 9 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on June 9, registering the fastest Beyer Speed Figure in the country at the time. He came right back to score a front-running victory in the Dr. Fager before coming up just short in valiant effort in the Affirmed. Tyler Gaffalione is scheduled to ride Chance It for the first time Saturday.
Chance It will be double-teamed by a pair of Stonehedge-bred and -owned sons of Khozan. Smash Factor is slated to join Liam’s Lucky Charm in the starting gate. The Michael Yates-trained Smash Factor also owns a decision over Chance It, having scored a 1 ½-length victory over the Joseph trainee in their respective debuts on June 1.
Smash Factor hasn’t raced since his debut triumph due to ‘baby’ issues, but has trained well preparing for Saturday’s return to action around two turns. Jesus Rios has the return mount.
Owner Ramiro Rosas Medina and trainer Angel Rodriguez will also be represented by two sons of Khozan in the In Reality, Rebelde and Rosas Way. Rebelde closed from last to finish a distant third in the Affirmed after breaking his maiden by nine lengths on Aug. 2.
“I think he’s going to enjoy the distance,” Rodriguez said. “He’s an easy horse to ride. You can relax him, save ground, and make a run with him.”
Rosas Way closed from seventh to finish third in a Sept. 6 starter optional claiming allowance won by front-running Man With a Plan. Jose Batista has been named on Rebelde, while Marcos Meneses is scheduled to ride Rosas Way.
Arindel will also be represented by a pair of homebred sons of Brethren. Both Juan Alvarado-trained Genghis and Stanley Gold-trained Poe are coming off impressive maiden special weight victories. Genghis launched his career with three second-place finishes, including a runner-up finish in Chance It’s brilliant maiden victory. He came right back to score by 2 ¾ lengths in his most recent start. Poe finished third in his first two starts before breaking through with a two-length maiden victory Aug. 31. Emisael Jaramillo and Jairo Rendon have the return mounts aboard Genghis and Poe, respectively.
The announcement that Belmont Park will be the new home of the New York Islanders brings back memories from 51 or 52 years ago for this veteran observer.
In 1967 or '68, the Islanders were set to announce the building of the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale in the center of Nassau County and wanted to make the announcement in the team's program, as opposed to the media. I was working at the Suffolk Sun in Deer Park at the time when sports editor Larry Conroy came to me and told me that Islanders' owner Roy Boe and president Lou Carnesecca (former St. John's University basketball coach) wanted a reporter from our paper to handle the program story. Conroy elected me for the job.
I met the two in their offices and spent an hour or so gathering all the info, and I wound up announcing the birth of the Coliseum a short time later. At the time, the Islanders were playing at the Commack Arena, a dump of a building which the Long Island Ducks also used as home ice.
The Coliseum opened in 1972 located on 63 acres of Mitchel Field, a former Army airfield which also brings back many memories for me. First, during World War II, my father, an Army Captain, was stationed there for a time; second, it is right across the road from my alma mater, Hofstra University, which was Hofstra College in those days; third, it is right up the street from the former site of Roosevelt Raceway, the harness track where I and my buddies learned what wagering on equines was all about; and fourth, it's just a few miles east of Belmont Park, where, with two high school buddies, I watched my first thoroughbred race on a Wednesday during the first week of June in 1957, two days before we became part of the final graduating class from Woodmere High School.
You can bet that many of the Islanders' players will be spending many off-the-ice hours enjoying the races at one of the great racetracks in the world. Like I did.
The Coliseum gained a great deal of notoriety in the '70s because it also became the home of the (ABA and NBA) New York Nets and their All-World star, Julius Irving. The Islanders played there exclusively from '72 to 2015 and again part-time in 2018 after the building received a major renovation.
I'm hurt that the latest owner of the Islanders didn't call and ask me to write the story of the building of the new Coliseum at Belmont Park. I guess nobody told him I wrote the first story five decades ago.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 45th racing day in a row Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $1,852,653 for Wednesday’s program at Gulfstream Park. First-race post time is set for 1:15 p.m.
Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $19,507.
The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one bettor cashed a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
The carryover jackpot stood at $1,763,111 at the start of Rainbow 6 wagering Sunday, and $373,127 was bet into the pool. There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $2,481.74 heading into Wednesday’s card
Events, Big Races and Mandatory Payouts Closing Week
There will be lots of action during closing week of the Summer Meet, which begins with a special eight-race program Wednesday. Saturday will mark the finals of the Florida Sire Stakes featuring the $400,000 In Reality for 2-year-old colts and geldings and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for 2-year-old fillies. The Saturday program will also include the $150,000 Wildcat Heir for 3-year-olds and up, as well as five other stakes each worth $75,000.
The Flamingo Room will also play host Saturday to the third and final Taste of the Track – Bourbon, Beer & BBQ. Fans can sample hand-selected bourbons, local craft beers and BBQ bites and sliders while watching the races. The event starts at 1 p.m.
Finally, closing day Sunday will feature mandatory payouts on the 20-cent Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 and Super Hi 5. If no one hits the Rainbow 6 through Saturday, the pool could reach as high as $10 million for the finale.
Blue Heaven Farm’s Starship Jubilee successfully defended her title in Woodbine’s $253,500, Gr. II Canadian Stakes (G2) on Saturday, taking the lead at the start and never looking back, opening a long lead on the turn and coasting to victory by 4 1/4 lengths. It’s the sixth stakes victory for the multiple graded stakes-winning 6-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Indy Wind. Trained by Kevin Attard, she's now 30-13-4-3 with earnings of $865,670.
A two-time OBS graduate, Starship Jubilee was sold by The Acorn at the 2014 August Yearling Sale and then consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm, Agent, to the 2015 April Sale where she worked an eighth in :10 2/5 at the Under Tack Show.
ERJ Racing LLC, Great Friends Stable LLC and Tom Mansor’s Lazy Daisy is two for three and now a graded stakes-winner after dueling for the lead from the start of Saturday’s $200,000, Gr. II Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs, putting away her rival in deep stretch and easing away to win by a length and a quarter.
The 2-year-old filly by Paynter is another two-time OBS graduate, consigned by First Finds to the 2018 October Yearling Sale before she was purchased for $39,000 by Mr. Mansor out of the Off the Hook consignment at the 2019 April Sale after turning in an Under Tack eighth in :10 1/5. Now 3-2-0-0 for trainer Doug O’Neill, Lazy Daisy has earned $174,880.
Marianne Stribling, Force Five Racing LLC and Two Rivers Racing Stable LLC’s Phat Man was in no rush in the early going of Sunday’s $75,000 Good Magic Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park, but circled horses on the turn to reach the leaders, took the lead in the stretch and held on gamely to score by a head. It’s the second stakes score for the 5-year-old gelding by Munnings, trained by J. Kent Sweezey, leaving him with a 23-6-6-1 career record and $353,823 in earnings. Consigned by Bobby Dodd, Agent, he went through the ring at the 2016 OBS March Sale after breezing an Under Tack eighth in :10 2/5.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Today’s 12-race program at Gulfstream Park will include a Rainbow 6 carryover of $1,457,629. First race post time is 12:45 p.m.
For the 40th consecutive racing day, there was no single winning ticket Saturday on the 20-cent wager. Multiple tickets with six winners returned $39,851. The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
Today’s sequence begins with the seventh race, a five furlong event for 2-year-olds. The sequence will include three turf races. There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover of $3,437.
NOTES: Sanford Bacon’s and Patrick Biancone Racing’s 3-year-old filly Kelsey’s Cross, third in the Gr. III Wonder Again and third in the Saratoga Oaks, returned to Gulfstream Saturday to win a mile turf event in 1:35.05. The daughter of Anthony’s Cross broke her maiden at Gulfstream in May…Manuel J. Melean won his first race in the U.S. when guiding Angelus Warrior to victory in the seventh race. Melean is from Venezuela and is the brother of Manuel A. Melean, who has won six races in the U.S
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot continued to build to life-changing proportions at Gulfstream Park today, when the multi-race wager went unsolved for the 38th consecutive day. The carryover jackpot will stand at $1,294,231 for Friday’s 2:15 p.m. twilight program.
Multiple tickets with five of six winners were each worth $1,646.88.
Friday’s sequence will span Races 4-9, including a stakes-quality optional claiming allowance in Race 9. The six-furlong race will be contested by Quijote, the 2018 Sunshine Millions Sprint winner who will make his second start off a layoff; Three Rules, the 2016 Florida Sire Stakes champion who is set to return off a four-month layoff; Harryhee, a hard-hitting stakes-winner who is coming off an optional claiming allowance victory; and six others.
The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 payoff. The carryover stood at $1,262,470 at the start of wagering and $132,377 was bet into the pool.
There were no tickets with all five winners of the Late Pick 5, producing a carryover of $32,181 for Friday. The Late Pick 5 will span Races 5-9.
Richard the Great Makes Stellar Return
Richard the Great, a stakes-winning son of Distorted Humor, returned from a 13-month layoff in top form in Race 4 on today’s program. The graded stakes-placed Arindel Farm homebred hustled to the early lead from the rail, rebuffed a backstretch challenge and drew off in the seven-furlong waiver claiming race by 8 ¾ lengths. Ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, the 7-year-old gelding set fractions of :22.94, :45.82 and 1:09.77 on his way to a final clocking of 1:23.83 over a sloppy sealed track.
Richard the Great paid $4.60 and was not eligible to be claimed while making his return off the long layoff. He had been working sharply for trainer Juan Alvarado at both Arindel Farm in Ocala and Gulfstream in preparation for the race.
Live racing returns to the OBS on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Two sprint stakes for OBS Sale graduates headline the day. Free nominations to both races close on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The position on the calendar provides horsemen a stakes opportunity before the kickoff of the Gulfstream Park Championship Meeting and the opening of Tampa Bay Downs.
The two OBS stakes are non-wagering events, but there will be pari-mutuel wagering available on eight additional races. Entries will be taken on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
The OBS Sprint and the OBS Filly and Mare Sprint are for three-year-olds and upward. Both races will be run over six furlongs, each with a guaranteed purse of $125,000, restricted to OBS graduates.
The eight pari-mutuel races will feature quarter horse races for 2-year-olds as well as for three years old and upward at distances from 220 yards to 440 yards. Up to four thoroughbred maiden and starter allowance races may be used as substitute races. Purses range from $4,000 to $7,000 with all starters guaranteed a minimum of $200.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Matalona Thoroughbreds' Stormy Embrace, who captured the Gr. II, $250,000 Princess Rooney on the June 29 Summit of Speed card, is scheduled for a return to action in Saturday’s $100,000 Sheer Drama at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Kathleen O’Connell, Stormy Embrace will clash with eight rivals in the seven-furlong race for Florida-bred fillies and mares.
Stormy Embrace secured a fees-paid berth to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 with her two-length triumph in the Princess Rooney, won by the 5-year-old daughter of Circular Quay by six lengths in 2018.
Stormy Embrace finished a troubled 11th in the Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs last fall before finishing second by a neck behind Dream Pauline in the Gr. III Sugar Swirl and third behind Dream Pauline in the Gr. III Hurricane Bertie during Gulfstream’s 2018-2019 Championship Meet. She came off a four-month layoff to capture the $100,000 Musical Romance, a seven-furlong test for Florida-breds, by more than 10 lengths while tuning up for her title defense in the Princess Rooney.
Wilmer Garcia has the return mount.
Todd Pletcher-trained Shanghai Starlet returns to Gulfstream and state-bred competition after finishing off the board in a 5 ½-turf stakes at Monmouth. King of Prussia Stables’ 4-year-old daughter of Shanghai Bobby has won three of five starts over Gulfstream’s main track, including a win in the Panama City last summer. She also won the Sunshine Millions Distaff Preview at Gulfstream West last November. Edgard Zayas, who was aboard for both stakes victories, has the mount Saturday.
Northwind Thoroughbreds' Ms Meshak enters the Sheer Drama off a going-away 2 3/4-length victory in the July 27 Added Elegance. The Joe Orseno-trained 4-year-old daughter of Shackleford has won five races over the Gulfstream main track and also won a five-furlong turf race in April. Jairo Rendon has the mount.
ones Stakes-winners Wildwood’s Beauty and Starcloud are entered in the Sheer Drama, which also attracted stakes-placed last-out winners Heiresall and Amaluna, as well as Weekend Mischief and Bones.
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Swells to $1,082,320
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot grew to $1,082,320 for today’s 2:15 p.m. twilight card when the multi-race wager went unsolved for the 34th consecutive racing day Thursday. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $13,252. The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 payoff. There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $4,248.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, including the $60,000 James H. Kyle Stakes in Race 5. Multiple stakes-winner Galleon Mast has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up. The 6-year-old son of Mizzen Mast, who has finished in the money in 18 of his 20 starts over the Gulfstream turf, finished a close second in his second start off a seven-month layoff last time out. The David Fawkes-trained gelding will be ridden by Emisael Jaramillo.
How about a day featuring a 10-race program, purses of $1,310,000, and a jockey colony including Joel Rosario, Florent Geroux, Joe Bravo, Rafael Bejarano, Julien Leparoux, Tyler Gaffalione and Jose Ortiz, among others? Has to be Saratoga, or Del Mar, or Gulfstream, or Belmont, right?
Wrong on all counts! It would be Thursday's upcoming card at Kentucky Downs, highlighted by the $250,000 Old Friends Stakes, plus a maiden claimer with a purse of $53,000, a starter allowance ($42,000), four maiden specials ($130,000 each), an allowance ($145,100) and two allowance optional claimers ($150,000 each).
The meeting in southern Kentucky lasts just five days - it opened last Thursday with a record handle of $8.6 million. After this Thursday, the final three days will be Friday, Saturday and Sept. 12. Average daily purses of upwards of $2.3 million adds up to $11,532,000 for the five days.
This abbreviated meeting enjoys another unique facet. Each race is limited to 12 starters, but there are 16 entered in six of the races and 14 in the other four. While so many tracks around the country are starving for horses, this day at Kentucky Downs has 32 on the also-eligible lists.
And where does the money come from to add up to more than $11 million? For the rest of the year, Kentucky Downs features historical racing. Here's a breakdown of all the purses, and how much of the total is a result of the historical racing program. Maiden claiming - $42,930; starter allowance - $34,020; four maiden specials - $113,100 each; allowance - $124,700; two allowance optional claimers - $129,000 each. That's a total of $912,050.
Why don't other racing operators without a casino or poker room follow suit? As Yul Brynner might say, "It's a puzzlement."
HALLANDALE BEACH - The $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, which has become one of sport’s most prestigious and exciting days, and the $1 million Florida Derby, which has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown events, highlight Gulfstream Park’s 2019-2020 Championship Meet beginning Friday, Nov. 29.
The Championship Meet, which has attracted the world’s top horses, horsemen and jockeys since 1939, will feature 98 stakes races – including 39 graded – for total purses of $28.6 million.
Along with the Pegasus and Florida Derby, Gulfstream will again be the hub of racing events during the Championship Meet, hosting the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, Claiming Crown, and the 49th annual Eclipse Awards.
In just three years, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has attracted the sport’s biggest stars, including champions Arrogate, Gun Runner and California Chrome, as well as City of Light and international stars Magic Wand, Aerolithe and Kukulkan. In all, Pegasus World Cup Day will feature nine stakes – six graded –with total purses of more than $17 million.
The $1 million Florida Derby, the country’s leading classic prep race that has produced 44 starters who have gone on to win 59 Triple Crown events, will be held March 28 as part of a Derby Day with seven stakes – four graded – and total stakes purses of $1.950 million. One of those stakes will be the $250,000, Gr. II Gulfstream Park Oaks, the 3-year-old filly counterpart to the Derby.
The Derby will culminate a rich and diverse stakes schedule for 3-year-old classic contenders beginning Jan. 4 with the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man and continuing Feb. 1 with the $350,000, Gr. II Holy Bull and $150,000, Gr. III Swale, the Feb. 22 $100,000, Gr. III Hutcheson, and Feb. 29, Gr. II $400,000 Fountain of Youth.
The Holy Bull has produced a number of Gr. 1 winners including Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby winners Always Dreaming (2018) and Barbaro (2006), Florida Derby winners Audible (2018), Dialed In (2011), Friends Lake (2004) and Harlan’s Holiday (2002), as well as Gr. 1 winners Jackson Bend, Editor’s Note and Keen Ice.
The Fountain of Youth has produced dozens of graded winners of the past 73 years, including Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby winners Orb, Thunder Gulch, Spectacular Bid and Tim Tam.
The Gulfstream Park Oaks will be the final race in a lucrative 3-year-old filly series on dirt which begins Jan. 4 with the $75,000 Glitter Woman and continues with the $150,000, Gr. III Forward Gal on Feb. 1 and $200,000, Gr. II Davona Dale on Feb. 29.
Gulfstream will also offer 3-year-old turf stakes, including the Jan. 4 $100,000 Ginger Brew on Jan. 4, the $100,000, Gr. III Sweetest Chant on Feb.1, the $150,000, Gr. III Herecomesthebride on Feb. 29 and the $125,000 Sanibel Island on March 28.
The world-class turf course will host a number of major events for 3-year-olds and up beginning in December with the $200,000, Gr. II Fort Lauderdale going 1 1/8 miles on Dec. 14, as well as six stakes scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 28. Other graded turf races for 4-year-olds and up include the $200,000, Gr. II Mac Diarmida and $150,000, Gr. III Canadian Turf on Feb. 29, the $100,000, Gr. III Appleton on March 27 and $250,000, Gr. II Pan American on March 28.
Graded turf stakes for older fillies and mares include the $150,000, Gr. III Suwannee River on Feb. 8, the $150,000, Gr. III Honey Fox and $150,000, Gr. III The Very One on Feb. 29, and the $100,000, Gr. III Orchid on March 28.
The Clasico Internacional del Caribe, featuring the top horses from Latin America and the Caribbean, returns for the third year on Sunday, Dec. 8. The five stakes, totaling $690,000, will be highlighted by the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds.
For the eighth, Gulfstream will play host to the $1.11 million Claiming Crown on Saturday, Dec. 7. Made up of nine stakes races, the day will be highlighted by the $200,000 Jewel.
The $600,000 Sunshine Millions, featuring the leading Florida-breds, will be contested on Saturday, Jan. 18 with the feature being the $200,000 Classic, a race whose past winners include Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, multiple Gr. 1 winner Lava Man, and the popular Best of the Rest.
The first Saturday of the Championship Meet will feature six stakes for 2-year-olds with purses of $450,000.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Stonehedge LLC’s Lenzi’s Lucky Lady, who will likely be favored in Saturday’s $200,000 Susan’s Girl at Gulfstream Park, breezed in 50:80 seconds in a half-mile maintenance workout at Gulfstream West Sunday morning.
Lenzi’s Lucky Lady is undefeated in three starts, including a 4 ¼-length romp on Aug. 3 in the $100,000 Desert Vixen, first leg of the Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions.
The Susan’s Girl, a seven-furlong event for fillies, will co-headline Saturday’s card with the $200,000 Affirmed, the seven-furlong open division in which Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC’s Chance It, winner of the $100,000 Dr. Fager, is likely to be favored.
Stonehedge LLC’s Marren’s Marvel, who finished a troubled eighth in the Desert Vixen, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.40 at Gulfstream West for O’Connell also in preparation for the Susan’s Girl.
EASY WORK - Sunday morning at Gulfstream, Saffie Joseph Jr. sent multiple graded stakes-placed Math Wizard to the track for an easy three-furlong breeze in 38.75 seconds with Edgard Zayas.
It was the 3-year-old son of Algorithms’ first workout since his sixth-place finish in the Gr. III West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 3. Math Wizard previously finished fourth in the Gr. II Wood Memorial, second in the Gr. III Ohio Derby and third in the Gr. III Indiana Derby.
“He had a pretty hard campaign and we felt it was a good time to freshen him up a bit and bring him back in late September," Joseph said. "From what I've seen of him, I'm really happy with where we're at. We'll nominate to the Pennsylvania Derby (at Parx, Sept. 21) and I'd love to make the Oklahoma Derby (Sept. 27) with him at Remington. He's still eligible for a starter allowance at Gulfstream, so depending on the timing, I'd love to use that race as a prep before putting him back into stakes company.”
Bonus Money Makes Sept. 28 Sire Stakes $1.15 Million Day
The FTBOA has added $25,000 bonuses to both the Monroe Stakes and Hollywood Beach Stakes to be run on Sept. 28 as part of the finals of the Florida Sire Stakes. With both the Monroe and Hollywood now worth $100,000, the program will have total stakes purses of $1.15 million. The day will be highlighted by the $400,000 In Reality for 2-year-old colts and geldings and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for 2-year-old fillies. The $150,000 Wildcat Heir will also be contested.
“We look forward every summer to the Florida Sire Stakes and working with our great partners at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association,” said Vice President of Racing Bill Badgett. “We expect some great racing this weekend with the second leg of the Sire Stakes featuring the $200,000 Affirmed and $200,000 Susan’s Girl. Our summer program continues to grow with the support of the FTBOA, horsemen from across the country, and our fans.”
Saturday’s second leg of the Sire Stakes will also be highlighted by Tequila & Tapas, featuring Latin- inspired tapas and handcrafted Tequila cocktails in the Flamingo Room.
Art G Is Back Headed Back to Turf after Benny the Bull Win
Fresh off an impressive victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Benny the Bull, over Gulfstream Park’s main track, Monarch Stable’s Art G Is Back is slated to return to turf for his next start. “He’s going back to the turf on the 21st [of September},” trainer Ron Spatz said. “That’s what we’ve been aiming for. This race was to keep him busy.”
The versatile son of Exchange Rate defeated a strong group of older horses to earn his second career stakes victory, closing strongly in the stretch to defeat Royal Squeeze by a neck under Victor Lebron.
Art G Is Back will be back with 3-year-olds in the $75,000 Bear’s Den, a 7 ½-furlong stakes on turf.
“He’s better on the dirt, but he runs on the turf," Spatz said. He’s fine, but it seems like he gets beat in more photos on the turf. He’s never won on the turf. He’s been right there”
Art G Is back has won four of six starts on dirt, while he is winless in five starts on turf. However, he finished fourth in the Gr. III Palm Beach and has stakes-placed finishes in all four of his other turf starts.
As impressive as Khozan has been for Journeyman Stud with his nine early winners, none of those victories was more eye-catching than the maiden-breaker of High On Gin at Evangeline Downs on Wednesday.
The filly by Journeyman's other freshman sire, Fury Kapcori, came from sixth place with a huge run on the turn, then made up about five lengths in the final sixteenth with a monster burst to score by 2 1/4. Bred by Deborah Silveira, the filly earned a check for $13,800 and could loom a serious threat in Florida's 2-year-old division for the rest of the year.
Betbestbreeze has a boatload of runners scheduled to compete around the country today, including 10 first-time starters and seven stakes horses, three of the latter going at Saratoga. And Mike Mulligan prepped for the weekend on Friday with a rare accomplishment.
The 10th race at the Spa was the $100,000 Skidmore Stakes, a black-type race at 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass. BBB had no less than four horses listed for the race, and amazingly they finished 1-2-3-4. Another Miracle won by 1 3/4 lengths as the second choice and paid $7.10, and Proven Strategies was second at odds of 10-1. The favorite, Montauk Daddy, was third and 20-1 shot Memorable completed the memorable superfecta.
The $2 exacta paid $54.50, the $2 trifecta $90.48, and the $1 superfecta $235. Earlier on the card, Prairie Fire won the fourth race and paid $7.
Today should prove to be very interesting.
HALLANDALE BEACH - A carryover jackpot of $654,663 awaits Rainbow 6 bettors on Saturday’s 12:45 p.m. program at Gulfstream Park.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 24rd consecutive racing day today when multiple tickets were each worth $28,637. The Rainbow was last solved July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
Saturday’s sequence will span Races 7-12. There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $1,628 heading into Saturday’s card.
Multiple Group-Stakes Winner Raven’s Lady Wins Feature
Raven’s Lady, a two-time group-stakes winner in Europe last year, captured her first victory in the U.S. in today’s Race 8 feature. Owned by D. P. Racing and Medallion Racing, the 5-year-old daughter of Raven’s Pass had been winless in three previous U.S. starts, all graded stakes, before prevailing by 1 ½ lengths in the 7 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares on turf.
Making her first start for trainer Patrick Biancone, Raven’s Lady was crowded and fanned wide heading into the first turn before settling well off the pace set by stablemate Beachwood Ella, who put up fractions of :23.40 and :47.64 for the first half mile. Raven’s Lady, the 9-5 favorite ridden by Jairo Rendon, rallied leaving the backstretch before making an impressive four-wide sweep to the lead entering the stretch. The English-bred mare asserted her class and drew away to victory.
“This is a nice filly,” Biancone said. “Next, she will be going to Kentucky Downs for the sprint for fillies and mares [$500,000, Gr. III Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint, Sept. 7].
Last year, trainer Marco Botti saddled Raven’s Lady for back-to-back victories in the Gr. III Summer Stakes at York and the Gr. II Boldene Peitsche at Baden-Baden.
Raven’s Lady raced 7 ½ furlongs in 1:30.47 over a good turf course. Zarina, who captured the Martha Washington Stakes at Gulfstream in July, rallied from last while following the lead of Raven’s Lady to finish second under Leonel Reyes. Midnight Soiree finished third under Albin Jimenez, another length back.
At Del Mar on Sunday, Hronis Racing LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds and William Sandbrook’s Inspiressa was bet down to even money for her debut in a $61,000 maiden special dash and lived up to her billing. The Florida-bred daughter of The Big Beast, trained by John Sadler, went right to the front and stayed there to the finish, winning under a hand ride by a length and a quarter. At the March Sale, she sped a quarter in :20 4/5 at the under tack Show before she was sold for $850,000 by her breeder, Ocala Stud, where the Big Beast stands.
Inspiressa became the fourth winner for her freshman sire, who is second in that department behind Khozan among Florida's first-crop stallions.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Trainer Antonio Sano cancelled a planned workout for Gunnevera at Gulfstream Park West Sunday morning, ruling out a start in the Aug. 31 Gr. I Woodward at Saratoga.
Gunnevera, a multiple graded stakes-winner who has earned more than $5 million, had previously missed a planned start in the Aug. 3 Whitney at Saratoga with a bruised foot that had forced the cancellation of a pair of workouts. “His foot is fine. He just hasn’t come back as good as I want,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “The timing isn’t good for the Woodward.”
The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 remains the ultimate goal for Margoth’s 5-year-old son of Dialed In, who finished second in the race last year at Churchill Downs.
Briannjenn Racing’s Addilyn ($2.60) brightened Sano’s day when the 2-year-old daughter of Palace Malice graduated by two lengths in a seven-furlong maiden special weight event in Sunday's second race. The Kentucky-bred filly, who had finished second in her first two career starts while going 4 ½ furlongs and 6 furlongs, dominated her opposition under Edgard Zayas despite veering to the outside in mid-stretch. “She is a good filly. She’s still a little green,” Sano said.
J & G Stables LLC and Nicholas Vaccarezza’s Shell Shock, a daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, finished second behind Addilyn in her debut.
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Swells to $596,772 for Thursday
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 22nd consecutive racing day Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $596,772 for Thursday’s card. Multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $135.18. The Rainbow was last solved on July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 21st consecutive racing day at Gulfstream Park Friday, producing a carryover jackpot of $560,067 for Sunday’s 12:45 p.m. program.
Multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $5,465. The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one lucky bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
Today's sequence will span Races 7-12.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The Rainbow 6 will offer a $497,629 carryover jackpot for Friday’s 2:15 p.m. twilight program at Gulfstream Park.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 19th consecutive program today, when multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $2,042.
Friday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9.
Race 7 is a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on the turf; Race 8, a 6 ½-furlong race for $15,000 claimers; and Race 9, a 7 ½-furlong maiden claimer on turf, and all will also be included in the Stronach 5 sequence as the second, fourth and fifth legs, respectively. Race 8 at Laurel Park will kick off the Stronach 5, while Laurel’s Race 9 will be the third leg.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Scandinavian jockey Fanny Olsson moved another step closer to achieving her goal of becoming established in the U.S. Sunday, riding her second winner of the weekend at Gulfstream Park.
The 26-year-old native of Sweden, who has ridden more than 100 winners in Sweden, Denmark and Norway since embarking on her career in 2016, scored a front-running four-length triumph aboard Jorge Delgado-trained Chirping ($6.80) in Race 3, a 1 1/16-mile race for $6,250 claimers.
“My dream has always been to ride races here,” Olsson said. “I’m just blessed.”
Olsson ventured from Sweden to South Florida 10 months ago and worked as an exercise rider at Gulfstream while preparing to graduate to riding in the afternoon. She rode her first race on May 25, but didn't score her first U.S. victory until her fourth mount in Friday’s eighth race, winning by 12 ½ lengths on Delgado-trained Slingin Sammy B.
“It’s a lot different here," Olsson said. "They ride a lot tighter. The races are much faster. The riders here are really good. I’m just going to have to step up my game.”
Rainbow 6 Jackpot Rising - The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 18th consecutive racing day Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $472,901 for Thursday’s program. Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $35,083.20.
There will also be a Late Pick 5 carryover of $38,054. Also, there will be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $18,901.
The Rainbow 6 was last solved on July 6, when one bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff..
HALLANDALE BEACH - Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC’s Chance It kept the buzz alive Saturday at Gulfstream Park with a dominating 3 ¼ -length victory in the $100,000 Dr. Fager, first leg of the 2019 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series,
The six-furlong test for 2-year-olds sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida, co-headlined the Florida Sire Stakes program with the $100,000 Desert Vixen, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.
Chance It first created the buzz June on 29 when he earned the fastest Beyer Speed Figure (92) of any 2-year-old in the country at the time while breaking his maiden and was sent to post as the 1-5 favorite. The son of Currency Swap broke well from the No. 1 post under Edgard Zayas and was immediately taken on by Man With a Plan, who was ridden hard by Emisael Jaramillo to take a narrow advantage along the backstretch.
Unable to ease his mount off the inside, Zayas remained patient aboard Chance It while being lapped on by the long-shot pacesetter. Zayas asked his mount for some run leaving the backstretch, and the Florida-bred colt quickly asserted himself to open a lead on the far turn. Liam’s Lucky Charm made a sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch but was no match for Chance It, who drew away to a comfortable victory.
Liam’s Lucky Charm, the 12-1 third-choice, finished second, 10 ¼ lengths ahead of Absolute Grit, the 5-1 second choice who raced evenly under Christian Torres. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Chance It ran six furlongs in 1:11.22, a final clocking built on fractions of 22.53 and 45.82 seconds for the first half mile on a sealed ‘good’ track.”
Chance It was greeted in the winner’s circle by a large contingent from Shooting Star Thoroughbreds, a first-year ownership group managed by longtime trainer Mary Lightner.
“We had the speed right next to us so we were definitely concerned about that. But we went in thinking if he’s good enough he can overcome these things and he showed today he could,” Lightner said. “Edgard knows the horse really well and he does such a great job and Saffie, nobody could do a better job than Saffie getting him ready.”
Chance It is out of Vagabon Diva, who had been adopted for $250 and subsequently given away to Ocala breeder Bett Usher. The long-striding colt was purchased privately after a Lightner-trained half-brother broke his maiden in his first start. Despite a modest pedigree, Chance It attracted several offers that were turned down.
“We have had a little bit of interest, the phone has been ringing a few times, but we’re a racing syndicate and we wanted to do right by all these people,” Lightner said. “It’s hard to get a really good horse. So that’s the direction we decided to go. To keep him and see what we can do in the Sire Stakes.”
The open division of the Florida Sire Stakes series will continue with the running of the $200,000 Affirmed on Aug. 31 and conclude with the $400,000 In Reality on Sept.28.
“Mary turned down a lot of money, which is good for me because we get to keep the horse,” Joseph said. “The horse is going to have a bright future.”
In his selections on his Betbestbreeze.com website, Mike Mulligan has pinpointed a great many first-time starters who have blossomed into superior runners in the past couple of seasons. The multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Mitole is one of the best examples.
Back on Feb. 16, Mike had Shancelot among his selections when the colt was making his career debut at Gulfstream Park. In Mike's 1-9 rating system, with 1 as the best, the son of Shanghai Bobby was rated as a 1 and he sold for $245,000 at the OBS March sale. All Shancelot did that day was win and pay $27.60.
The colt didn't start again until June 23, when he showed up at Monmouth Park and made it two in a row, but this time the price was a little different - $2.60. He raced six furlongs in 1:08.43 and received an E speed figure of 108.
On Sunday, Shancelot continued to excel, winning the Gr. II Amsterdam at Saratoga by no less than 12 1/2 lengths. That type of winning margin is usually reserved for distance races of some kind, not for 6 1/2 furlongs, as in the Amsterdam. His clocking of 1:14.01 was eye-opening - Quality Road's track record is 1:13.74. That translates into about a length and a quarter.
To add to the mix, BBB pick Nitrous finished second at 5-1, with the exacta paying $27.20.
But that wasn't the only BBB success on Sunday. There were 25 horses listed on the website, with one scratch. But Mike couldn't get winners in the remaining 24, because there were five races around the country in which he had two runners, and another two races with three runners.
Aside from Shancelot, the big bang was contributed by Saratoga first-time starter Heartstrings, who followed up the Amsterdam by winning the 12th race and paying $81.50, leading to all kinds of monster exotic payoffs. Mike also tabbed Fujairah at Gulfstream for $30.20, Dreams Are Made at Ellis Park for $8.60, and Sunflower Girl at Monmouth Park for $3.40.
On Monday, Mike followed the Sunday heroics with just two first-timers listed on the sparse racing program. One of them, Bear Creek, won a $30,000 maiden special at Presque Isle Downs and paid $18.20. The other, Mizzen Beau, finished fourth at Ellis at odds of $6.90-1 after experiencing two bumping incidents and still missing second by just a head and a nose.
The BBB first-timers from the recent 2-year-old sales have come out running. Knowing who they are can prove to be very lucrative.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Stonehedge LLC’s Lenzi’s Lucky Lady is slated to put her undefeated record on the line in Saturday’s $100,000 Desert Vixen division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The Desert Vixen, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies sired by qualifying Florida stallions, will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Dr. Fager, the six-furlong open division.
Lenzi’s Lucky Lady prevailed following a race-long duel by a half-length while debuting at Gulfstream June 6. The daughter of With Distinction came right back to capture the June 28 Golden Isles Stakes, in which she rated just off the pace before drawing clear by 5 ¼ lengths.
“She comes from a great family," trainer Kathleen O'Connell said. "I had the mother, I won stakes with her mother. She has a lot of class.”
Jairo Rendon has the return mount aboard the homebred filly, whose dam, Blue Eyed Sweetie, was a multiple stakes-winner during her juvenile season.
O’Connell is also scheduled to saddle Stonehedge Farm’s Marrens Marvel, a homebred daughter of With Distinction. Marren’s Marvel enters the Desert Vixen off a May 11 debut victory.
“I love her," O'Connell said. "She’s matured. She’s gotten better and better every day.” Reylu Gutierrez is slated to ride Marrens Marvel for the first time Saturday.
O’Connell, who has saddled 2,098 winners during an enduring career, has enjoyed long-standing success in the Sire Stakes, having saddled the winners of 11 series stakes, visiting the winner’s circle with such stars as Blazing Sword, Ivanavinalot and Well Defined, who all went on to graded stakes success.
Gary Barber’s Two Sixty looms as a serious contender in the Desert Vixen off her recent debut victory at Gulfstream, in which she shook off pressure and drew away to a four-length victory on July 6. The daughter of Uncaptured, who was purchased for $260,000 at the 2019 OBS March sale, is trained by Mark Casse, who won the 2018 Desert Vixen with Capture Your Dream. Edgard Zayas has the mount.
Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Ms Big Spring also enters the Desert Vixen off an eye-catching maiden score. The daughter of The Big Beast, who finished third in her debut, romped by 10 ½ lengths in front-running fashion on June 30. Trainer David Fawkes gave the call to Emisael Jaramillo.
Arindel entered Raven and Sonar, both homebred daughters of their own stallion, Brethren, in the Desert Vixen. The Oscar Gonzalez-trained Raven finished second behind Lenzi’s Lucky Lady in the Golden Isles after winning her debut for a $25,000 claiming price. Juan Alvarado-trained Sonar, who broke her maiden on May 11 in her second career start, finished fifth after setting a pressured pace in the Golden Isles. Miguel Vasquez has the mount on Raven, while Rajiv Maragh has the call on Sonar.
The field is rounded out by All Together Stable and Gary Grant’s Bahamian Girl, who finished third in the Golden Isles; John Liviakis’ Lady Joanna, who is coming off a debut victory for a $12,500 claiming price; and Our Sugar Bear Stable’s Sweetheart Deal, a 7 ½-length winner for a $50,000 tag.
HALLANDALE BEACH – There are 36 years of history to the Florida Sire Stakes.
And lasting memories.
There have been champions Holy Bull, Smile, Big Drama, Awesome Feather and Brave Raj rising to national prominence in the series. Three Ring winning the Susan’s Girl before growing into a Gr. 1 winner. There’s popular trainer Bill Kaplan heading to the Breeders’ Cup after sweeping the series with Seacliff. Could anyone deter nationally renowned sports columnist Pete Axthelm from believing Sire Stakes hero What A Cooker would win the 1991 Kentucky Derby?
Thirty-seven years later, the Florida Sire Stakes – a series of stakes dedicated to registered Florida-bred 2-year-olds by nominated stallions – continue to thrive and inspire hope.
“A lot of dreams come out of it,” said Terry Meyocks, who was Calder’s racing secretary the first year of the Stallion Stakes in 1982.
Said Manny Tortora, who retired as Calder’s all-time leading trainer: “Everybody wants to win it.”
The $1.4 million FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, formerly the Florida Stallion Stakes when held at Calder Race Course, kicks off Saturday at Gulfstream Park with the runnings of the Dr. Fager for 2-year-old colts and the Desert Vixen for 2-year-old fillies. The six-furlong races each carry a purse of $100,000.
The series continues Aug. 31 with the Affirmed and Susan’s Girl, a pair of $200,000 races at seven furlongs, and culminates Sept. 28 with the In Reality and My Dear Girl, both to be staged at 1 1/16 miles and each carrying a purse of $400,000.
The idea for the three-pronged series was created in the late 1970s when Dan Lasater, the Ocala owner and breeder who led the nation's leading owners' list four years in succession, proposed a stakes program devoted exclusively to showcasing Florida-bred juveniles. The time was ripe,
In 1978, Affirmed became the first Florida-bred to win the Triple Crown. Florida was established as one of the nation’s top breeding states in terms of foal production. And Calder, which opened in 1971 as South Florida’s “summer track,” was searching for an identity.
It was a perfect storm and ultimately, Meyocks said, “It put Calder on the map.”
While Calder couldn’t offer the kind of rich purses necessary to conduct stakes for the nation’s top older horses, its proximity to Ocala turned it into a natural haven for 2-year-olds launching their racing careers. As such, 2-year-olds dominated the South Florida racing scene.
“Probably 60 to 70 percent of the horses on the grounds were 2-year-olds,” said Meyocks, who served as Calder racing secretary from 1979-93 and is now president of the Jockeys’ Guild. “We had 1,800 horses on the grounds and probably 1,200 of them were 2-year-olds. We ran five or six 2-year-old races a day in the fall. It saved us.”
Most - though not all - of those 2-year-olds were Florida-breds. A few of the exceptions included eventual Kentucky Derby winners Spend a Buck and Lil E. Tee.
But in sheer numbers alone, the Florida-breds ruled. And the Sires Stakes program gave horsemen an incentive to participate. “It kept the better 2-year-olds in Florida,” Meyocks said.
Tortora, for one, went all-in on Florida-breds. “I did it all with Florida-breds,”he said, saddling more than 2,000 winners at Calder, nearly twice the number of the next-closest trainer, and amassing more than $34 million in purses. “All the money I made was with Florida-breds - horses that I either raised on my own, or me and my owners raised, or we bought in the sale.”
All told, Tortora started 111 horses in the Sire Stakes from 1982-2008. He won the first In Reality (the pinnacle race in the series for colts) with Luv a Libra in 1982. His other standout winners were Boots ’n Jackie in 1992, Mecke in 1994 and Sea Emperor in ’94.
“The Stallion Stakes is a big thing,” Tortora said. “I won my share of them.”
The series has turned out to be a launching point for a number of future stars. Among them:
Smile, who was trained by Frank Gomez and in 1984 became the first horse to sweep all three legs of the series. He would go on to win the Eclipse Award as the nation’s champion sprinter in 1986.
Holy Bull, who shipped in to win the In Reality for trainer/owner Jimmy Croll in 1993, the year before he was voted the nation’s Horse of the Year.
Big Drama, who swept the 2008 series for Harold Queen and trainer David Fawkes and went on to be named champion sprinter of 2010.
“It was not only important to the Calder program,” Meyocks said, “but it was also important to the Florida racing industry. Sales prices jumped, which helped the breeders. It effected so many people.”
Gulfstream, which took over the summer dates from Calder, has continued the tradition.
Tortora, who is retired and now lives in Ocala, has fond memories of the Sire Stakes. “I miss all that,” Tortora said. “It’s big.”
HALLANDALE BEACH - Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 12th consecutive racing day Saturday, producing a carryover for today’s 11-race program of $321,360. Multiple tickets with all six winners Saturday returned $507.90.
First race post today is 1:15 p.m. The Rainbow 6 sequence will include two maiden special weight events for 2-year-olds. One of those races, the seventh, for juvenile fillies at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf, will include the racing debut for Liraz, a daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who wrested the freshman sire money lead from Khozan yesterday. Khozan had held the lead since May 11. However, Khozan still leads in the winners department with eight, one more than Tapiture and two more than Pharoah.
American Pharoah's money lead is slight, $358,171 to $354,157 and that could change today. When Liraz makes her debut in race 7 (she's listed at 5-1 in the morning line), she'll face Carolyn's Smile, a Khozan filly listed at 8-1. Also, Khozan will have Don't Get Khozy going in the 10th race.
The Rainbow 6 was last solved July 6, when one lucky bettor hit for a $173,583 jackpot payoff.
IMPERIAL NOTES - Diamond Oops, winner of the Gr. III Smile Sprint at Gulfstream on June 29, finished second Saturday in the $350,000, Gr. I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga. Trained by Patrick Biancone, Diamond Oops finished four lengths behind the amazing Florida-bred Imperial Hint, and another 3 1/2 ahead of Mitole, the 1/2 favorite. Mitole went into the race on a seven-race winning streak, five in stakes, including the Gr. I Met Mile in his last.
Imperial Hint, the 6-year-old son of former Get Away Farm stallion Imperialism, went off as the 5-1 third choice and paid a surprising $13.60. It was the first time he had not been the favorite in this country since he won the General George Stakes at Laurel Park on Feb. 18 of 2017. In that race, he was the 5/2 second choice behind Stallwalkin' Dude, the Florida-bred son of City Place who retired at the end of last year at age nine with a record of 20-12-11 in 65 starts and earnings of $1,741,397.
This was Imperial Hint's first start since returning from a trip to Dubai, where he finished third in the Golden Shaheen on March 30. He's now 13-2-3 in 22 lifetime starts with earnings of $2,034,155.
STILL KISSIN - It seems like decades since Kissin Kris stood in Florida, but he still has a productive 10-year-old gelding racing at Belterra Park in Cincinnati. Kiss Sin George has earnings of $170,475 on a lifetime record of 20-6-10 in 66 starts. This year, he's 2-0-1 in three tries with earnings of $17,450. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep it going.
Belterra has replaced dilapidated River Downs and judging by its website photos, looks pretty spectacular. It features a casino, and for us old Brooklyn boys, it's very close to the Coney Island Amusement Park.
It was back on May 11 that Journeyman Stud's Khozan moved into first place on the North American first-crop sire list. That was 2 1/2 months ago, and the son of Distorted Humor has been on top ever since, waking up today with eight winners and $354,157 in progeny earnings.
It's anybody's guess when the Khozan euphoria will end, since the stallion most horsemen assumed would be the league leader on Dec. 31 - American Pharoah with his 162 foals - has moved up to second place with earnings of $344,971, and is only two winners behind.
Khozan has a chance to remain in the national battle if one or more of his winners show up in the soon-to-begin six races that make up the Florida Sire Stakes. The first two, the Dr. Fager for colts and geldings, and the Desert Vixen for fillies, are set for Aug. 3. Of course, by then American Pharoah may have taken over the lead.
Khozan still leads the Florida freshman group by a wide margin, and it's doubtful he can be caught, unless Ocala Stud's The Big Beast gets hot; but he has just two winners thus far.
Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables LLC and Allen Racing LLC’s Midnight Bisou, an OBS graduate, continued her march toward a title with a victory in Saturday’s $147,000, Gr. III Molly Pitcher Stakes at Monmouth Park.
The 4-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute, trained by Steve Asmussen, is 5-for 5 this year, all in graded stakes company. After saving ground early, she slipped through on the rail in the final furlong and eased away to score by a measured length. That’s her 10th graded stakes victory, and it leaves her with a 10-3-3 career record in 16 starts and $2,870,000 in earnings.
After breezing an under tack eighth in :10 1/5, she was purchased by Jeffrey Bloom for $80,000 out of the Woodford Thoroughbreds consignment at the 2017 April Sale.