Thursday, February 16 2012
Force Freeze Returns in Gulfstream Sprint Championship
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Saeed Naser al Romalthi’s 7-year-old gelding Force Freeze, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs last fall, will be the likely favorite in Saturday’s $150,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G2) going seven furlongs in a field of eight older horses that also includes Rosemary Rausch and David Zell’s 6-year-old gelding Capt. Candyman Can..
Jockey Paco Lopez gets back aboard Force Freeze for trainer Peter Walder as the Kentucky-bred by Forest Camp makes his first start since finishing a game second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5 when beaten a neck by Amazombie, who was later voted Eclipse champion sprinter.
Her Smile Returns in Hurricane Bertie Sunday for New Connections
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Stronach Stable’s 4-year-old filly Her Smile was last seen under silks finishing a game third behind Musical Romance in the $1 million Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. She’s set to resume her career Sunday as one of the favorites in a field of seven fillies and mares drawn for the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Her Smile will be wearing different colors than she did in the Breeders’ Cup when she raced for owner Bobby Flay and trainer Todd Pletcher. Days later she was purchase by Frank Stronach for $1 million at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sales. The daughter of Include returns with Chad Brown as trainer and leading rider Javier Castellano named to ride in Sunday’s 6 ½-furlong test.
Animal Kingdom to Make 2012 Debut Saturday at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner, will make his first start of 2012 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday afternoon.
Trainer Graham Motion entered last year’s Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old in a $60,000 turf allowance, carded as the fifth race on an 11-race program. Owned by Team Valor International, Animal Kingdom has been training strongly at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s state-of-the-art training center in Boynton Beach, for his 2012 debut.
Gulfstream Today: 2.15.12
Trainer Christopher Clement unveiled a future stakes performer in the featured ninth race, a $64,000 allowance won in impressive fashion by Future Generation ($7).
Making her first start in the U.S., the 4-year-old son of Hurricane Run stalked the early pace before kicking in through the stretch to draw off to victory under a hand ride by Rajiv Maragh.
Union Rags & Algorithms Lead Cast for Fountain of Youth
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park Racing Secretary Dan Bork has released nominations to five graded stakes to be run over the Feb. 25-26 weekend with highlights including a meeting of leading Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls Union Rags and Algorithms in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and 2011 Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly Royal Delta and 5-year-old mare Awesome Maria in the $100,000 Sabin Stakes (G3).
The Fountain of Youth, to be run that Sunday at 1 1/16 miles, is coming up very strong with Chadds Ford Stable’s Champagne Stakes (G1) hero and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Union Rags set to face off against Starlight Racing’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3) winner Algorithms in a race that will point out leading contenders for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) here on March 31.
Sunday, February 12 2012
Gulfstream Today: 2.12.12
Frank Calabrese’s 3-year-old filly Sabrina’s Dance broke sharply from the inside one post under jockey Jose Lezcano in Sunday’s $60,000 Madcap Escapade Stakes at Gulfstream Park going five furlongs on turf, took command in the far turn, and held a safe margin of 1 ¼ lengths over James K. Chapman and Sonia Chapman’s 2-to-1 favorite Alydarla in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies.
A daughter of Werblin, Sabrina’s Dance was a $1,700 OBS October weanling purchase for previous connections and was purchased privately shortly after winning her career debut at Calder Race Course in May for a $25,000 claiming tag and placed with trainer Nick Canani.
Sabrina’s Dance Back on Top in Madcap Escapade
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Frank Calabrese’s Sabrina’s Dance avenged a recent allowance loss to Alydarla and became a stakes winner in the process Sunday at Gulfstream Park, capturing the $60,000 Madcap Escapade under jockey Jose Lezcano.
The 3-year-old daughter of Werblin, who lost to Alydarla by a neck last month, held off that rival Sunday by 1 ¼ lengths after again setting the pace in the five-furlong turf stakes.
Snow Top Mountain Captures Suwannee River
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - The sun was shining on Gulfstream Park ‘s turf course, labeled good after a week of thunder showers, for Snow Top Mountain to capture the Suwannee River Handicap (G3). The grey mare completed the 1 1/8 miles stake in 1:52.86, a half length over Hit It Rich and Gold d’Oro.
The 5-year-old mare rated off the pace in seventh, 1 ½ lengths off the leader Speak Easy Gal. Snow Top Mountain got within a half length of the lead after running three-quarters of a mile before jockey Jose Lezcano, looking for some running room, swung the grey mare wide to ensure a clear path and was victorious by a half length.
Get Stormy Wires the Field in Gulfstream Turf ‘Cap
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Sullimar Stable’s Get Stormy got started on his Grade 1-winning form right off the bat for 2012, cruising to a wire-to-wire victory in the 1 1/8-mile $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1).
Get Stormy‘s victory in the Turf Handicap capped the four stakes races on the February 11 card, with Thunder Moccasin taking the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2), Snow Top Mountain capturing the $150,000 Suwannee River (G3), and Hymn Book conquering the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1).
Thunder Moccasin Powers Home for Hutcheson Triumph
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Favored Thunder Moccasin thundered down the stretch to pull away to a 6 ¾-length score in the 7-furlong $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) over a good track, scoring his first graded stakes victory in his second start and remaining undefeated.
“He broke half a step slow but it worked out perfectly because I was able to get great position outside of the other speed. I wanted to make a quick move on the turn to try to surprise the other horse and it worked,” jockey John Velazquez said. “He runs so hard every step of the way.”
Hymn Book a Main-track Attraction After Donn Victory
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – As Hymn Book stormed through the stretch to a hard-fought nose triumph in Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park, trainer Shug McGaughey had to be thankful for a rainy day in New York back in May.
Hymn Book ($15) had followed in his mother Vespa’s hoof prints and proved to be a very useful, if not dominating, racehorse on turf, able to scratch out several victories and on-the-board finishes in the allowance ranks.
Pletcher Reaches 3000-Win Career Milestone
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Eight-time defending Gulfstream Park training champion Todd Pletcher attained a career milestone Saturday, notching his 3000th victory by saddling Spring Hill Farm for a trip to the Gulfstream winner’s circle in the third race.
“It gives you a little time to reflect. There’s not many opportunities to reflect in this business, but milestones like this gives you a chance to appreciate all of them,” Pletcher said following a winner’s circle ceremony that drew an enthusiastic ovation from the fans.