Friday, December 30 2011


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer Graham Motion tasted victory in the Kentucky Derby this year for the first time with a horse that hadn’t even registered a blip on the national radar at this time last year.

No 2-year-old saddled by Motion will ever again evade detection from those on the lookout for Kentucky Derby prospects. Thus, when Gold Megillah cavorted to a maiden victory by more than 18 lengths over a sloppy Churchill Downs racetrack on Nov. 16, the son of Purim instantly became a serious horse to watch.

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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer Jim DiVito has had a career year in 2011, winning 70 races from 284 starters for a 25 per cent win rate while racing in Chicago most of the year and at Gulfstream Park in the winter

The veteran horseman will have an opportunity to get the New Year off to a fast start on Sunday with a starter in both the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby and $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3), both race for 3-year-olds.

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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - When Big Drama went to post for the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park last January, the betting public looked forward to an encore performance of the David Fawkes-trained speedster’s thrilling triumph in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

The odds-on-favorite didn’t disappoint, scoring by open lengths while setting a track record for six-furlongs. Two days later, Big Drama was honored with an Eclipse Award as North America’s champion sprinter.

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Ice Cream Man rang up his second victory in as many career starts in Thursday’s fourth race, a strong $53,500 entry-level allowance race. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality stalked the early pace contested by stablemate Simba’s Story and Old Guys Rule before edging away to victory by three-quarters of a length.

It was a long time between victories for Ice Cream Man, who debuted at Gulfstream on April 3 with a front-running victory by three-quarters of a length. John Velazquez rode the 4-5 favorite, who covered 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.06.

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Thursday, December 29 2011

Derby Season Gets Underway Sunday at Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park has traditionally exerted the most influence on the Triple Crown of any racetrack, and that tradition of excellence figures to be even greater in 2012 with the inauguration of another major stakes for 3-year-olds.

The inaugural running of the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby will highlight Sunday’s New Year’s Day program, offering a lucrative first step on the Road to the Kentucky Derby for 11 newly turned 3-year-olds.

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Gulfstream Park News & Notes: GP Derby and Old Hat

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - The 3-year-old class of 2012 debuts Sunday with the first running of the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby at 1 1/16 miles and a field of 11 with Michael Dubb’s Ancient Rome and Robert LaPenta’s Casual Trick among the likely choices to get early recognition on the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown trail.

Jockey Joe Rocco, Jr. gets a return call on Ancient Rome for trainer Anthony Dutrow after they teamed up to win the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at six furlongs here on opening day, Dec. 3. The son of Roman Ruler broke his maiden by 7 ¾ lengths at Delaware Park on Oct. 22 after a runner-up debut.

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Wednesday, December 28 2011

The Hunk Set for Stakes Debut in Mr. Prospector Saturday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - New Farm’s New Jersey homebred colt The Hunk looked good winning an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 10 while going wire-to-wire at six furlongs. It’s a performance that sends him to his stakes debut on a four-race win streak in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3).

Jockey Elvis Trujillo gets a return call on The Hunk for trainer Ben Perkins, Jr. as the 4-year-old son of Eclipse champion sprinter Speightstown takes the big step up in company from three allowance wins at Monmouth Park and the Gulfstream score last out when he was timed in 1:09 flat.

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Gulfstream Park News & Notes December 28, 2011

Gulfstream to Run Live Program Monday, January 2

Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino announced today it has received permission from the state to change its live racing schedule next week. Gulfsteam will now run Monday, Jan. 2 and be closed Wednesday, Jan. 4.

“We requested the change due to the incredible response we had from our fans for racing on Monday, Dec. 26,” said Gulfstream President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “With Jan. 2 being a holiday for many people, and with both Santa Anita and Aqueduct racing, we thought it was the right decision.”

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Tuesday, December 27 2011

Gulfstream Today: 12.26.11

Jacks or Better Farm’s 2-year-old homebred colt Argentine Tango made a dramatic last-to-first move under jockey Rajiv Maragh in Monday’s ‘other than’ allowance feature going one mile on turf at Gulfstream Park to score by two lengths, but lost the race after the stewards disqualified him to fourth for interference in the stretch.

A and V Investments’ El Romano was a 68-to-1 longshot in the field of nine, and was not involved in the incident, but was the beneficiary of the disqualification and paid his few backers $139.40 for $2 to win. Trained by Manny Azpurua and ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, the son of Badge of Silver finished a neck ahead of Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence even-money favorite Liquidity Trap in third.

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Friday, December 23 2011

Gulfstream Today: 12.23.11

Boys At Tosconova, second to Uncle Mo in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), won his second consecutive start, a ‘three other than’ optional/allowance feature Friday at a mile at Gulfstream Park.

Third past a :23.87 opening quarter, Boys At Tosconova took the lead approaching the turn and then held off a closing Where’s Sterling by a length while covering the distance in 1:35.62.

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Gulfstream Notes: 12.23.11 - Zito, Borel, Indiano

Zito Pointing Casual Trick to Gulfstream Park Derby

Casual Trick, an impressive maiden winner at Churchill Downs in his second career start, is being pointed to the inaugural running of the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby on Jan. 1.

“I think I’m going to run him in the Gulfstream Derby,” trainer Nick Zito said. “He only broke his maiden in his last race, but I think it’s a good place to start.”

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Paddock Proposal Gets a ‘Yes’

NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, December 22, 2011) – In what might be the first marriage proposal ever offered in the paddock at the nation’s third-oldest Thoroughbred race course, Louisiana-born jockey Anna Roberts was quick to answer “Yes” when boyfriend Will Werner, son of Fair Grounds-based trainer Ronny Werner, asked for Miss Roberts’ hand in marriage shortly after she rode in Wednesday’s final race of the afternoon.

“Will was standing in the middle of the paddock watching the replay of the race and called me over to him as I was walking back to the jockeys’ room,” recalled Roberts Thursday, speaking over the phone in the midst of a drive to Texas to meet members of her upcoming extended family.

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