Friday, March 16, 2012

Gulfstream Today: 3.16.12

Jockey Javier Castellano had another good day Friday as the leading rider at the Gulfstream meet, beginning with an easy seven-length score on WinStar Farm’s undefeated 3-year-old colt Gemologist in the third race allowance feature, confirming his status as another top Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Castellano was back in the winner’s circle three races later in the sixth race after guiding 1-to-2 favorite Pecky’s Boy to a wire-to-wire victory for his 97th victory of the session, tying the all-time record for a Gulfstream meet held jointly by Jerry Bailey (1996), Wigberto Ramos (1991) and first by Julio Pezua (1987).

A 34-year-old native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, Castellano recently celebrated another major milestone, posting his 3,000th career victory aboard Virtuously in the sixth race on Feb. 24. Castellano finished third in the standings here last year and appears odds-on to win his first Gulfstream meet title as he leads John Velazquez in second by nearly 30 tallies with a little more than three weeks to go before closing on Apr. 8.

Quote of the Day: Jockey Javier Castellano: “It’s been amazing. Going into a meet like this you really don’t know what to expect, but I’ve been blessed. This is very special. I want to thank Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown and the other trainers that have supported me and my agent Matt Muzikar deserves a lot of the credit. It’s a roller coaster game. This year has been great tying this record and riding some top Kentucky Derby prospects.

Who’s Hot: Jockey Paco Lopez and trainer Peter Walder teamed up to win the second and fifth races with Miss Martin and Forrest Bomb, respectively, and Lopez won a third for the afternoon on Gulf Ruckus in the seventh race.

Bombs Away: Sir Sparky, trained by Ralph Ziadie, won the 10th race at odds of 90-1, returning $196.60 for a $2 wager.

Work of the Day: Caroline Ferguson’s 3-year-old filly Somali Lemonade breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 on turf at Palm Meadows Friday morning for trainer Michael Matz as she appears near to making her 2012 season debut.

A Kentucky homebred daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, Somali Lemonade finished a troubled sixth last out in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, beaten only four lengths for it all while rallying from 13th of 14 early in the race

Somali Lemonade won both of her starts before the Breeders’ Cup, capturing her debut going seven furlongs on turf at Belmont Park in September and the Jessamine Stakes (G3) over the Keeneland course in mid-October.

Rainbow 6 Carryover: $176,592.71

Super Hi 5 Carryover: $34,898.83

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