Sunday, April 08, 2012

Gulfstream Today: 4.7.12

Virginia Kraft Payson’s 4-year-old homebred filly Ruthenia took a stalking position in second up the backstretch of Saturday’s sixth race allowance feature at Gulfstream Park as Midwest Thoroughbreds’ 7-to-5 favorite Silver Prism set the pace in the 1 1/16 miles turf test before wearing that rival down to score by 1 ¾ lengths under jockey Luis Saez.

It was one of five winners on the day for Saez.

A daughter of Pulpit trained by Christophe Clement, Ruthenia was making her first start since finishing second in the Pago Hop Stakes at Fair Grounds on Nov. 26 after placing in three stakes at Belmont Park and Saratoga last spring and summer. She is a full-sister to the owner-breeder’s top-class filly Rutherienne, a Grade 1 winner of $1.3 million for Clement a few years back.

Ruthenia paid $8.20 for $2 to win and was timed the distance in 1:43:94 over the ‘firm’ course. Tommy Ligon’s Write When Ready rallied well for third, just a nose behind the runner-up in the field of eight fillies and mares.

“She’s not very big, but she is a very good filly,” Clement said. “She’s about the same size as her sister (Rutherienne). They are very similar. I didn’t give the jockey (Luis Saez) any instructions and he rode her perfectly. She’ll go to New York and her next start will probably be in a stakes race.”

After leaving the Gulfstream winners’ circle after Ruthenia’s victory, Clement rushed to the trainers’ lounge in time to watch a replay from Keeneland as another of his charge’s, Peter Deutsch’s 3-year-old colt Summer Breezing, romped to an easy victory in the seventh race allowance and was in the winners’ circle at the same time as Ruthenia.

Quote of the Day: “I knew today would be my day. I felt today I would win some races. This is the first time I’ve won five races in a day. Last year I won three.” Jockey Luis Saez.

Who’s Hot: Saez, who rode five winners on the 12-race card, beginning with Edge Ahead in the second, followed by Ruthenia in the sixth, Lemons to Lemonade in the eighth, Impartial in the ninth and Fast Time in the 11th race. Ruthenia and Impartial are trained by Christophe Clement.

Work of the Day: Luis Olivares’ 5-year-old gelding Tackleberry drilled a ‘bullet’ half-mile in 48 flat Saturday morning at Calder Race Course, fastest of 79 horses timed at the distance, in preparation for his next start in the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G1) in West Virginia on Saturday evening, Apr. 14.

A Florida-bred gelding by Montbrook, Tackleberry finished a game second last out to Mucho Macho Man in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on Mar. 10 in his first start since the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in late May. Tackleberry emerged as a South Florida fan favorite winning three stakes during the Gulfstream meet early last year, including the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

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