(1) In another of those bizarre finishes much like reported in the last 'Notes' where the numbers of the five horses in one race wound up 5-4-3-2-1, here's one that occurred on Oct. 16 at Gulfstream West.
The winner in the six-horse field was Swaggy George, who was the even-money favorite. Finishing second was Heavenly Blessing, who was the second choice at 4-1. Third was Exchange Day, who was the third choice at 9/2. Fourth was Savatiano, the fourth choice at 5-1. Fifth was Osprey, the fifth choice at 6-1. Sixth and last was Gege Conquest, the sixth choice at 9-1.
Congratulations to the betting public that day; they got it right on the money in this one.
(2) I'm far from being a trainer and I'm certainly not familiar with many of the little nuances of entering a horse in a race, then keeping him or her in the race instead of scratching due to weather or track surface changes. However, I wonder why, in certain cases (with big purses), a trainer wouldn't let a horse run if that race came off the grass and there were so many scratches that remaining in the field would wind up in an easy payday even if the horse didn't run well.
Here's one instance to illustrate the point. When Circle 8 Ranch's Dur a Cuire was making her 2-year-old debut at Churchill Downs, the one-mile maiden special turf race with a juicy purse of $95,000 was switched to the main track. From an original field of 16 - which included also-eligibles - there were 12 scratches, but owner Troy Levy and trainer Michelle Nihei opted to leave Dur a Cuire in to make up a four-horse field.
The filly was off last with Channing Hill and was never a threat, finishing 28 lengths behind on the sloppy track. And the check for fourth place was $4,750. That's about three months or so of training bills, and Dur a Cuire certainly wasn't hurt by the effort; in fact, she was probably ready to race again in short order. Something to think about.
(3) It's no secret that the number of mares being bred in Florida has plummeted in recent years, making it more and more difficult to bring stallions in at the end of their racing careers. Proving that point is this season's Florida freshman sire list, which consists of just three names, one of whom is inconsequential. The number of Kentucky stallions who get books of more than 100 dwarfs that of Florida, where the 100+ types are few and far between.
One who has bucked the trend is Bucchero, the first son of Kantharos to go to stud and who started out with a bang at Pleasant Acres Stallions last year. Despite arriving late, the near-millionaire proved to be very popular and Joe and Helen Barbazon were able to get 130 mares to him in his initial book. It was going to be very interesting to see what the second year brought, and it turns out it has been even better - Bucchero bred 161 mares this season.
(4) Kentucky Downs has announced its schedule for 2021, and there will be six racing days again for the meeting that has been featuring the highest average field size in the country in recent years. The meet opens on Sept. 5 and takes in the Labor Day weekend, with purses averaging about $2 million a day.
This year, there were 62 races contested over the six days and it produced a record handle for the track - $59,828,444. Last year, for five days, 50 races produced a handle of $41,239,699.
There are several major benefits for handicappers making wagers at Kentucky Downs.
(1) The huge pools make it rare for a horse to drop three points as the race is in progress as happens at so many other tracks.
(2) The competitive fields make for very few 3/5 and 4/5 shots.
(3) Some of the best jockeys in the country show up for the festivities.
(4) The seemingly interminable stretch run gives late runners a much better chance to be competitive than at tracks where if they're 8 or 10 lengths behind at the top of the stretch they have very little chance to win.
MIAMI GARDENS – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was solved today at Gulfstream West for a jackpot payoff of $249,204.
The multi-race wager had gone unsolved for the first 11 racing days of the Fall Turf Festival before a single ticket was purchased with the 3-8-6-8-7-13 winning combination.
Galit Jak ($4.60) kicked off the sequence in Race 4, followed by Myfirstexwife ($64.40), Running for Riz ($32.60), I Get It ($19.20) and She’s All Woman ($6.40). Shendam ($9.20), one of nine ‘live’ horses in a 12-horse field in the finale, completed the jackpot-winning ticket.
The Rainbow 6 will start anew Wednesday. There will be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $2,342,35 heading into the program.
Miss Auramet Makes Triumphant Return
Miss Auramet impressed in her return to Gulfstream West, validating her 3-5 favoritism with a thoroughly professional 1 ½-length triumph in Race 3, a five-furlong optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares on the grass.
The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained 4-year-old filly, who spent a productive summer in the Mid-Atlantic with trainer Jorge Duarte Jr., won for the seventh time in 16 career starts while capturing her third straight. The daughter of Uncaptured, owned by Laurie Plesa, Leon Ellman and David Melin, was coming off back-to-back off-the-turf victories at Delaware Park and Laurel Park.
Miss Auramet pressed the pace set by Hear My Prayer, who cut out fractions of :21.96 and :44.68 for the first half-mile. She drew away in the stretch under Edgard Zayas to complete the five furlongs over a ‘good’ course in :57.50.
Prior to shipping out of town, the versatile Miss Auramet had scored three straight victories, two on turf and one on a sloppy main track, during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet.
Paco Lopez Back in Action Wednesday
Paco Lopez, who, like Miss Auramet, spend a productive summer in the Mid-Atlantic, is slated to make his 2020 debut at GW Wednesday. Lopez, who celebrated his 35th birthday today, has been named to ride in five races. The Veracruz, Mexico native, who is coming off his second-straight title at Monmouth Park, captured the 2019 riding title at Gulfstream West while riding full-time here.
Hip No. 149, a daughter of Not This Time consigned by Abbie Road Farm (Lisa McGreevy), Agent, went to Tonja Terranova, Agent, for $225,000 to top the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Selected Sale of Yearlings. The dark bay or brown filly is out of Midnight Magic, by Midnight Lute, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Coalport.
Hip No. 248, a daughter of Into Mischief consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent, was purchased by Colt Pike Bloodstock, Agent for $200,000. The bay filly, a half-sister to stakes-winner March X Press, is out of stakes-placed Indian Rush, by Indian Charlie.
Hip No. 121, a son of Wildcat Red consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent, was sold to Patrice Miller, EQB Inc., Agent, for $180,000. The chestnut colt is out of Ivory Meadow, by Meadowlake, a daughter of stakes-placed Ivory Dance.
Karl & Cathi Glassman paid $140,000 for Hip No. 173, a son of Practical Joke consigned by Stuart Morris, Agent. The bay colt is out of Polyester, by Tiz Wonderful, and is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Harpers First Ride, winner of the Gr. III Pimlico Special on Oct. 2.
Hip No. 194, a daughter of Uncaptured consigned by Dynasty Thoroughbreds, was sold for $140,000 to Randy Bradshaw. The bay filly, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Elusive Lady, is out of Song of Royalty, by Unbridled’s Song.
Hip No. 179, Ready’s Humor, a son of Distorted Humor consigned by Colin Brennan Bloodstock, Agent, was purchased by Paul Sharp for $125,000. The chestnut colt, a full brother to graded stakes-winner Machen, is out of graded stakes-winner Ready’s Gal, by More Than Ready.
Champion Equine LLC paid $125,000 for Hip No. 209, a daughter of Upstart consigned by Silver Oaks Farm (Danielle Loya), Agent. The dark bay or brown filly is out of Who’sbeeninmybed, by The Daddy, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Mr. Bowling.
Hip No. 180, a daughter of Valiant Minister consigned by Colin Brennan Bloodstock, Agent for Baoma Corp, went to Quarter Pole Enterprises LLC for $120,000. The gray or roan filly is out of Resilient Humor, by Distorted Humor, a daughter of Gr. I winner Sassy Image.
Zedan Racing Stables, Inc. went to $155,000 for Hip No. 39, a son of Empire Maker consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, to top the 2-Year Olds and Horses of Racing Age section. The 2-year-old bay colt, whose quarter in :21 1/5 was co-fastest at the distance at the Under Tack Show, is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Majestic River out of graded stakes-placed stakes winner Tempus Fugit, by Alphabet Soup.
Hip No. 58, Slashing, a 2-year-old son of Nyquist who won impressively in maiden special weight company last Wednesday at Gulfstream West, was sold to Red Oak Farm Inc. for $100,000. The bay colt, consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent, is a half brother to champion Proud Spell out of graded stakes-placed Proud Pearl, by Proud Citizen.
For the Selected Yearling Sale, 80 horses sold for $3,338,000, compared with 130 yearlings bringing $5,689,200 a year ago. The average price was $41,725, compared with $43,763 last year, while the median price was $29,000, compared with $30,000 in 2019. The buyback percentage was 40.7%; it was 30.1% a year ago.
For the 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age section, 29 horses sold for $816,500, averaging $28,155 with a $16,000 median figure.
A filly by Candy Ride, a gelding by Uncaptured and a colt by Empire Maker sped quarters in : 21 1/5 to share honors for the fastest work at the distance at the Under Tack Show for the 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age section of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s October Sale.
Hip No. 2, consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, is a bay filly by Candy Ride out of stakes-placed Garnet Crystals, by Lion Heart, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Rerun.
Hip No. 35, a bay gelding by Uncaptured consigned by Ocala Stud, is out of stakes- winner Shining Moment, by Yes It’s True.
Hip No. 39, a bay colt by Empire Maker also consigned by Top Line, is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Majestic River out of graded stakes-placed stakes-winner Tempus Fugit, by Alphabet Soup.
Hip No. 17, a bay colt by Kitten’s Joy consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, turned in a quarter in :21 2/5. He’s out of Magicalcarpetride, by Smart Strike, a half-sister to Gr. I stakes-winner Smooth Roller.
The fastest three eighths was by Hip No. 44, a colt by Anchor Down consigned by Navas Equine, Agent, who stopped the timer in :33 2/5. He’s a half- brother to stakes- placed Tale Twister out of Abounding Love, by Tale of the Cat.
Hip No. 56, Annette’s Humor, a 4-year-old chestnut filly by Shackleford consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, breezed the day’s fastest three eighths, clocked in :33 1/5. She’s a half-sister to stakes-winner Sweet Juana out of Whimsical Miss, by Distorted Humor.
Hip No. 50, a bay filly by Speightster consigned by Julie Davies LLC, Agent, worked the session’s fastest eighth, stopping the timer in :10 1/5. She’s out of Bern Legacy, by Bernstein, a daughter of graded stakes-placed stakes-winner Penny Marie.
Hip No. 58, Slashing, a colt by Nyquist consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent, broke his maiden impressively in maiden special weight company this past Wednesday at Gulfstream West, leading all the way and winning by 5 1/4 lengths. The bay colt is out of graded stakes-placed Proud Pearl, by Proud Citizen, a full sister to champion Proud Spell.
The October Sale begins Tuesday, at noon with the 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age section, cataloged as Hip No.’s 1 – 59. The Selected Yearling Sale begins immediately following the Horses of Racing Age, selling as Hip No.’s 101 – 270. The Open Yearling Sale, now cataloged as Hip No.’s 301 – 721, is set for Wednesday and will begin at 10:30 a.m.
MIAMI GARDENS - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 tomorrow at Gulfstream West.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the fourth day at the Fall Turf Festival Meet today, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $8,281.
Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, including five races with full fields of 12, three of them on turf. The featured Race 8, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance on turf, attracted a field of 12 3-year-olds and up, plus three also-eligibles. Carlos David-trained Sir Seamus, 3-1 in the morning line, had won three turf races in a row before finishing fourth last time out in an off-the-turf optional claiming allowance. Patrick Biancone-trained Prince of Arabia enters the feature off a troubled third-place finish in the Richard Henry Lee Stakes at Gulfstream. Rohan Crichton-trained American Phenom, who recently captured an maiden special weight race impressively, is one of four last-out winners in the field.
First-race post time is set for noon, kicking off a three-day Columbus Day holiday weekend. There will be live-racing program on Monday.
Dont Float the Ice Dazzles in Speedy Debut Win
Dont Float the Ice, a 2-year-old son of Can the Man, made a dazzling debut today, scoring a front-running maiden special weight victory on turf.
Ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, Dont Float the Ice rocketed out of the starting gate and set fractions of :21.58 and :44.70 on his way to a :57.02 clocking for five furlongs over a firm turf course. The Florida-bred colt is trained by Carl Deville, whose stable is based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County since departing hurricane-stricken Louisiana.
Dont Float the Ice, who is owned by Jerry Caroom, finished 5 ¼ lengths clear of Jose Pinchin-trained Driving Wind, who was making a bid to become the first offspring of Big Blue Kitten to win a race.
Later on the program, trainer Herman Wilensky saddled his first starter since May of 2019 and visited the winner’s circle after homebred Harry’s Ontheloose ($15) captured the Race 7 feature, a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf.
BALTIMORE – Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver prevailed over Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in a thrilling stretch duel to capture the 145th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, becoming the sixth filly to win the 1 3/16-mile classic for 3-year-olds.
The Preakness, traditionally the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, concluded the classic series for 3-year-olds after being postponed from May 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Jockey Club’s signature event was renewed without fans in attendance, as were the Belmont Stakes on June 20 and the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.
Swiss Skydiver ($25.40) defeated Authentic by a neck to become the first filly since Rachel Alexandra (2009) to win the race while thwarting the bid by the 3-2 favorite’s trainer, Bob Baffert, to win a record-breaking eighth Preakness.
Trained by Kenny McPeek, the 3-year-old daughter of Daredevil joined Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906), Flocarline (1903), and Rachel Alexandra as the only fillies to beat the boys in the Preakness. She joined such a rare club while turning in a final running time of 1:53.28, second only to 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat’s 1:53 clocking.
Swiss Skydiver, who had finished second in the July 11 Blue Grass at Keeneland in her only previous start against colts, was the beneficiary of a quick decision by jockey Robby Albarado that helped propel her to the lead leaving the backstretch. From there, she fought off a relentless outside challenge from Authentic around the turn and throughout the stretch run to win her fifth graded stakes this year.
“She is just a real bull," McPeek said. "She loves what she does every day. She likes to go to work. She wants to go out early because she doesn't want to wait to go out. And Robby and I have had a great week here this week. We basically flew up together. We had breakfast, lunch, dinner. I think we were rowing in the same direction and the mojo was good and it happened.”
????????????????????????????????????????? Swiss Skydiver provided Albarado his first Gr. 1 stakes victory since 2017. The????????? veteran jockey, who rode Curlin to a Preakness score in 2007, has ridden more than???? 5,200 winners during his career, and hadn’t won a graded stakes this year until today. When Tyler Gaffalione opted out of traveling to Pimlico for the Preakness, McPeek? decided to give Albarado a shot despite the fact that his business had slowed the past?????? few ?yea?rs.??????
“Well, I owe it all to Kenny. I mean, he believed in me still and, sorry, it's Kenny. It's all Kenny,” Albarado said. “People started thinking I can't do it anymore and Kenny was there, just when I needed someone.”
???? It looked like a genius decision by McPeek following his first success in the Preakness. Albarado saved ground aboard Swiss Skydiver around the first turn and along the backstretch before easing her around tiring pacesetter Thousand Words, who set fractions of :24.48 and :47.65 for the first half mile, nearing the half-mile pole. After splitting horses, Albarado sent Swiss Skydiver back to the rail, where she pulled alongside Authentic heading into the far turn and was talented and tough enough to beat the Derby winner to the finish.
“I've had a lot of special horses in my career, but she's definitely right there at the top right now and I don't see a long time until another one does something like that to me,” McPeek said. “We work hard every day. And it's a game of failures is the thing about it. I've had actually a streak for Peter that I wasn't proud of. It seemed like we went six or seven years and we really didn't have the kind of horses we wanted.”
Swiss Skydiver captured her fifth graded stakes win in a season that included triumphs in the Gr. II Gulfstream Park Oaks, Gr. III Fantasy at Oaklawn, Gr. II Santa Anita Oaks and Gr. I Alabama at Saratoga. She was coming off a second-place finish in the Gr. I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Sept. 5.
Authentic, who captured the Kentucky Derby with a dominating front-running performance, was beaten to the lead by Thousand Words, and sat outside his Baffert-trained stablemate around the first turn and into the backstretch before taking a brief lead.
“By the backstretch, I tried to open up, but he just stood there and Swiss Skydiver came to him,” said Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who was seeking his first Preakness victory. “I tried to get him rolling again, but he just stayed with that other horse from the half-mile pole to the wire.”
When Baffert saddled Triple Crown champion Justify for a victory in the 2018 Preakness, he tied the record for most wins by a trainer with Robert Wyndham Walden, who saddled seven between 1875 and 1888.
Authentic finished 9 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Jesus’ Team, who was a neck ahead of Art Collector, the 5-2 second choice.
“I was hoping he was on the lead. But he got beat. He had the whole stretch to get by her. She ran a gallant race,” Baffert said. “He’s a free-running horse and likes to be on the lead. I saw he wasn’t on the lead and was struggling a little bit.”
Authentic’s second-place finish marked the first time that a Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner lost the Preakness. However, his previous five Derby winners came back in two weeks to win the Preakness. There was a four-week span between the two classics this year.
McPeek said the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares at Keeneland on Nov. 7 is the likely target for Swiss Skydiver but didn’t completely rule out the Breeder’s Cup Classic the same day.
The South Florida racing scene shifts to Gulfstream West tomorrow with a 10-race program that has drawn 115 entries, even with one 6-horse race carded and one with seven. First post is at noon.
The meeting at old Calder Race Course runs through Nov. 28.
There is $211,000 in purse money waiting for the top finishers in five claiming races, four maiden claimers, and the featured ninth race, a $38,000 allowance optional claimer at five furlongs on the grass, with 14 entered. In all, there are five races scheduled for the grass.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Princess Secret didn’t sweep the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. But she did the next best thing, taking the final two legs, including Saturday’s $400,000 My Dear Girl Division.
The 2-year-old daughter of Khozan ran down Restofthestory in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race to take the third and final leg of the annual fixture for offspring of registered Florida sires.
“This is what horse racing’s all about,” said winning trainer and owner Daniel Pita. “It’s about trying to get the one horse that will put you on the map.”
With Miguel Vasquez in the irons, Princess Secret settled into a stalking position, several lengths behind a determined Restofthestory, before making her move on the final turn and pulling off late to win by a half-length.
“She fights every time. She’s all heart,” Pita said. “The pace set up exactly how we thought it would be. We knew Restofthestory was going to be the pace setter. It was smart of Miguel to sit back and save the horse for the end.”
Big Rings, the 6-5 favorite, ran third.
Princess Secret was making her fifth career start, and her first in a two-turn event. She had finished second to Go Jo Jo Go in the first leg of the series, the Desert Vixen, on Aug. 1 before winning the second leg, the Susan’s Girl, on Aug. 29. She has never finished worse than second in any of her races and now has career earnings of $430,300 – not bad for a filly who was a $30,000 yearling purchase by Pita out of the Journeyman Stud consignment at the OBS October sale in 2019. She was bred by Brent and Crystal Fernung, owners of Journeyman Stud, where Florida's leading sire, the immensely successful Khozan, stands.
“Every single time she shows up, and you can see what kind of special filly she is,” Pita said.
The question now becomes whether Pita decides to continue racing her this year or prefers to give her some time off to freshen up and prepare for a 3-year-old campaign. A possible date in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland in November has not been ruled out.
“She’s run hard all summer,” Pita said. “We won’t know, probably, until the beginning of next week if she’s going to remain in training for the rest of the year. She probably deserves a rest. She’ll tell us if she can give us another effort and, believe me, Keeneland’s in the back of my mind a little bit. But I’m not going to commit to anything just yet.”
Boca Boy Plays Spoiler as Breeze On By Falls Short in Bid for Sire Stakes Sweep
HALLANDALE BEACH - Breeze On By had dead aim on Boca Boy seeking a historic sweep of the Florida Sire Stakes for male 2-year-olds. With a furlong to the wire, he had pulled to within two lengths of the frontrunner.
But Boca Boy refused to allow the 1-5 favorite to blow on by and held on for a two-length victory in the $400,000 In Reality Division of the annual series for offspring of registered Florida sires, springing the upset at odds of 12-1.
Ridden by Edgard Zayas, Boca Boy – who was coming out of a one-mile turf stakes – took well to the sloppy going, assumed early command in the 1 1/16-mile race, and maintained his lead to the wire, easily defeating the Cajun Breeze colt from Stonehedge Farm.
Boca Boy, trained by Cheryl Winebaugh for owner Kenneth E. Fishbein, is a son of Prospective and was making his fourth career start today. The victory was his first since he broke his maiden over a sloppy track at Gulfstream on July 17.
The two geldings met in the first leg of the series, the six-furlong Dr. Fager Divi, back on Aug. 1, with Boca Boy finishing more than nine lengths behind in third. But he was a new horse in the In Reality, and both the slop and added distance of the proved to his liking.
“I came into the race planning to make the best out of my horse and, at the same time, find a way to beat Breeze on By,” Zayas said. “I was trying to get the trip I wanted and put him in the spot to control the race from there. My horse kept on fighting and relaxed very well on the lead, which helped him a lot in the stretch.”
Boca Boy, bred by Carol Hershe, paid $26.20 and earned a check for $240,000. Breeze On By went into the race with earnings of $223,000 and added $80,000 for a total of $303,000. Stonehedge's Seazan finished third, two lengths behind the runner-up, and collected $44,000. Fourth and fifth went to a pair of sons of Brethren from Arindel Farm - Gatsby banking $24,000 and Hercules $12,000.
HALLANDALE BEACH - A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 pool is scheduled for Sunday’s closing-day program of the Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream Park.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 13th racing day today, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $2,967. The carryover jackpot pool grew to $636,676. However, there will be a jackpot pool guarantee of $900,000 for Friday’s Rainbow 6.
Should the Rainbow 6 go unsolved Friday and Saturday, the pool will build into the millions for Sunday.
Friday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, including a second-level optional claiming allowance featuring Tatweej’s quest for three wins in a row.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the late-developing 4-year-old, who brought a bid of $2.5 million at the 2017 Keeneland September sale, has scored dominating back-to-back victories at Friday’s distance of a mile.
The son of Tapit, who finished third in his June 21 debut at Gulfstream, broke his maiden in front-running style by 3 ¾ lengths on July 25. The Kentucky-bred colt, who is out of Gr. 1 stakes-winner Tiz Miz Sue, came right back to score by 2 ½ lengths on Aug. 22. Edgard Zayas has the return mount, when Tatweej will take on five rivals, including Brewmeister, who will also be seeking his third straight victory at Gulfstream.
Formerly trained by Chad Brown, Brewmeister finished third on June 13 in his first start for Lisa Lewis, before graduating at 6 ½ furlongs on July 4 and coming right back to rally from far back to score by a half-length. Ronnie Allen Jr. has the return call on the 3-year-old gelded son of Point of Entry.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will be highlighted by six juvenile stakes, including the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl, the final legs of the Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida.
The $150,000 FSS Wildcat Heir, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up, will kick off the sequence in Race 6, followed by the $75,000 Hollywood Beach, at five furlongs on the turf; the My Dear Girl, the 1 1/16-mile final for fillies; the $75,000 Armed Forces, a one-mile turf stakes; the In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile open division final; and the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy, a one-mile turf race for fillies.
(1) Double Diamond Farm's First Dude passed the $18 million mark in career progeny earnings in the past two days.
(2) Journeyman Stud's Khozan, last year's leading Florida freshman sire, is easily the leading second-crop sire this year with progeny earnings of $2,330,047. He's going after First Dude's record of the last six years - $3,249,001.
(3)) Just before the seventh race last night at Mountaineer Resort, Race Track and Casino in West Virginia, the cameras fixed on a wonderful sight. Three young deer bounded across the turf course, then the main track, and disappeared under the grandstand.
(4) In Ocala's Wire-to-Wire magazine each day, there are a couple of pages titled "Florida Stallion Progeny for . . . ." followed by the next two days of runners at every track in North America. The lists include progeny for current and former Florida stallions. The stallion with by far the most runners every day is Congrats, who hasn't been in Florida for years, and is now 20 years old and at WinStar Farm in Kentucky. He has 1,059 lifetime foals, with 855 starters, 259 this year.
While other stallions routinely have one to five runners each day, Congrats routinely has many more. Examples: on Friday he had 10 entered; Saturday - 11; Sunday - 6; and on sparse race days - Monday - 6; today - 5.
(5) Aside from many political factors affecting the handle at tracks around the country, numbers are down due to several other factors. They include: no on-track betting; tracks often forced to schedule less races, including as little as seven; and short fields, which greatly limits exotic bets of all kinds. For instance, wheeling a horse in a $2 exacta in an 8-horse race costs $14, in a 12-horse race it costs $22.
(6) With all the knowledgeable handicappers available from coast to coast, it's puzzling that NYRABets, on its betting site, has selections from Trackmaster, and the guy (or gal) who handles it is a decided neophyte. The comments are mainly juvenile, and almost every one of his (or her) 1-2-3 picks is dominated by the horse's Equibase speed figure. No 'horse got in trouble,' or jockey or surface switch, or change of distance. Very surprising.
BALTIMORE – For the fourth consecutive year, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering the $100,000 Sentient Jet trainer bonus to horsemen who accumulate the most points during stakes races over Preakness weekend, Oct. 1-3, at Pimlico Race Course.
Highlighted by the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes, presented this year as the final jewel in a refashioned Triple Crown and a “Win and You”re In” qualifier for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic, 15 stakes, nine graded, worth $3.35 million will be contested over three days.
Trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races will be eligible for bonus money, with $50,000 going to the trainer with the most points, $25,000 for second, $12,000 for third, $7,000 for fourth, $4,000 for fifth and $2,000 for sixth. Points will be accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third (five) and fourth (three) and by having a starter (one) in each of Pimlico’s stakes.
Preakness weekend stakes action begins Thursday with the $200,000, Gr. III Chick Lang, $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint and $100,000 The Very One. The historic $250,000, Gr. III Pimlico Special highlights the Friday card that also serves as Claiming Crown Preview Day.
Joining the $1 million Preakness on Saturday is the 96th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies. They are supported by the $250,000, Gr. II Dinner Party, $200,000, Gr. III Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, $150,000, Gr. III Miss Preakness, $150,000, Gr. III Gallorette, $150,000 Laurel Futurity, $150,000 Selima, $100,000 Skipat, $100,000 James W. Murphy, $100,000 Hilltop and $100,000 The Very One.
Nominations for all 15 stakes close tomorrow.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen captured the $50,000 prize in 2017 and 2018, but finished second to Brad Cox last year. Cox led the way with 36 points, three more than Asmussen, including running third and fourth with Owendale and Warrior’s Charge in the Preakness, Cox’s Triple Crown race debut.
Cox won the Miss Preakness with eventual champion Covfefe in track-record time of 1:07.70 for six furlongs and the Gr. III Allaire duPont Distaff with Mylady Curlin; he was second with Ulele in the Black-Eyed Susan. Asmussen picked up wins in the Pimlico Special with Tenfold and the Gr. III Maryland Sprint with New York Central. He was fifth in the Preakness with Laughing Fox.
Here are the latest in the tidbits category from around the country:
(1) Every once in a while, a long-time racing media personality hits a home run on the race track. Jim Rome is one recent example. The latest is Steven Crist, former New York Times racing columnist, long-time head of Daily Racing Form, founder of the ill-fated Racing Times and a frequent visitor to the mutuel windows.
Steve and his three partners, who include trainer Phil Gleaves, scored with Thin White Duke in the $150,000 Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga on Friday. The 2-year-old New York-bred gelding is by Spendthrift sire Dominus, and is now 1-2-2 in five starts. The check of $82,500 raised his earnings to $120,020. Mutuel price of $12.20 no doubt raised Crist's earnings substantially.
(2) Travis Stone called the first several races at Churchill Downs on Saturday before Larry Collmus took over. (Collmus is the lone race-caller in the U. S. who pronounces Leparoux correctly). In race No. 1, Stone incorrectly called Hog Creek Hustle, in mid-track, as being barely in front in a battle with 6/5 Midnight Sands with about 100 yards to go.
But it was obvious to TV viewers that Bourbon Resolution and Leparoux had already slipped through at that moment and taken the lead on the rail. Stone had to atone for the error a few moments later and he did it by having Bourbon Resolution "nail him on the wire." Not true.
(3) Maryland-bred Intrepid Dream gave Florida frosh sire Jess's Dream (Ocala Stud) his second winner, breaking her maiden at Delaware Park on Sept. 2 for owner/breeder Paul Fowler Jr. Jess's Dream leads Pleasant Acres' Ride On Curlin, 2 winners to 1. Both sires are by Curlin.
(4) Lady's Island is a 6-year-old mare by Solera Farm's Greatness, a stallion still active at the age of 21. Lady's Island finished second by less than a length to 6/5 favorite Come Dancing yesterday in the Gr. II Honorable Miss Stakes at the Spa, which went in 1:08.74 for the six furlongs.
Lady's Island has a sensational career record of 16-5-4 in 32 starts, with earnings of $540,815. In her last 18 tries, dating back to June 22 of 2018, her record is an astonishing 12-3-2-1. This year, she's 3-2-1 in six starts with earnings of $156,020.
(5) The ever-present Ken and Sarah Ramsey had a good day with their fabulous sire, Kitten's Joy, at Gulfstream Saturday as breeders of second-race winner Cactus Kitten and fifth-race winner Spinning Kitten. They are also the owners of Cactus Kitten. It looked as though that success carried through on Sunday with the winner of the second race, according to Wire-to-Wire's charts. But it turned out that the magazine had reprinted Saturday's second, third and fourth races in Sunday's charts.
OCALA – Tommy Root Jr., who trained in New York and Florida and was the conditioner of multiple graded-stakes winner Redundancy and 1977 Preakness runner-up Iron Constitution, passed away here Friday. He was 87.
A graduate of Ohio State, Root, along with his father, Thomas Sr., and brother, Richard, worked for Harry T. Mangurian Jr. and his Mockingbird Farm for more than 20 years.
Root saddled his first horse, Admiral Cherry, for his father in 1951 at the age of 17. Along with Redundancy, winner of the 1976 Gallorette and Columbiana, Root saddled Iron Constitution to victory in the 1977 Withers and to a second-place finish behind Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in the ’77 Preakness, and also trained multiple graded stakes-placed Proud and Valid.
Root also trained for Nelson Bunker Hunt and worked with his father, who trained two-time Eclipse Award-winning filly Desert Vixen, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
Root’s son, Tom, said he retired in 1995 and moved to Ocala in 2005. He won 199 races during his training career.
Services are pending.
The field for Kentucky Derby 146 'only' numbers 18 this year as so many possibles fell by the wayside over the past few weeks. That, along with the fact that Tiz the Law looks like a cinch, if there is such a thing.
Amazingly, the top three picks in Mike Battaglia's morning line drew the three outside post positions in the new 20-horse gate at Churchill Downs. Honor A. P. (5-1) drew No. 16, Tiz the Law (3/5) No. 17 and Authentic (8-1) No. 18. Just as amazing, after Authentic there's only one of the other 15 with a line of less than 20-1, and that's Thousand Words at 15-1. No less than eight are listed at 50-1.
Tiz the Law is looking to become the second New York-bred to wear the roses for the charismatic Sackatoga Stable, which first accomplished the feat with Funny Cide 17 years ago. There's a second New York-bred in the field, Ny Traffic, who drew No. 16 and is 20-1.
King Guillermo, winner of the Gr. II Tampa Bay Derby and lighting up the tote board at $100.40 for former Major League Baseball star Victor Martinez, drew No. 6 and is listed at 20-1. Sole Volante, second behind King Guillermo at odds of 3/2, drew No. 12 and is 30-1. He was beaten by 4 3/4 lengths after winning the Gr. III Sam F. Davis Stakes in his previous start.
There are rarely sentimental choices in the Derby, but there will be this time with Tiz the Law and Sackatoga.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Breeze On By led an astonishing 1-2-3-4 finish for Stonehedge Farm South at Gulfstream Park with a commanding 7 ½-length victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Affirmed, the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes.
The seven-furlong Affirmed co-headlined Saturday’s program along with the $200,000 Susan’s Girl, the seven-furlong stakes for fillies. They were supported by the $75,000 Proud Truth, a one-mile turf stakes for 2-year-olds, and the $75,000 Sharp Susan, a one-mile turf stakes for juvenile fillies. All four stakes were included in the six-race sequence of the Rainbow 6 on the day of a mandatory payout.
Trainer Ralph Nicks, who had saddled Breeze On By for a victory in the $100,000 Dr. Fager in the first leg of the Sire Stakes four weeks earlier, won his fourth consecutive running of the Affirmed. The son of Cajun Breeze also gave Nicks his eighth Florida Sire Stakes success since 2016 while providing Gilbert Campbell’s Stonehedge Farm with a 15th victory in the tradition-rich series.
“I just feel blessed to be in Florida for seven years and win this many in the Series,” said Nicks, who captured the race in the previous three seasons with Soutache (2017), Garter and Tie (2018) and Liam’s Lucky Charm (2019). “I learned early on that you need to be a part of this and was lucky to have owners send me some talented horses and it's worked.”
The Nicks-trained Big Daddy Dave and Seazan finished second and third, while Top Boss, trained for Stonehedge by Kathleen O'Connell, finished fourth to round out the superfecta, which paid $245.30 for a dollar.
Breeze On By, now undefeated in three starts, ran seven furlongs in 1:22.75. Big Daddy Dave made a wide bid on the turn to finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of a late-rallying Seazan.
“They're nice horses," Nicks said. "Thank you to Stonehedge for sending us some great horses. We're lucky to work with such talented horses. Breeze On By was able to rate and sit there with Big Daddy Dave in the hunt and could have pushed if he needed to, but he will settle and follow if he needs to."
Breeze On By is scheduled to make his bid to become the fifth male to sweep the Florida Sire Stakes in the $400,000 In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile series finale on Sept. 26. With a victory he would join Three Rules (2016), Sir Oscar (2003), Seacliff (1995) and Smile (1984). Smile went on to win an Eclipse Award as the country's leading sprinter as a 4-year-old in 1986.
“Doing this series is tough on them and we'll see," Nicks said. "There are two other horses in this race that ran well so nothing will be a gift, but it's nice to have a horse this talented and have those options in front of you.
Breeze On By earned $120,000 for the victory, boosting his total to $223,000 for three races. Big Daddy Dave collected $40,000 and raised his total to $83,000, while Seazan added $20,000 to his account, which now totals $74,090, and Top Boss earned $12,000 for a total of $51,850. The quartet picked up $194,000 of the $200,000 purse in the Affirmed, and as a group their earnings have swelled the Stonehedge coffers to the tune of $431,940 in the space of a few months.
The fifth-place finisher in the race was Arindel's Gatsby, the 5/2 second choice who took home the remaining $6,000.
While Breeze On By is a homebred by Stonehedge stallion Cajun Breeze, the other three are by Journeyman Stud's leading Sire, Khozan, in whom Stonehedge owns an interest. Big Daddy Dave and Top Boss are also homebreds, but Seazan was bred by Susan Kahn and was purchased by Stonehedge for $10,000 out of the 2019 OBS Winter sale.
Here are some of the sport's latest intriguing tidbits:
(1) At Monmouth Park Saturday, in the first race: Midnight Banker is the prohibitive favorite and wins, paying $2.80. Charletee, who is 116-1, is second and pays $34.60 and $15.80. Tricky Print, who is 148-1, finishes third and pays $24.40. Micks Blast, who is 34-1, finishes fourth.
With a 2/5 shot winning, in most cases at most tracks, the 10-cent superfecta might pay $3, or $4, or $5, or $10. This one lights up the board at $1,241.46.
Not to be outdone, in the second race American Quality wins at odds of 50-1 and pays $103.00, $18.40 and $7.80. He was bred by the Horse Research Center in Zuber and there's a breeder's award coming of between $3,000 and $4,000.
(2) Ready to Runaway is a 4-year-old filly by First Dude, bred in Minnesota, of all places. She was a $4,000 Minnesota August yearling in 2017. After winning the recent $51,000 Glitter Star at Canterbury Park for the second straight year, by 8 1/2 lengths, her stakes record at the track is five victories and a second in six efforts. She received an Equibase 'E' rating of 105, her best ever.
Ready to Runaway remained in-the-money perfect with a record of 8-4-3 in 15 starts, and her earnings jumped to $299,980, ninth best among First Dude's runners.
(3) What kind of wagering is there at Chippewa Downs in Belcourt, North Dakota, which holds a meeting of two days a week for four weeks in August? Black Elk, a 3-year-old son of Pleasant Acres stallion Amira's Prince, competed in a $5,000 claimer there yesterday and went off at $10.40-1. The total win-place-show betting came to $168, and there was just one winning show ticket; it paid $99.00. Black Elk earned $312 for finishing third.
(4) Latest on late odds changes: In the ninth race at Gulfstream yesterday, Projected walked into the gate at 6-1 and finished fourth - at odds of 3-1.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Stonehedge Farm's Breeze On By is scheduled to seek his third straight victory and second leg of the 2020 Florida Sire Stakes series on Aug. 29 in the $200,000 Affirmed at Gulfstream Park.
The gelded son of Cajun Breeze is set to square off against Arindel’s Gatsby, whom he defeated by a hard-fought length in the $100,000 Dr. Fager, the Aug. 1 first leg of the tradition rich series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions. The homebred gelding rushed to the lead from his rail post position, set a pressured pace and battled back when headed by Gatsby to prevail in the six-furlong test.
Trained by Ralph Nicks, Breeze On By is undefeated in two starts, including a sensational front-running six-length victory in his July 12 debut. Stonehedge and Nicks will also be represented by Seazan, a son of Khozan who broke his maiden in his second career start on the Dr. Fager undercard.
Gatsby, a homebred son of Brethren who finished 8 ¼ lengths clear of the third-place finisher in the Dr. Fager, won in his April 12 debut, in which he chased odds-on favorite Golden Pal into the stretch before edging away to victory by three-quarters of a length. The Wesley Ward-trained Golden Pal went on to finish second in the Gr. II Norfolk at Royal Ascot, while Gatsby finished off the board in the June 27 Gr. III Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs. Gatsby rebounded with a strong effort in the Dr. Fager.
The field for the seven-furlong Affirmed is also expected to include Kenneth Fishbein’s Boca Boy and Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Famous Gent, who finished third and fourth in the Dr. Fager.
Kenny McPeek, who trains the No. 1-ranked 3-year-old filly in the country in Gulfstream Park Oaks and Alabama winner Swiss Skydiver, will seek dominance in the Florida Sire Stakes filly division with newcomer Raining Sunshine in the $200,000 Susan’s Girl . Marti Erin Haught’s homebred daughter of First Dude graduated in her second career start while romping to a 5 ¾-length maiden victory on Aug. 2.
Gilbert Campbell's Stonehedge Farm, which has won 14 Florida Sire Stakes series races, will also be well represented in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl by Go Jo Jo Go, who captured the first leg of the series for fillies. The Michael Yates-trained daughter of Khozan closed from last to capture the $100,000 Desert Vixen by 1 ¼ lengths over favored Princess Secret. Stonehedge will also be represented by Oh Deborah, a Ralph Nicks-trained daughter of Winslow Homer who debuted with a 3 ½-length victory in a $50,000 maiden claiming race on July 19.
Princess Secret, a daughter of Khozan owned and trained by Daniel Pita, is expected to try to make amends in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl. The filly debuted on May 7 with a four-length victory, then finished a troubled second behind highly-regarded Papetu while taking on the boys in a July 5 allowance before finishing second in the Desert Vixen.
Arindel’s Freak, a daughter of Brethren who finished a nose behind Princess Secret while checking in third in the Desert Vixen, is slated to return in the Susan’s Girl. Arindel will also be represented by Lyrical, a daughter of Brethren who finished sixth in the Desert Vixen. Brethren stands at Arindel.
Trainer Steven Dwoskin’s Alluramore, a daughter of Gone Astray who finished an even fourth in the Desert Vixen, is also expected to run in the Susan’s Girl.
The Florida Sire Stakes series is scheduled to wrap up on Sept. 26 with the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Trainer Lisa Lewis derived personal satisfaction from Brewmeister’s optional claiming allowance victory Sunday at Gulfstream Park, where Peter Brant’s 3-year-old gelding continued to realize the potential he showed his trainer well before he embarked on his racing career last year.
Lewis has saddled several graded-stakes winners during her career, but Brewmeister’s second straight victory was particularly gratifying, considering that she had helped to break the son of Point of Entry last year at Brant’s newly- purchased Payson Park, the 405-acre training center in Indiantown.
“The horse trains like a good horse," Lewis said. "We’ve been excited about him. I had him last year as a 2-year-old, because I help break Peter’s babies. I liked him last year. I thought he was a nice horse. Maybe he didn’t come into himself at two, but when he started training this year, I was really excited about him. Mr. Brant wanted to leave some horses here because he owns Payson Park and he wants to support Florida racing. He left a handful of horses, and this is the first one.”
Brewmeister ran twice last year without success for trainer Chad Brown, finishing fifth on the grass at Saratoga in August and fourth after setting the pace at Belmont Park in September. The Kentucky-bred gelding, who was purchased for $300,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, was reunited with Lewis at Payson Park to prepare for his 3-year-old campaign.
After encountering bumping at the start of his June 13 return to action at Gulfstream, he closed from last to finish second. Then he graduated in style by 4 ½ lengths in a 6 ½-furlong race on July 4. Brewmeister settled well off the pace in Sunday’s 6 ½-furlong race before launching a five-wide drive that carried him to victory by three-quarters of a length over favored Man of Honor, who had defeated him in his first start back this year.
“Brewmeister was out of that first crop we did," Lewis said. "He started at Mr. Brant’s farm in Connecticut and then came to Payson. It’s exciting for everyone in the whole program. That makes it more than just winning a race – it’s great for the whole program.”
Lewis has helped break 16-20 horses each of her first two seasons working for Brant, not including a few horses coming off layoffs, while training a manageable number of active racehorses at Payson Park.
“The breaking, as far as the initial learning, is all done at his farm in Greenwich, Connecticut called White Birch Farm," Lewis said." He’s got people there that have worked for him for a long time,” she said, noting that Brant also sends young horses to Niall Brennan and Stonestreet in Ocala. “They start doing all the handling and start breaking them to the tack. Once they’re going well and they feel confident that they’re ready to go, they come to me usually at the end of October. We bring them to the racetrack, start training them, and get them ready to go to New York in the spring,”
Brewmeister came out of Sunday’s victory in good order, she said. “I’d like to stretch him out a little bit, but that might be a mistake the way he’s running."
Thursday’s Nine-Race Program Has $250,000 Guaranteed Rainbow 6 Pool
Live racing returns Thursday with a nine-race program beginning at noon and a guaranteed pool in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 of $250,000.
All the races are close:
Emisael Jaramillo, who has ridden 97 winners during the summer meet, holds a one-win advantage over Edgard Zayas and Miguel Vasquez. In the trainer standings, Saffie Joseph Jr. leads with 42 wins, five more than Mike Maker. Todd Pletcher has 30. Stonehedge Farm of Williston is currently the leading owner with 18 wins, one more than Arindel Farm of Ocala.
The Blood-Horse has several areas of reporting that I don't agree with, but it's all a matter of personal opinion - like not listing every horse that's racing each day in its on-line Upcoming Races section because it's a cheap claimer. It's my opinion if you are going to add a victory to a stallion's record after the race, along with what purse money was earned, it shouldn't matter that he or she did it in a cheapie.
But the magazine is usually right on the money in its features and news reporting, whether it be written under a person's by-line or by the Blood-Horse Staff. However, there's an article in today's Blood-Horse Now where somebody on that staff seriously missed the boat.
Under the headline "Report: Testing Delays Stall Monmouth Purse Payouts," with a sub-title of "Monmouth connections owed about $7 million in purses," there's a major disparity concerning the money in question. It's the result of delayed testing results from the Truesdail Laboratories based in Irvine, California.
The report states that, according to the Asbury Park Press, owners have earned nearly $10 million since the opening of the meeting on July 3, but that about $7 million has yet to be paid out and horsemen and vendors, especially feed companies, are struggling because of it. Furthermore, it states that according to the Press, the only purse money that has been released to owners of tested horses is from Monmouth's opening day.
But, there were just six races run on opening day, and the six purses offered added up to $278,025. Subtracted from the nearly $10 million figure, that leaves well over $9 million not paid out - not $7 million.
According to Monmouth's chairman and CEO Dennis Drazin the track has a contract with Truesdail that provides for preliminary results in three days and final results in eight, which means there's something very wrong for a meeting that began on July 3. For a magazine that gets quotes from every angle in most of its articles, even if it's "there has been no response," there's not one word in the report detailing any effort to find out what has happened from Truesdail itself.
Donald Trump's having the U. S. Post Office slow down on its deliveries can't be helping, but this situation appears to have preceded that moronic White House move.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Fresh off a three-win day Friday, jockey Miguel Vasquez rode six more winners on today’s card at Gulfstream Park to surge within two winners of the top of the Spring/Summer Meet standings.
The up-and-coming 25-year-old rider closed in on Spring/Summer Meet co-leaders Emisael Jaramillo and Edgard Zayas, who each rode one winner, with his big day. Vasquez pushed his meet total to 94 victories, scoring aboard Mustang Cat ($22) in Race 1, Beast of Wildwood ($7) in Race 4, Sky Chaser ($5.60) in Race 6, Reggae Revolution ($12.80) in Race 8, Squeezadios ($5.40) in Race 10, and Bridologist ($3.80) in Race 11.
Vasquez’s career day fell one short of the Gulfstream Park record of seven wins on a program shared by Jerry Bailey (March 11, 1995), Tyler Gaffalione (July 4, 2017) and Luis Saez (Jan. 24, 2018 and March 29, 2018)
Vasquez has had a steady presence at Gulfstream since venturing to the U.S. from Panama in 2014, and winning more than 100 races in each of the past four years, but he has taken his career to a new level during the Spring/Summer Meet. Vasquez rode Mustang Cat and Beast of Wildwood for trainer Peter Walder, who has also been on a roll of late. Since the beginning of July, Walder has saddled 21 horses during the meet while compiling an 8-2-7 record. After missing three months due to injury, Vasquez has ridden 109 winners since returning to action Jan. 15.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $250,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $250,000 Sunday. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the third day Saturday, and tickets with all six winners were each worth $168.
Here are some of the latest tidbits from around the country:
(1) The problem of significant odds drops after races begin continues to plague bettors everywhere. A couple of recent examples:
At Gulfstream Park on Aug. 8, the 2-year-old Handsome Mike filly Yafa from Tropical Racing - in her second start after a poor debut - goes to the gate at 21-1. She gets beaten a neck by Monorail after a monster late run, and she's 13-1 on the board.
At Prairie Meadows, Valla goes into the gate at 5-1, and when they cross the finish line she's 2-1.
This one is just about the morning line: I Am The Boss at Gulfstream is 20-1 in the line and goes off at 7/5 and romps. In her first start on July 11, she was 23-1 and finished 10th, beaten 15 1/2 lengths. A real question mark.
(2) In the fifth race at Gulfstream Park last Thursday, a real rarity in the order of finish: the winner was No. 5, followed by 4, 3, 2 and 1. Doesn't happen often.
(3) On sparse Monday, Double Diamond Farm stallion First Dude has three winners around the country, without the benefit of Gulfstream. Miss Star Lo wins at Parx Racing and pays $7.80. She's the second First Dude winner in the last week bred by Marti Haught, owner of the Tack Shack in Ocala, just north of OBS.
At Colonial Downs, Dude's Secret wins and pays $39, and three races later, Do With Pride wins and pays $17. First Dude has re-taken second place from Brethren on Florida's sire list in a battle that has been changing weekly.
(4) On the day Yafa finishes second by a neck for Handsome Mike, she begins what was nearly a career day for the stallion. Following, in order, La Flamenca is second by 1 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park; John's Promise wins at Delaware and pays $9.40; Sir Seamus goes wire-to-wire on the grass at Gulfstream and wins by a nose despite announcer Pete Aiello calling Til the End the probable winner; With the stallion looking for his first stakes-winner, Blue Mistress loses the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes at Gulfstream in a photo that takes the placing judges two minutes to decide. She's the longest price on the board at 18-1. The photo shows she lost by an inch.
(5) Last year, Brent and Crystal Fernung, owners of Journeyman Stud, publicly stipulated that if their stallion, Khozan, didn't wind up 2019 as Florida's leading freshman sire, the first 25 breeders who sent mares to him last season would be accorded freebies. That could have cost them $100,000. Of course, there never was a moment during the season where anyone got even close to Khozan; he led the field in number of winners and progeny earnings.
It was going to be intriguing to see just how the son of Distorted Humor would follow it up as a sophomore, and, again, it has been no contest since Jan 1. Khozan has been well ahead of Double Diamond Farm's First Dude in the earnings department and now holds a lead of nearly $400,000, an insurmountable margin.
First Dude has led in the winners department all season, but that is understandable because he has 104 runners to 71 for Khozan. However, a late run by Khozan has moved him to where he's now just one winner behind First Dude - 44 to 43. Quite a feat and kudos to the Fernungs for their confidence in the stallion.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Odds-on favorite Breeze on By fought back gamely after being headed in the stretch to capture the $100,000 Dr. Fager, completing a sweep of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes races at Gulfstream Park for Stonehedge Farm.
The Dr. Fager co-headlined the 11-race program with the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies, won by Stonehedge’s Go Jo Jo Go.
The Michael Yates-trained Go Jo Jo Go and Ralph Nicks-trained Breeze On By are the 13th and 14th winners for Gilbert Campbell and his Stonehedge Farm in the tradition-rich series for juveniles sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida. The Stonehedge achievement is second only to Jacks or Better Farm with 19 winners in the series.
Breeze On By set a solid pace into the stretch with fractions of 22.37 and 45.68 under Emisael Jaramillo for the first half-mile of the six-furlong stakes. Gatsby, who saved ground into the far turn under Hector Berrios, made a menacing outside challenge leaving the turn into the homestretch and managed to put his head in front of the pacesetter in mid-stretch, but Breeze On By fought back gamely to edge away to victory by a length.
Breeze On By, who scored a front-running six-length debut victory at Gulfstream on July 12, ran six furlongs over a sloppy, sealed track in 1:10.85. Gatsby finished 8 ¼ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Boca Boy.
The Dr. Fager and the Desert Vixen will be followed by the $200,000 Affirmed and the $200,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies, both slated for seven furlongs on Aug. 29, and the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies, both to be run around two turns at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 26.
Breeze On By will have the opportunity to give Nicks his fourth consecutive victory in the seven-furlong second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes. Nicks saddled Soutache (2017), Garter and Tie (2018) and Liam’s Lucky Charm (2019) for victories in the Affirmed the past three years.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Stonehedge LLC’s homebred Go Jo Jo Go the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes as a 21-1 long shot, winless in three previous races. But in the words of trainer Michael Yates; “They don’t move the calendar for the [Sire] Stakes. So if you have a horse who can run a bit, even if they’re a maiden, it’s worth taking a shot.”
The shot taken was a winning one, as Go Jo Jo Go rallied down the stretch under jockey Leonel Reyes to win the FTBOA’s $100,000 Desert Vixen by 1 ¼ lengths over Princess Secret. It was another nose back to Freak in third.
Jo Jo Go, a 2-year-old daughter of Khozan, covered a sloppy six furlong track in 1:11.47. It was the 13th Sire Stakes win for Gilbert Campbell and his Stonehedge Farm. They would make it 14 a half hour later when Breeze On By won the $100,000 Dr. Fager.
Princess Secret, the even-money favorite, took the field past an opening quarter of :22.59 while Go Jo Jo Go raced last in the eight-horse field down the backstretch. Pressed throughout, Princess Secret was challenged by a wide Freak entering the stretch, who opened up a length lead inside the eighth pole. But Go Jo Jo Go came flying on the outside to overtake Freak inside the final sixteenth. Princess Secret gamely came back for the place.
On winning the opening leg of the three-race series, Yates said: “It’s a great series for the Florida sires. It has a lot of history to it and it’s sort of what we aim for.”
HALLANDALE BEACH - The FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, annual centerpiece of the Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream Park, will get underway Saturday, bringing together the brightest 2-year-old prospects sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida.
The $100,000 Dr. Fager and the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies, both to be contested at six furlongs, will co-headline the first legs of the series that will continue on Aug. 29 with the $200,000 Affirmed and the $200,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies, both slated for seven furlongs. The finales will be contested on Sept. 26 with the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies, both to be run at 1 1/16 miles. The Sept. 26 program will also include the $150,000 Wildcat Heir for 3-year-olds and up.
The Florida Sire Stakes has a rich history dating back to 1982, when it was created by Ocala breeder Dan Lasater, a four-time national leading owner. The six-race series has produced six Eclipse Award winners: Awesome Feather (2010 Juvenile Filly), Big Drama (2010 Sprint), Holy Bull (1994 Horse of the Year and 3-Year-Old Male), Smile (1986 Sprint), Brave Raj (1986 Juvenile Filly) and Not Surprising (1995 Sprint).
The Dr. Fager and the Desert Vixen are both expected to attract deep fields with likely starters trained by several high-profile trainers, including Todd Pletcher, Ralph Nicks, Eddie Plesa Jr. and Kathleen O’Connell.
Pletcher, who has maintained a stable at Gulfstream during the Spring/Summer Meet, is expected to be represented by J A G Racing and Jettany Thoroughbred Corp.’s Son of a Beast in the Dr. Fager and A I A Racing’s Tamiami in the Desert Vixen. Son of a Beast, a son of The Big Beast, withstood race-long pressure to capture his June 24 debut in front-running fashion. Tamiami, a daughter of Rattlesnake Bridge, overcame a horrific start to capture her June 21 debut with a furious late run, completing six furlongs in 1:09.1.
Son of a Beast will again be sternly tested in the Dr. Fager, which is the goal for Stonehedge LLC’s Big Daddy Dave and Arindel’s Gatsby. The Nicks-trained Big Daddy Dave, a son of Khozan, is coming off a 2 ¾-length romp in his May 30 debut, completing five furlongs in 58.88. Juan Alvarado’s Gatsby, a homebred son of Brethren, captured his May 17 debut, upsetting Wesley Ward-trained Golden Pal, who went on to finish second in the Gr. II Norfolk at Royal Ascot.
Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Famous Gent, a son of Big Dude who broke his maiden June 5 with a 58.87 five-furlong clocking, enters Florida Sire Stakes competition off a troubled third-place finish behind undefeated Papetu in the first juvenile allowance of the Spring/Summer Meet.
Pletcher-trained Tamiami is also expected to have some tough competition in the Desert Vixen, including trainer/owner Dan Pita’s Princess Secret and Joseph Imbesi’s Social Exclusion. Princess Secret romped to a four-length victory in her May 7 debut. The daughter of Khozan came back to finish second against the boys, closing to within 1 ½ lengths of Papetu after being bumped hard at the start. Steve Klesaris-trained Social Exclusion, a daughter of Gulfstream Park record holder Social Inclusion, turned in a dazzling debut performance while scoring a 4 ¾-length front-running victory.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $1.1 Million Thursday at Gulfstream Park. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 15th racing program Sunday, and multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $360.
A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 has been scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 2.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $1 million when racing resumes Sunday at Gulfstream Park. First race post is noon.
The Rainbow 6 has not been hit by a single winning ticket for 14 days. Multiple tickets with six winners today returned $4,015.
Sunday’s Rainbow begins with the sixth race, a one-mile turf event for 3-year-olds and up that attracted a field of nine. The seventh race and second in the sequence is a $50,000 maiden event for 3-year-olds that has a 9-5 morning-line choice in El Pillo. There are four turf races in the Rainbow 6 with the final two races being contested on the grass.
There will be a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 on Sunday, Aug. 2.
Tatweej Makes Winning Debut, Mexican Wonder Boy Wins U.S. Debut
Shadwell Stable’s Tatweej, a 3-year-old son of Tapit purchased for $2.5 million at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, won his racing debut today at one mile. Out of the Gr. 1-winning mare Tiz Miz Sue, Tatweej set fractions of :23.80, :46.10 and 1:10.50 for trainer Todd Pletcher before coming home under Edgard Zayas in 1:36.60.
Don Fausto Racing’s 3-year-old colt Mexican Wonder Boy made a successful U. S. debut, winning an allowance optional claimer at a mile in 1:36.94. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Mexican Wonder Boy won four of seven races in Mexico last year, his last three by a combined 31 ¾ lengths. For jockey Leonel Reyes, it was his 300th victory in the U. S.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Ny Traffic stalled briefly at the top of the stretch before shifting into high gear in Saturday’s Gr. I Haskell at Monmouth Park, putting a late scare into front-running Authentic, only to fall an excruciating nose short of victory.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. expressed more satisfaction than disappointment in his Gulfstream Park-based Kentucky Derby prospect this morning.
“I think I’ve lost a claimer and been more upset," Joseph said. "For some reason, I didn’t feel any disappointment, because I know where we’re trying to get – to the Derby. I just thought it was another step forward again. I didn’t want to see any regression. That was my biggest thing – not seeing any regression.”
Ny Traffic, who currently sits fourth in qualifying points for the Sept. 5 Derby at Churchill Downs, chased a loose-on-the-lead Authentic into the stretch, where he made a courageous bid for victory.
“I was proud of him," Joseph said. "At the quarter pole, he was off the bridle and it looked like he wouldn’t be able to get second. To see him trying and keep coming and almost getting there . . . At the 1/16th-pole, I thought he might win. It went from a low to a high. I didn’t take the beat that bad, honestly. I was just happy how he ran and it was another jump forward, like we’re going in the right way for the Derby.”
Ny Traffic, who followed up a dominating Jan. 11 allowance win at Gulfstream in his first start for Joseph with a third-place finish in the Gr. II Risen Star, a runner-up finish in the Gr. II Louisiana Derby and a second-place finish in the Gr. III Matt Winn, is owned by John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing and Paul Braverman.
“I’m sending him to Saratoga and let him train there a little bit," Joseph said. "I don’t know if we’ll ship early to Churchill or ship late. We haven’t decided yet."
The Joseph-trained Tonalist’s Shape didn’t fare nearly as well as her stablemate Saturday, finishing a well-beaten fourth as the 6-5 favorite in the Gr. I Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. The multiple graded stakes-winner, who wore blinkers for the first time in a race, was rank early and lacked the late punch that carried her to victory in the Gr. III Forward Gal and Gr. II Davona Dale during the Championship Meet and, most recently, the Hollywood Wildcat at Gulfstream.
“The blinkers, I knew, could have that effect," Joseph said. "I thought the blinkers for her was going to be hit or miss. It was either going to make a big difference or it was going to be a big mistake. It turned out to be a big mistake. We thought we were making the right decision. We had to give it a try. I’ll take the blame for that. I can’t blame her. She got a little rank going into the first turn. I think it was a complete throw-out race. I’ll take the blame for that.”
The Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks is still penciled in for a ‘blinkers-off” Tonalist’s Shape. “I’m not going to let that race distract us," Joseph said. "If all is well, we’re going to stay on plan. She’s earned a spot in the Oaks. If she stays the course, we’ll probably give her a chance there. We’ll see how she does. We’ll talk it over with the owners, but I don’t see any reason not to continue onwards.”
Math Wizard, who gave Joseph his first Gr. 1 success while winning last year’s Pennsylvania Derby at Parx, improved off a pair of disappointing 2020 efforts with a second-place finish behind Global Campaign in Saturday’s Gr. III Monmouth Cup.
“He ran very good . . . he’s just a hard-knocking horse,” Joseph said. “On his day, when he’s doing good, he gives his all. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Frankly My Dear left from the No. 6 post with Rajiv Maragh in the $55,000, 5 1/2-furlong maiden special, while Sophisticurl was in the eighth slot with Samy Camacho.
The two broke out of the gate in unison, 7/2 Frankly My Dear on the inside and 15-1 Sophisticurl right on her neck in the two path, and they remained that way through fractions of :22.81, 46.39 and :58.94. Frankly My Dear had her neck in front down the lane, but under a strong ride by Camacho, Sophisticurl edged past her rival nearing the wire and she won by a head in 1:05.65.
The maiden-breaking victory by Sophisticurl was worth $36,000 for owner Rolling Meadows Farm and handed another breeders’ award to Pleasant Acres owners Joe and Helen Barbazon, who have been on fire in the last month; this is their ninth award in that span. The winner is now 1-0-2 in four starts with earnings of $45,250.
Hip No. 640, a daughter of Not This Time consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent, went to Emerald Sales, Agent for Tobey L. Morton, for $270,000 to top the second session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2020 July Sale of Two-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age. The chestnut filly, whose eighth in :9 4/5 was the fastest at the distance at Thursday’s Under Tack session, is out of Exotic Design, by A.P. Indy, a daughter of Gr. I stakes-winner Exotic Wood and a full sister to stakes-winner Key to Power.
Dennis O’Neill paid $185,000 for Hip No. 383, a son of Half Ours consigned by Blue River Bloodstock, Inc., Agent, whose quarter in :20 1/5 on Wednesday was the sale’s fastest at the distance. The bay colt is out of All About Ju Ju, by Into Mischief, a half-sister to stakes-placed Gregorian Bay.
Hip No. 473, a daughter of Palace Malice consigned by Hoppel’s Horse & Cattle Co., Inc, was sold to Clay Scherer, Agent for Al & Bill Ulwelling, for $175,000. The bay filly, whose eighth in :10 flat was co-fastest at the distance on Wednesday, is a half-sister to stakes-placed Merveilleux out of Breech Inlet, by Holy Bull, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Bauble Queen.
Hip No. 427, a daughter of Uncle Mo consigned by Gayle Woods, Agent, who breezed three eighths in :34 2/5 on Wednesday, was purchased by Randy Bradshaw, Agent, for $150,000. The bay filly is out of Bama Belle, by Giant’s Causeway, a half-sister to Gr. I stakes-winner Funny Moon.
West Bloodstock, Agent for Repole Stables, paid $110,000 for Hip No. 643, Amount, a son of Curlin who breezed an eighth in :10 2/5 on Thursday. Consigned by Harris Training Center LLC, Agent, the chestnut colt is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner Size out of Extent, by Pulpit.
For the session, 155 horses sold for $3,869,800, compared with 225 grossing $7,719,700 at last year’s second session. The average was $24,966 compared with $34,310 a year ago, while the median price was $13,000, compared to $17,500 in 2019. The buyback percentage was 25.7%; it was 17.3% last year.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a guaranteed pool of $500,000 when racing resumes Wednesday. First race post is noon.
The Rainbow 6 will begin with the fifth race, a maiden special weight event for 3-year-olds and up at 5 furlongs on the turf. The race drew a field of seven including American Phenom, a $340,000 yearling purchase who was claimed for $50,000 out of his racing debut by trainer Rohan Crichton for Daniel Walters. American Phenom finished fourth in his March 5 debut. Also entered is first-time starter R Private Jet, an $82,000 purchase as a yearling in 2018 who enters the race with a bullet half-mile work for trainer Georgina Baxter.
There will be three turf races in the sequence, including the 10th and final race, a maiden claiming event at 1 1/16 miles.
This will be the last Wednesday program at Gulfstream. The track will move to a Thursday through Sunday program beginning July 23.
Zayas, Joseph and Arindel Top Standings
Some familiar names sit atop the leader standings at Gulfstream. Edgard Zayas, who earned last year’s spring and summer riding titles at, is once again on top of the standings through the middle of July. Zayas, who rode three winners Sunday, leads in wins (79) and total purse money ($2.3 million), He’s currently ahead of Emisael Jaramillo (69 wins, $2 million) and Miguel Vasquez (62 wins, $1.7 million).
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who will saddle Louisiana Derby and Matt Winn runner-up Ny Traffic in this weekend’s $1 million Haskell, leads all trainers with 33 wins. Todd Pletcher is second with 29 victories and leads all trainers in purse money with $967,943. Antonio Sano, who saddles Hara in Thursday’s Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga, is third in victories with 28, one up on Mike Maker.
Perennial leading owner and breeder Arindel leads all owners with 14 victories and $428,494 in money won. Frank Carl Calabrese is second with 10 wins while Drawing Away Stable has nine.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables LLC’s Speech tracked pacesetting fellow OBS graduate Venetian Harbor (April ’19) down the backstretch in Keeneland’s $392,000, Gr. I Ashland Stakes on Saturday, then went after her on the turn. The pair turned for home on close to even terms, but down the stretch Speech was stronger, taking command a furlong from home and beating Venetian Harbor to the wire by three lengths in a track -record 1:41.26 for the mile and one-sixteenth.
It’s the first stakes win for the 3-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Mr Speaker, a two-time OBS graduate. She was purchased out of the Summerfield consignment at the 2018 Winter Mixed Sale, then resold by SBM Training & Sales, Agent, for $190,000 at the 2019 March Sale after turning in an Under Tack eighth in :10 seconds flat. Now 2-4-1 in seven starts for trainer Mike McCarthy, she has earned $353,840.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Apprentice Joseph Trejos continued to flash star quality at Gulfstream Park while producing a four-win afternoon on Friday. Trejos, who rode his first winner in the U. S. at Gulfstream on April 18 after winning 44 races in Panama, has won 29 races during the Spring/Summer Meet.
A graduate of the Laffit Pincay Jr. jockey school, where he was selected as the outstanding rider in his December 2018 graduating class, Trejos swept both ends of the early double aboard Josefa ($15.20) in race 1 and Mister Leonardo ($30) in race 2, both of whom were saddled by Antonio Sano. The 23-year-old, five-pound bug boy followed up with back-to-back victories aboard R Calli Kim ($10.40) in race 4 and Matraca ($6.40) in race 5.
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Guaranteed
Today’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot will be guaranteed at $400,000. The multi-race wager went unsolved for the fifth consecutive day Friday, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $681.
Today’s sequence will span Races 7-12, featuring a mile optional claiming allowance on turf for 3-year-olds and up in Race 11. Live Oak Plantation’s Souper Jaguar will seek to repeat a recent front-running score against Florida-bred competition at the same non-winners-of-one-other-than level.
‘Yesterday’ Looks to Recapture Past in Portofino Bay
Yesterdayoncemore will look to recapture her winning form in Sunday’s $60,000 Portofino Baby, a 1 1/16-mile overnight turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Trained by Patrick Biancone, the Irish-bred daughter of No Nay Never has gone winless in four starts since scoring in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf in her Sept. 2, 2019 U.S. debut. Owned by D P Racing LLC, Mrs. Paul Shanahan and Mrs. M. V. Magnier, Yesterdayoncemore, who ran five times in Ireland, broke her maiden in the Del Mar stakes. She finished off the board in her next three races before finishing an unlucky second while coming off a four-month layoff in a June 28 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream. Luca Panici has the return mount.
Arindel’s Onyx, a two-time stakes-winner last year, will also be trying to recapture her winning form after finishing well back in her three starts this year. Emisael Jaramillo, who was aboard for Onyx’s stakes success, has the return mount. Mijet, Freret, Tournesol, Days of Spring – all winners in their most recent races, and Blue Mistress, round out the field.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Gulfstream Park’s special Tuesday program will feature mandatory payouts of the 20-cent Rainbow 6, 50-cent Late Pick 5 and $1 Super Hi 5. The Rainbow pool could reach $3 million. First race post is noon.
The Rainbow 6 begins with race 4, a maiden event for fillies and mares going five furlongs on the turf.
There will be three turf races in the sequence, including the seventh race, an allowance optional claiming event at five furlongs for 3-year-olds with a purse of $54,500. The sequence wraps up with another five furlong turf event for claiming fillies and mares.
Multiple tickets with six winners today were each worth $9,004.
NOTES: Summer in the City, a 3-year-old filly by Summer Front ridden by Edgard Zayas, drove past a game She’s Just Quality down the stretch to win today’s sixth race, a maiden special weight event over a mile turf course. Making her third start for trainer Todd Pletcher, Summer in the City covered the mile in 1:35.98. Zayas rode three winners - along with Summer in the City he took the fourth aboard Gran Old Parr ($4.80) and the 10th on Lovely Luvy ($5.80).
HALLANDALE BEACH - Led by Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law, there are three horses representing Gulfstream Park in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes and they are rated first, second and third in the morning-line.
Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law was installed at 6-5 in the morning line for the 1 1/8-mile Belmont, the traditional third jewel of the Triple Crown that will kick off the Spring Classics series due to the post postponements of the Kentucky Derby to Sept. 5 and the Preakness Stakes to Oct. 3. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Andie Biancone’s Sole Volante, who is coming off a sharp stakes-quality allowance score at Gulfstream, was rated second at 9-2, while St. Elias Stable’s Dr. Post, who captured the Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream last time out, was rated third at 5-1 in a field of 10 3-year-olds entered today at Belmont Park.
Barclay Tagg-trained Tiz the Law, who captured the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last year, was 2-for-2 this year during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. The son of Constitution rolled to a three-length score in the Gr. III Holy Bull, defeating Ete Indien, who came back to capture the Gr. II Fountain of Youth by 8 ½ lengths. Tiz the Law, who sat out the Fountain of Youth, stamped himself as the Triple Crown favorite with a dominating 4 ¼-length victory in the Florida Derby. Manuel Franco has the return mount Saturday.
Patrick Biancone-trained Sole Volante, who began his career with a debut victory and a stakes triumph on turf last year, finished third in the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream in his dirt debut. The son of Karakontie went on to capture the Gr. III Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs by 2 ½ lengths and finish second behind King Guillermo in the Gr. II Tampa Bay Derby. He returned from a three-month layoff to prep for the Belmont, winning an allowance in which he closed from last to score by three-quarters of a length under a hand ride by Luca Panici, who has the call again Saturday.
Todd Pletcher-trained Dr Post enters the Belmont off back-to-back impressive victories at Gulfstream. The son of Quality Road returned from a long layoff since finishing fourth in his July 4 debut at Belmont, breaking his maiden by 1 1/4 lengths on March 29, going seven furlongs. He stretched out in his next start in the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled Stakes, defeating graded stakes-placed Attachment Rate by 1 ½ lengths. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the return call.
Tap It to Win (6-1), Pneumatic (8-1) Max Player (15-1), Modernist (15-1), Farmington Road (15-1), Fore Left (30-1), Jungle Runner (50-1) round out the Belmont field.
Friday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $200,000.
The multi-race wager went unsolved today for the second racing day since last Saturday’s mandatory payout. Multiple tickets with all six winners were worth $7,152.
Hip No. 1018, a son of Quality Road consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc., (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, went to Ben McElroy, Agent for Arman Shah, for $1,250,000 to top the fourth and final session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2020 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training. The bay colt, who breezed a quarter in :20 3/5 at Friday’s Under Tack Session, is a half brother to graded stakes placed stakes winner Standard Deviation out of False Impression, by A.P. Indy.
Hip No. 1312, Fortunate Son, a son of Speightster consigned by Tom McCrocklin, Agent, was purchased by OXO Equine LLC for $1,100,000. The chestnut colt, who breezed a quarter on Saturday in :20 4/5, is out of stakes placed Auspicious, by Indian Charlie, a half sister to graded stakes placed Flatter Than Me.
Hip No. 1298, a son of California Chrome consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, went to West Bloodstock for Repole Stable Inc/St. Elias Stable for $725,000. The gray or roan colt, who turned in an Under Tack quarter on Friday in :20 3/5, is out of Diva Style, by Unbridled’s Song, a half sister to classic contender Tiz the Law.
Hip No. 1299, a daughter of Liam’s Map consigned by Cary Frommer LLC, Agent, who worked Friday’s fastest eighth in :9 4/5, was sold to Rigney Racing LLC for $700,000. The dark bay or brown filly is out of Ebony Moment, by Smart Strike, a daughter of graded stakes winner Ebony Breeze.
Hip No. 953, a son of Not This Time consigned by Julie Davies LLC, Agent, was sold to Marc Tacher for $575,000. The chestnut colt, who breezed an eighth in :10 flat on Friday, is out of Delightful Melody, by Tapit, a daughter of graded stakes winner Bending Strings.
Hip No. 982, a son of Shackleford consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, went to Justin Casse, Agent, for $550,000. The chestnut colt, who sped a quarter in :20 3/5 on Friday, is a half brother to champion Monomoy Girl and current 3-year-old graded stakes winner Mr. Monomoy out of Drumette, by Henny Hughes.
Hip No. 1175, a son of Kantharos who breezed an Under Tack eighth in :10 flat on Saturday, was sold to Frank Fletcher Racing Operations for $500,000. Consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent, the chestnut colt is out of Illicit Affair, by Midnight Lute, a daughter of champion Silverbulletday.
Summer Wind Equine paid $500,000 for Hip No. 1310, a daughter of Malibu Moon whose quarter in :20 3/5 was co-fastest at the distance on Saturday. The bay filly, consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent, is out of stakes placed Iroquois Girl, by Indian Charlie, a half sister to graded stakes winner Salty Strike.
Joseph Brocklebank, Agent, went to $475,000 for Hip No. 1060, a daughter of Empire Maker consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm, Agent. The bay filly, who worked an eighth in :10 flat on Saturday, is out of Full Tap, by Tapit, a daughter of stakes winner Miss Challenge.
Hip No. 1149, a son of Hard Spun consigned by Eisaman Equine, Agent, was purchased for $400,000 by Belladonna Racing II, LLC. The dark bay or brown filly, who turned in an Under Tack eighth on Saturday in :10 flat, is out of High Wire Act, by Medallist, a half sister to graded stakes placed stakes winner Not Abroad.
Hip No. 1314, a son of Flatter also consigned by Tom McCrocklin, was sold for $400,000 to J. A. S. The bay colt, who turned in a quarter in :20 4/5 on Saturday, is a full brother to graded stakes winning OBS graduate Favorable Outcome out of stakes winner Shananies Song, by Eltish.
Donato Lanni, Agent for Michael Lund Petersen, went to $375,000 for Hip No. 1226, a son of Twirling Candy consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent. The dark bay or brown colt, who worked an eighth in :10 flat on Saturday, is a half brother to stakes winner Saythreehailmary’s out of Just Call Me Angel, by Devil’s Bag.
Hip No. 1219, a daughter of Bernardini consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent, went to Marette Farrell, Agent for Exline-Border Racing, for $325,000. The bay filly, who breezed an eighth in :10 1/5 on Saturday, is out of J. Quirk, by Unbridled’s Song, a half sister to stakes placed Srikinglybeautiful.
Hip No. 976, a daughter of The Factor consigned by RiceHorse Stable (Brandon & Ali Rice), Agent, was sold to Willis Horton Racing LLC for $300,000. The gray or roan filly, who breezed an eighth in :10 1/5 on Friday, is a half sister to stakes placed Caught Dream’n out of graded stakes placed Dream, by Malibu Moon.
Hip No. 1304, a son of Into Mischief consigned by Hartley / DeRenzo Thoroughbreds LLC, Agent, was sold to Jerry Durant for $300,000. The bay colt, who breezed an eighth on Saturday in :10 flat, is out of Fruhl’s Gold, by Crafty Prospector, from the family of Street Boss.
For the day, 161 horses brought $18,514,500 compared with 155 selling for a total of $16,728,000 last year. The average price was $114,997, up 6.5% compared to $107,923 in 2019, while the median price was $50,000, identical to last year’s figure. The buyback percentage was 15.7%; it was 22.5% in 2019.
For the entire sale, 635 horses sold for a total of $58,905,000 compared with 674 horses bringing a sale record $72,945,000 in 2019. The average price was $92,764, compared with 2019’s sale record $108,227. The median was $50,000 compared with last year’s record $60,000. The buyback percentage was 18.4%; it was 19.8% a year ago.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Andie Biancone’s Sole Volante rallied from last to capture Wednesday’s featured race for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park while prepping for a possible run in the June 20 Belmont Stakes.
The Patrick Biancone-trained gelding, who was making his first start since finishing second in the March 7 Tampa Bay Derby, took advantage of a hot pace contested by stablemate Ete Indien, the 3-5 favorite who hadn’t run since finishing third in the March 28 Florida Derby, and Shivaree, who was returning to action from a runner-up finish in the Florida Derby.
The pacesetters set fractions of :23.09 and :45.10 for the first half-mile of the mile optional claiming allowance, while leading the way into the stretch. Sole Volante ($6.40) launched a wide rally on the far turn under Luca Panici and kicked in through the stretch to score by three-quarters of a length. Jesus’s Team, who rallied inside of Sole Volante, finished second, another three-quarters of a length ahead of Shivaree. Ete Indien, who captured the Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth by 8 ½ lengths, finished fourth under Florent Geroux while equipped with blinkers for the first time, another 4 ¼ lengths back.
Sole Volante, who captured the Gr. III Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs, ran the mile in 1:34.75 to win his third stakes and fourth race overall in six career starts.
“He’s a nice horse," Biancone said. "He’s improving. He’s a lighter horse. I think he needed the race less than Ete Indien. With Ete Indien, I think I may make a mistake to put the blinkers [on], because the other horse shaded him the whole way. It was a training race. I just want them to come out good. I cross my fingers.”
Sole Volante has been pointed to either the Belmont Stakes or the July 11 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, while the July 18 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park has been the goal for Ete Indien.
“I don’t think I’m going to change my mind - in five weeks, we’ll go to the Haskell with Ete Indien," Biancone said. "Concerning Sole Volante, my owner is very keen on running in the Belmont. We’ll have to wait for the horse to decide. We’ll see how he is the next few days. If he really comes up, we may go. If not, we’ll wait for the Blue Grass. One or the other.”
Panici, who was unable to ride Sole Volante in the Tampa Bay Derby due to an injury, was impressed with the son of Karakontie. “It was perfect," Panici said. "He’s a horse that’s like a human. His brain is fabulous. The first part when he had to accelerate when he saw the horse in front, he was aggressive to pass the other horse. What more can I say? I’ve known him from the beginning, and he’s just a wonderful horse to ride. I have to thank all the connections to give me this huge opportunity. He’s just a really great horse.”
Trainer Ralph Nicks was hardly discouraged by Shivaree’s return off the layoff. They (Ete Indien and Shivaree) did all the work,” Nicks said. “We’ll look at the Blue Grass next.”
Hip No. 1250, a son of Ghostzapper consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, Agent, went to Ben McElroy, Agent for Arman Shah, for $750,000, topping Tuesday's first session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2020 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training. The bay colt, whose eighth in :9 4/5 was co-fastest at the distance at Monday’s Under Tack session, is out of Roberta Turner, by Smart Strike, a half-sister to graded stake-placed stakes-winner Foxy Danseur.
Hip No. 129, a daughter of Into Mischief consigned by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Agent, was sold to Spendthrift Farm for $400,000. The bay filly, who worked a quarter on Sunday in :21 flat, is out of stakes-winner Midnight Visit, by Henny Hughes, a half-sister to graded stakes-placed Wild Chick.
Hip No. 209, a son of Air Force Blue consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc., (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, went to Justin Casse, Agent for M. V. Magnier, also for $400,000. The dark bay or brown colt, who turned in an Under Tack quarter on Monday in :20 4/5, is out of No Splits, by Smart Strike, and is a half-brother to stakes-placed Lucky Jingle.
Live Oak Plantation paid $350,000 for Hip No. 179, a daughter of Munnings consigned by Mayberry Farm, Agent. The dark bay or brown filly, who worked a quarter in :21 1/5 on Monday, is out of Mylitta, by Sky Mesa, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Malossol.
Hip No. 1239, a daughter of Tapit consigned by S B M Training and Sales, Agent, went to Solis/Litt for $350,000. The chestnut filly, who breezed an eighth in :10 1/5 on Sunday, is out of stakes-placed Miss Super Quick, by Rock Hard Ten, a half-sister to Gr. I stakes-winner Callback.
Hip No. 282, Speeding, a daughter of Into Mischief consigned by Gene Recio, Agent, was purchased by D. J. Stable LLC for $300,000. The bay filly, who worked an eighth in :10 flat on Monday, is out of Prancing, by Tapit, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Dancing Solo.
Hip No. 1246, Wicked Pretty, a daughter of Violence consigned by Randy Bradshaw, Agent, went to Karl & Cathi Glassman, Eddie Plesa, Agent, for $280,000. The chestnut filly, who worked an eighth in :10 flat on Monday, is a half-sister to stakes-winner Appealing Spring out of Pretty Springs, by Wekiva Springs.
Hip No. 7, a son of Candy Ride (ARG) consigned by Six K’s Training & Sales LLC, Agent, went to Frank Fletcher Racing Stables for $250,000. The dark bay or brown colt, who breezed a quarter last Sunday in :21 flat, is out of Kenny Lane, by Forestry, a half-sister to graded stakes- placed stakes-winner Wasseema.
Hip No. 286, a daughter of Street Boss whose eighth in :9 4/5 was co-fastest at the distance on Monday, was sold for $230,000 to Steven W. Young, Agent. The chestnut filly, consigned by Grassroots Training & Sales LLC, is out of Pride of Place, by A.P. Indy, a full sister to Gr. I stakes-winner Flashing.
Jonathan Thomas, Agent, went to $225,000 for Hip No. 149, a bay colt by Blame out of Mommo, by Speightstown, from the family of Gr. I stakes-winner Siphonic. Consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc., (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, his quarter in :20 4/5 was co-fastest at the distance at Sunday’s Under Tack session.
E.B., Agent for West Point Thoroughbreds, Inc. went to $200,000 for Hip No. 2, a son of Not This Time out of stakes-winner Karen’s Silk, by High Cotton. The chestnut colt, who turned in an Under Tack eighth in :10 1/5 on Sunday, was consigned by Gene Recio, Agent.
Hip No. 172, a son of Twirling Candy consigned by Cary Frommer LLC, Agent, was sold to Mike McCarty for $200,000. The bay colt, who breezed an eighth on Sunday in :10 1/5, is out of My Curlina, by Belong to Me, a half-sister to graded stakes-placed Victory Nor Defeat.
Hip No. 264, an Irish-bred daughter of Lope de Vega who breezed a quarter in :21 2/5 on Monday, went to Gold Mark Farm LLC for $200,000. The bay filly, consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent, is out of Pirate Cove, by Lawman, and is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner High Heeled.
Hip No. 1235, a son of Candy Ride (ARG) consigned by Coastal Equine LLC (Jesse Hoppel), Agent, was sold to Clay Scherer, Agent for Flurry Racing Stable LLC, for $200,000. The bay colt, who worked an eighth in :10 flat on Sunday, is a half-brother to graded stakes-winner J Boys Echo and a half-brother to current 3-year-old Echo Town, winner of three of five starts and second by a head in the Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn.
For the day, 133 horses brought a total of $12,166,500 compared with 166 selling for a total of $15,346,000 at last year’s opening session. The average price was $91,477, compared to $92,446 in 2019 while the median price was $50,000, compared with $55,000 a year ago. The buyback percentage was 30.7%; it was 21.3% last year.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $2.3 Million Wednesday at Gulfstream Park.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 18th day Sunday, and multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $29,043. TheWednesday sequence will span Races 5-10, including an allowance for 3-year-olds in the Race 9 feature.
The Patrick Biancone-trained duo of Ete Indien, the Gr. II Fountain of Youth winner and Gr. I Florida Derby third-place finisher, and Sole Volante, the Gr. III Sam F. Davis winner and Gr. II Tampa Bay Derby runner-up, have been entered in the mile allowance, which will also feature the return to action of Florida Derby runner-up Shivaree.
Stakes-winners Soros and With Verve, as well as recent winners Jesus’s Team and Hard Lighting, are also entered.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will be kicked off by a five-furlong maiden special weight race for 2-year-old fillies on the grass. Trainer Wesley Ward has two entrants – Amanzi Yimpilo, an Irish-bred daughter of No Nay Never who was bought at the 2019 Keeneland September sale for $300,000, and Shan’s Tiger, a daughter of Tale of the Cat owned by breeder Rodney Orr.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented by Lady Quintessa, a daughter of Munnings, while trainer Mark Casse will send out Baby Mo, a daughter of Upstart.
La Australiana Pulls off 14-1 Upset in Treasure Coast
La Australiana surged late with a wide rally to pull off a 14-1 upset in Sunday’s $60,000 Treasure Coast. Trained by Juan Carlos Avila and owned by former Major League All-Star Victor Martinez, the connections of Kentucky Derby prospect King Guillermo, La Australiana rated well off the early pace that was contested by Always Shopping and Helping Lisa D through early fractions of :23.46 and :46.89 seconds in the 1 1/8-mile overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares.
Jockey Leonel Reyes sent La Australiana seven-wide leaving the turn into the homestretch, and the 4-year-old daughter of Australia kicked in through the lane to prevail over a late- rallying Olympic Games by a neck. Zarina finished third, another 1 ¼ lengths back.
La Australiana ran 1 1/8 miles over a firm turf course in 1:47.63 to notch her first stakes victory.
Tobys Heart, co-owned by Terry Hamilton and trainer Bryan Lynch, broke slowly in her debut in a $79,000 maiden special test today at Churchill Downs, then caught the leaders on the turn, took charge turning for home and bounded away to a 6-3/4 length score.
The victory was worth $45,400 for the 2-year-old daughter of Jack Milton, who had turned in an Under Tack eighth in :10 1/5 and was purchased for $45,000 by Alistair Roden Bloodstock out of the Bold Arrow Thoroughbreds consignment at the 2020 OBS March Sale.
LAUREL, MD - The Stronach 5, which has consistently offered a strong return on investment, returns Friday with a $100,000 guaranteed pool, an industry-low 12-percent takeout, and races from Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park
The five-race sequence will begin at approximately 3:51 ET when 11 maiden 3-year-olds go to post in Laurel’s seventh race, a 1 1/16-mile turf event. Laurel’s eighth race, also a turf event, will serve as the third leg of the Stronach 5. The sequence will conclude with Santa Anita’s fourth race, a turf event for fillies and mares.
Friday’s races and sequence
Leg One – Laurel Park 7th Race: (11 entries, 5 1/2 furlongs turf) 3:51 ET, 12:51 PT
Leg Two –Gulfstream Park 9th Race: (9 entries, 1 1/16 mile) 4:13 ET, 1:13 PT
Leg Three –Laurel Park 8th Race: (13 entries, 1 1/16 mile turf) 4:25 ET, 1:25 PT
Leg Four –Golden Gate Fields 3rd Race: (8 entries, 5 furlongs) 4:54 ET, 1:54 PT
Leg Five –Santa Anita Park 4th race: (9 entries, 1 mile turf) 5:09 ET, 2:09 PT
The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday.
If a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes.
HALLANDALE BEACH - The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $1.8 million today at Gulfstream Park.
The multi-race wager went unsolved for the 13th consecutive racing day Saturday, when multiple ticket with all six winners were each worth $140,821. The huge payoff came after Sunsation ($112.20) won the 10th race and Atakan ($105.60) won the 11th and final leg of the sequence.
The 11th race payoff also resulted in a Super Hi 5 carryover of $24,651.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-11, including the featured six-furlong optional claiming allowance carded as Race 8. Multiple stakes-winners Royal Squeeze and First Deal are prominent contenders in the field of six older horses.
Spring Meet Stakes Action Gears Up Next Weekend
The Spring Meet stakes action at Gulfstream Park gears up next weekend with four stakes scheduled. The $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up; the $100,000 Ginger Punch, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Florida-bred fillies and mares; and the $75,000 Game Face, a 6 ½-furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies, will be run next Saturday. The $60,000 Treasure Coast, a 1 1/8-mile overnight stakes on turf for fillies and mares, will be featured next Sunday.
Since 'Notes From North and South' hasn't been part of this space for a long time, how about a one-time return.
Note No. 1: One of the puzzling oddities of the sport is that every facet of the game is dissected, bisected and trisected from every angle by writers, bettors, management, various organizations and the vast horde of on-line tweeters and others who make comments - pro and con - at the end of the many racing columns they agree or disagree with. But nobody comments, at least publicly, on the errors that are apparent in a myriad of Equibase's race charts.
Serious bettors use the Equibase charts as if they are a bible, spotlighting final times, fractions, lengths behind at every call in the race, type of trip and a bevy of other stats. So, if there are errors in a chart, it can make a huge difference in how the big bettors attack the race.
Remember many years ago when Steven Crist led a crusade to report the fractions in hundredths instead of tenths so handicappers could get a better picture of the race? He got it done.
Latest case in point. In yesterday's fifth race at Tampa Bay Downs, David Flores achieved a rare accomplishment in a game that doesn't boast of that many rare accomplishments. Most of what runners or jockeys accomplish has been achieved many times before. But David, who has been living in Ocala since his retirement in 2017, won the race with a superior ride aboard Calypso Key. The accomplishment? David is also the trainer of the 5-year-old mare owned and bred by Firefly Racing.
I've seen jockey-trainer combos in the past, but not often. Clyde Martin comes to mind, and I think Robbie Davis did it for a while, too, but I'm not positive about him. Flores shot Calypso Key out of the gate and they raced in third place all the way down the backstretch before he slipped her through on the inside to win it. My problem? The Equibase chart has the mare in fifth place at the half, and it just wasn't so - she was third. So Calypso Key's position is incorrect at that juncture, as is the number of lengths she was behind the leader. For the once-in-a-while bettor, it won't make a difference. For the serious guys, only they know.
Another place where the Equibase chart-callers are extremely delinquent is in 'lengths behind,' usually down the backstretch. I have watched MANY horses who have been 16 to 20 lengths out of it after negotiating the first turn, or coming out of the chute, and the chart later has it as 12 or 13 or 14 lengths. I've seen many more where a horse was 10 lengths behind and the chart later showed it as 7 or 8 lengths. And these are races that I've re-checked one or more times to make sure I wasn't mistaken - and I wasn't.
Back in the early 90s, when I was the Florida breeding columnist for Racing Times, there were charts in my paper and in Daily Racing Form, constructed by each company's different chart-callers. I used to check both every day and found a great many differences between the calls in the two papers.
Note No. 2 - Flores retired in 2017 with 3,608 winners and purses earned of more than $150 million. He has been training for Firefly at Classic Mile in Ocala, and after Calypso Key ran poorly for two other jockeys, he came out of retirement and has been aboard the mare in her last four trips. Before yesterday he previously posted a second with her back on April 1. Last year, David was the trainer of Higgins, a back-to-back winner at Tampa on March 15 and April 14. His Mexican friend Jesus Castanon was the rider.
Note No. 3 - After 13 or 14 years riding in this country, super French jockey Julien Leparoux still can't get announcers and analysts to pronounce his name correctly. It's not Leppa-roo, as so many say, or Lay-paroo, which the rest spout. It's Le-paroo. The only two who have ever had it right are announcer Larry Collmus and analyst and handicapper Bob Neumeier. (I miss Larry Collmus).
Note No. 4 - Churchill Downs' latest announcer, Travis Stone, does an excellent job. His voice sounds a lot like Dave Johnson.
Note No. 5 - In Friday's eighth race at Tampa, a $5,000 claimer, Ronnie Allen guided Sum Overture from behind and into second place. Sum Overture went off at 126-1 and paid $80.80 to place and $27.60 to show.
Enough notes for now.
Blue Heaven Farm’s two-time OBS graduate Starship Jubilee has been named Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion female turf horse at the 45th annual Sovereign Awards ceremony.
Never off the board in seven starts in 2019, the now 7-year-old daughter of Indy Wind posted four stakes victories, three in graded stakes company. She took the Gr. II Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga in August, the Gr. II Canadian Stakes at Woodbine in September and came right back a month later to score in Woodbine’s Gr. I E. P. Taylor Stakes.
She’s off to a good start in 2020, winning all three starts including the Gr. III Suwanee River at Gulfstream and the Gr. II Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs. Trained by Kevin Attard, she has compiled a 35-17-5-3 career record and earned $1,498,667 to date.
At her first visit to OBS, she was purchased for $6,500 by Laurence F. Leavy out of The Acorn consignment at the 2014 August Yearling Sale. She was next consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm to the 2015 April Sale, but she was an RNA at $34,000.
HALLANDALE BEACH - A jackpot pool guarantee of $900,000 in the 20-cent Rainbow will greet bettors when action returns to Gulfstream Park with a live 10-race program on Thursday. First race post time is 12:45 p.m.
The multi-race wager went unsolved Sunday, and multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $18.48. The winning tickets included three "alls" due to scratches, leading to the low payoff.
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 spans Races 5-11 and includes three races scheduled for the grass which attracted 43 entries, an average of 14.3 horses per race.
The feature comes in Race 9, a $48,000 optional claiming allowance for 4-year-olds and up sprinting 6 ½ furlongs. Admiral Lynch, third by a neck in the 2019 Gr. III Chick Lang and second by less than a length last out in the Gr. III World of Trouble Sprint on Feb. 22 at, is the narrow 3-1 program choice.
NOTES: Jockey Luis Saez registered a riding triple Sunday aboard Geonosis ($3) in Race 5, Sniper Shot ($4) in Race 7 and Just Whistle ($10.40) in the $75,000 Sunday Silence for 4-year-olds and up in Race 9. … Irad Ortiz Jr. won twice, with R U Lucky ($3.60) in Race 3 and Unrighteous ($2.80) in Race 4. Sniper Shot and Unrighteous are both trained by Todd Pletcher. … Jockey Victor Lebron swept the late daily double with Helping Lisa D ($11.40) in Race 10 and The Great Kath ($22.60) in Race 11.
With the Oaklawn Park season already finished, racing has been held to just four tracks in recent days - Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs in the east, along with Fonner Park in Nebraska and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma. That line-up ends today with the re-opening of four additional venues.
Gulfstream Park continues its run with a 1 p. m. first post and will have the benefit of being the only track taking bets for its first six or seven races. Tampa Bay Downs doesn't race on Thursdays.
Santa Anita will be next with a 3:30 post for its nine-race card, followed by Golden Gate Fields with a 3:45 start and another a nine-race program, along with Santa Anita. At 7 p. m., Charles Town kicks off with its nine-race card and Remington Park goes with a strong 11-race card. Based on the success of Fonner Park and Will Rogers Downs, the three newbies, other than Santa Anita, should be able to compete with some degree of success, too. It will be interesting to see which achieves the highest handle.
On Saturday, Churchill Downs will be added to the wagering menu, and the New Yorkers are out in force trying to get Gov. Cuomo to allow racing at Belmont Park in advance of the opening of Saratoga.
HALLANDALE BEACH - Multiple winning tickets in Saturday’s mandatory payout of Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 were each worth $31,476.
The sequence included Halladay winning the $75,000 Sunshine Forever and ended with 27-1 shot Areyoutalkingtome winning the 12th and final race and returning $57.
The multi-race wager had gone unsolved for 10 days since an April 19 mandatory payout. There was a carryover jackpot pool of $1,481,488 at the start of wagering on Saturday.
The Rainbow 6 starts anew today with a $100,000 guaranteed pool. There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover of $17,662 in the first race. First-race post time is set for 1 p.m.
CONSTITUTION WELL-REPRESENTED by HYPERFOCUS in DEBUT
Repole Stable’s Hyperfocus debuted victoriously Saturday, providing red-hot sire Constitution with his first winner from his second foal crop.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Hyperfocus rated behind a hotly-contested pace set by Breakthrough and pressed by Peppi in the 4 ½-dash for 2-year-olds. After racing somewhat greenly in the stretch, Hyperfocus straightened out and kicked in to pass the tiring pacesetters to score by 1 ¼ lengths under Irad Ortiz Jr.
The son of 2014 Florida Derby winner Constitution raced 4 ½ furlongs in :52.63 seconds as the 5-2 second choice. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September sale.
Peppi held on for second, 4 ¾ lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite Breakthrough, who was the first runner for 2016 Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.