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Thursday, July 25, 2013


Gulfstream News & Notes


Starship Truffles Back With Trainer Marty Wolfson at Gulfstream
Fawkes Sets Schedule for Bahamian Squall, Apriority
Nicks Hopes to Make ‘Memories’ in Turf Allowance
Quincy Hamilton to Ride at Gulfstream


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Starship Truffles left trainer Marty Wolfson’s barn only long enough to be sold for $1 million at auction before returning to the Gulfstream Park backstretch.

The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper was sent back to Wolfson by new owner Castleton Lyons the day after being the sales-topper at the Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale on July 15. Starship Truffles, whose broodmare value shot through the roof when she captured the Grade 1 Princess Rooney on July 6, had been purchased last summer by Chasing Tails Stables for $25,000.

Wolfson has built a reputation for having a magic touch with fillies and mares.

“We’ve done it with numerous mares, but that was probably the biggest ratio,” Wolfson said. “We claimed one for $75,000 and sold for $800,000 within six months – Ask the Moon, who won two Grade 1s. Jessica Is Back we claimed for $50,000 and she won $800,000, and we sold her for $500,000. Golden Mystery we bought for $100,000 and she earned $500,000, and she sold for $625,000. It’s what we do.”

Starship Truffles is being pointed to the $500,000 Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 23. Meanwhile, Wolfson has high hopes for a new addition to his stable in Sure Route, a 5-year-old mare who was claimed for $100,000 at Saratoga on Monday.

“I think she’ll be a real nice stakes filly here,” Wolfson said.

Although he gets the most satisfaction from working with fillies and mares with the goal of increasing their residual values, Wolfson’s success has hardly been limited to distaffers. The 61-year-old trainer, who saddled Miesque’s Approval for a victory in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), achieved Grade 1 success this year with Swagger Jack, a two-time allowance winner at Gulfstream last winter who captured the Carter (G1) Handicap at Aqueduct in April.

Swagger Jack is being pointed to the $100,000 Housebuster at Gulfstream on Aug. 3. The seven-furlong stakes is also expected to attract Jackson Bend, Fort Loudon, Grande Shores, Bellefire and Apriority.

Fawkes Sets Schedule for Brothers

Trainer David Fawkes has let their respective performances in the recent Smile Handicap (G2) decide the immediate futures of half-brothers Bahamian Squall and Apriority. Bahamian Squall, who captured the six-furlong sprint by 1¾ lengths, told his trainer that he’s ready for Grade 1 company, while Apriority, who finished an uncharacteristic 10th, indicated that he might need a confidence builder.

While Fawkes points Bahamian Squall to the $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 4, he plans to run his big brother in the Housebuster on Aug. 3.

“I don’t know how much of a confidence-builder it’s going to be,” Fawkes said. “It looks like it’s going to be a tough race, but he’s doing good and he likes this track.”

The 6-year-old Apriority, who is winless since capturing the Mr. Prospector (G3) Stakes at Gulfstream on Dec. 31, 2011, has been racing almost exclusively in graded stakes for the past couple years.
“I think he has something left,” Fawkes said. “He looks too good; he trains too good.”

The 4-year-old Bahamian Squall, who captured his debut at Gulfstream on Feb. 5, 2012, won the Sunshine States Stakes, finished second in the Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint and checked in third in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G3) during the winter meeting before winning the Smile.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the best yet. I think he still has a ways to go,” Fawkes said.

Bahamian Squall and Apriority were bred and are owned by Donald Dizney, who will be represented in Saturday’s co-featured eighth race by Four Aria. The 3-year-old homebred daughter of Northern Afleet posted a front-running six-length maiden victory in her second career start last time out. In her debut, she set the pace after steadying at the start and faded to third behind stablemate Hot Coffee, a Harold Queen homebred filly who is also entered to compete in Saturday’s $35,000 optional claiming allowance.

“Both of those horses are doing well. I expect both of them to run really well,” Fawkes said. “It’s unfortunate they have to run against each other.”

Fawkes’ lightly raced fillies will concede a significant experience edge to several of their rivals, including Grand Illumination, in the six-furlong sprint. The Peter Walder-trained 5-year-old mare, who has won six of 29 career starts, was claimed for $7,500 out of her most recent race at Churchill Downs on June 23. The daughter of Speightstown won by nearly 8 ½ lengths.

“She’s settled in nicely. She picked up feeding program right away; she picked up the training program right away,” said Walder, whose new addition has also won at Lone Star and Fair Grounds this year. “It’s a little bit of a step-up. She was claimed for $7,500 and now she’s in an optional $16,000 (claiming allowance). Why not give it a shot, especially the way she won last time?”

Nicks Hopes to Make ‘Memories’ in Turf Allowance

Trainer Ralph Nicks is splitting his time between Gulfstream Park and Saratoga Race Course, alternating weeks between his two divisions. This week, the 46-year-old trainer is spending it at Gulfstream, where he’ll saddle Memories Made for a start in the co-featured ninth race, a $35,000 turf allowance.

“She’s obviously not a super horse or she’d be at Saratoga. Everything needs to go her way,” Nicks said. “She’s always run really well here. It’s another reason why we left her down here.”

The 4-year-old daughter of Perfect Soul, who won over the Gulfstream Park turf in February, came off a three-month layoff to finish third at Gulfstream on July 4, when she got untracked too late in the stretch.

“She’s a longer-run kind of horse, rather than a short run, so when they try to save a lot of ground with her sometimes it backfires on you,” Nicks said. “She’s steady. She doesn’t have that Corvette kind of acceleration. She has that Volkswagen Bug acceleration.”

Nicks reported that Aubby K, who captured the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream last winter before a victory in the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs, is training well at Saratoga for a scheduled start in the Ballerina.

Hamilton to Ride at Gulfstream

Jockey Quincy Hamilton, who's ridden more than 1,300 winners, is on his way to Gulfstream Park.

Hamilton, a 29-year-old native of Jasper. Texas, is heading south from Arlington Park, where he had won seven of 31 races.

"He's moving his family to Ocala and he's excited about riding at Gulfstream," said agent Dick Diego. "He heard about how things were going here and he wanted to come down and be a part of it."

Hamilton was leading rider in 2011 at Sam Houston.



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