Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gulfstream Today: 3.22.12

Goldrush Girl overcame early trouble and a wide journey to prevail by a neck over Woodford Lady to give trainer Ken McPeek a 1-2 finish in the third race, an entry-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

With her narrow victory in the 1-1/16-mile race, Goldrush Girl earned a trip to Keeneland for a likely start in the Ashland (G1) on April 7 with the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 4 a possibility.

Jockey Julien Leparoux was forced to steady in traffic on the first turn before rating the daughter of Political Force several lengths off pacesetter Awesome Belle. Goldrush Girl made a sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch before wearing down the stubborn pacesetter and holding off her stablemate in the stretch run.

The 6-5 favorite, who had finished a distant-but-troubled third behind highly regarded Zo Impressive at Gulfstream on Feb. 25, ran 1 1/16-miles in 1:44.26. Woodford Lady, ridden by Manny Cruz, finished a half-length ahead of Awesome Belle and jockey Jeffrey Sanchez.

Note: Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Union Rags was vanned from Palm Meadows Training Center to Gulfstream Park to school in the paddock during Thursday's first race in preparation for a start in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 31.

The Champagne (G1) victor, who captured the Fountain of Youth in hand by four lengths in his 2012 debut, was saddled with the first race participants and walked around the walking ring under the supervision of trainer Michael Matz during the running of the race.

Quote of the Day: "She'll probably go in the Ashland, and if she runs well there, we'll run her back in the Oaks. She'll run all day and the timing seems right and she's running real well," said Ken McPeek following Goldrush Girl's neck victory over stablemate Woodford Lady in the third race, a $62,750 allowance for 3-year-old fillies.

Work of the Day: Jackson Bend, who captured the Hal's Hope (G3) and finished third in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) in two starts at Gulfstream Park, turned in the fastest of 27 workouts recorded for a half mile at Palm Meadows Training Center. The Nick Zito-trained 5-year-old, who is expected to run next in the Carter (G1) at Aqueduct on April 7, was timed in :48.03.

Who's Hot: Dale Romans moved to third in the trainers' standings by saddling three winners, including Artful Run ($4) in the fourth, Saint of Saints ($3.80) in the fifth and Lily Hannah ($11) in the eighth..

Rajiv Maragh rode a trio of winners: Olympist ($9.80) in the first, Artful Run ($4) in the fourth and Perfect Tay ($8.40) in the sixth.

10-cent Rainbow 6 carryover: $298,200.29

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