Saturday, February 21, 2009


GP Barn Notes 2-21


‘Phil’ Fast Early in Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Drill

Sticking with a plan that worked last time, Paul Pompa Jr.’s 3-year-old This Ones for Phil worked six furlongs for trainer Rick Dutrow Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park with a week until his next start in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).

The Florida-bred son of Untuttable was part of a rush of workhorses just after the first renovation break under exercise rider/jockey Mario Madrid. He sizzled the early portion of the work with fractions of 22 and 34 seconds. He then leveled off on the turn, getting a half-mile in 45 2/5 before hitting the wire in 1:11 2/5.


“Mario said it went good,” said Dutrow, who took over training of the gelding in November after a private purchase and sent him to a victory in the Sunshine Millions Dash here on Jan. 24. “We wanted to try and stick with what worked going into his last race and Mario said he’s working now even better than he did then. I’m very happy with ‘Phil’ right now.”

The plan that worked last month also means This Ones for Phil may still have some work to do before his one-mile test next Saturday according to Dutrow.

“We breezed a week out last time and then gave him a blowout the morning of the race,” he said. “We will see this week, but I think I’ll stick with the same set-up. It seemed to work pretty well last time.”


Notonthesamepage Hits Mark Again in Final Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Work

In the six weeks since Gulfstream Park opened for the 2009 season, the stock of several 3-year-old prospects has risen and fallen while Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Spectacular Bid stakes winner Notonthesamepage has quietly gone about his training.

He wasn’t so quiet Saturday morning when posting a ‘bullet’ workout with a week to go before he runs in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).

Under jockey Elvis Trujillo, the homebred son of Catienus drilled five furlongs in 59 2/5 Saturday morning shortly after the first renovation break in company with his regular workmate, the 4-year-old gelding Osceola Prince.

“Right after his last race we set out a plan,” said trainer Wesley Ward. “We set out a schedule of workouts and I sent him out with the same horse every time. I know how fast that horse (Osceola Prince) can go and we’ve been working on sitting just off him. Elvis has been great at catching him right at the wire every time.”

While Ward and Trujillo have been working on getting Notonthesamepage to relax, they know they have a quick horse on their hands and expect him to be prominent early in the one-mile Fountain of Youth.

“Usually he shoots right to the front,” said Ward. “Obviously, if they go something crazy, we might not be up there. We’ve been breezing him hoping he can learn to adapt, but he’s been trained his whole life to run on the lead. I would expect that’s probably what will happen again.”


‘Jojo’ Goes Past Workmates in Final Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Breeze

On a busy morning at Gulfstream Park, Sanotowka Stables and partners’ Theregoesjojo picked his way around traffic in the 3-year-old colt’s last major workout before the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) next Saturday.

The traffic was there by design, according to trainer Ken McPeek, and the lightly raced 3-year-old son of Brahms surged ahead of two stablemates under jockey Kent Desormeaux.

Clockers timed him five furlongs in 1:01 2/5.

“We wanted to give him a target to run at and see something solid out of him,” said McPeek after the colt breezed past veteran stablemates Fitzaslew and Mr. Dr. Professor. “He got the last eighth in 12.”

McPeek is excited about Theregoesjojo ahead of his first career stakes race, but his experience tells him not to get too excited yet.

“I learned when I had Sarava not to get too excited this early (in the season) and don’t push too hard too soon,” he said referring to his upset winner of the 2002 Belmont Stakes (G1). “We didn’t even have him in training until around this time, and you don’t want to peak too soon.”

McPeek also said Silver Wing Stable’s Free Country would get a chance to redeem himself after his fourth-place finish in last week’s Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at the Fair Grounds on Sat., Mar. 14.

“He seemed to have a hard time with that surface (Tampa Bay). He came back and drank a lot of water, which is surprising for him” said McPeek of Big Country’s son, an impressive Gulfstream allowance winner earlier this season. “We’re going to try again and put it behind us. It still is February, and there’s still time to recover.”


Jambalaya Not Ready for Canadian

Kingfield Racing Stable’s Grade 1-winner Jambalaya has seen the timetable for his return from his 16-month-long injury pushed back again and will not be ready in time for the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) next Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Catherine Day-Phillips said the 7-year-old, winner of the 2007 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) and Arlington Million (G1), has not progressed enough in his training this winter in South Florida.

“Unfortunately, we’re forced to go by his schedule,” said Day-Phillips Saturday. “He’s just not coming together as quickly as I would have hoped.”

Jambalaya, a gelded son of Dynaformer, emerged from his win in the Arlington Million with a deep bone bruise. He was working toward a return last winter in Florida, but was hampered by a pulled muscle in his hind end. He had been working steadily until the last two weeks this winter and was not nominated to the Canadian Turf last Saturday.

Day-Phillips also pointed out her family’s 3-year-old filly Van Lear Rose, sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita, is back in training.

“She’s just getting back going,” she said. “I’m not sure she can be ready for anything at this meet … maybe something at the tail end. If not, we’ll get her back (to Woodbine) and go from there.”


Delightful Kiss Going Canadian Turf to Dubai Route

Trainer Pete Anderson has taken Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old gelding Delightful Kiss coast-to-coast the last two seasons for stakes engagements, banking more than $1 million along the way, and the popular one-horse stable will be going international to Dubai after a probable start in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Handicap (G3) next Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

“I’m about 80 percent to run him right now,” said Anderson Saturday morning of the chances he’ll start in the Canadian. “He went a two-minute lick this morning (at Calder) and will get the day off tomorrow. He’s ready to go. He galloped out in (1) 26 3/5 (for seven furlongs) last Sunday. Calvin (Borel) said he’d go to China to ride him, so I guess he’ll be here to ride him if he runs.”

Delightful Kiss was credited working a half-mile in 48 1/5 at Calder on Feb. 15.

“The last time he ran on turf he got a terrible trip,” recalled Anderson, referring to finishing ninth in the American Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2007 as a 3-year-old. The roan/gray Florida homebred son of Kissin Kiss failed to have enough graded-stakes earnings at the time to get into the Kentucky Derby (G1) the next day.

“He only got beat 5½ lengths for it all. I thought the race should have come off the turf (yielding), but he came back and won the Ohio Derby (G2) in his next start. He’s run well in his next race after running on turf a couple of times in the past.”

Delightful Kiss won the one-mile Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) here on opening day, Jan. 3, by three lengths and came back to finish third in the Sunshine Millions Classic last out on Jan. 24 in a good try after breaking from the far outside post 12 in the 1 1/8 miles event. Delightful Kiss is targeted for the $1 million Godolphin Mile (G2) run on the main track on Dubai World Cup Day, Sat., Mar. 28.

“The plane leaves on the 17th (of March). I’m really looking forward to it. I think he can run a mile with any horse, but if they decide they want him in the big race ($6 million World Cup at 1¼ miles), he’ll be ready for that too.”

Delightful Kiss will be on the charter flight to Dubai that will also carry Shadwell Stable’s Albertus Maximus, IEAH Stables and partners’ Kip Deville and possibly other South Florida-based stakes runners with engagements on the rich World Cup Day card.

Albertus Maximus won the Donn Handicap (G1) here on Jan. 31 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and will be among the favorites for the World Cup. Kip Deville won the Gulfstream Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 1 for trainer Rick Dutrow and will run in the $2 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.


Desormeaux & McPeek Continue Atop Gulfstream Standings

Passing the mid-point of Gulfstream Park’s 2009 season going into Saturday’s program, jockey Kent Desormeaux maintains a narrow lead in the rider standings and Ken McPeek remains on top of the trainers’ leader board.

Desormeaux has posted 31 wins, two more than second-place Julien Leparoux, followed by Jose Lezcano and Alan Garcia in a tie for third with 26 apiece. Leparoux and Garcia are making a big impression based here for the first time this winter.

Filling the next four places in the competitive standings are four former Gulfstream meet champions—Edgar Prado fifth with 23 wins, 2008 titlist Eibar Coa sixth at 22, Cornelio Velasquez seventh with 21 and John R. Velazquez eighth at 20 victories. Velasquez and Velazquez are back in action Saturday after both were in Saudi Arabia on Thursday and Friday.

McPeek has sent out 15 winners at the session, five more than Bill Mott and Todd Pletcher second with 10 each. Peter Walder ranks fourth with nine wins, followed by Marty Wolfson, Wesley Ward and Nick Zito in a three-way tie for fifth with eight apiece.

Mott has won nine Gulfstream titles and Pletcher is picking up momentum in his bid for a sixth straight trophy here this season.


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