Friday, April 10 2009
Barn Notes - Fla Derby 1,2 prep
Quality Road, Dunkirk Keep on Edge
Quality Road and Dunkirk, 1,2 in their March 28 match in the Grade 1 Blackberry Florida Derby, put in workouts Friday morning toward what their connections hope will be their next meeting, the May 2 Kentucky Derby.
Richard Evans’ Quality Road finished 1¾ lengths ahead of Dunkirk in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, a race that appears in the past performances of 21 Kentucky Derby winners since its inception in 1952.
Thursday, April 09 2009
Barn Notes 4-8-2009
Pastel Gal Carries Sackatoga Colors into Deep South Beach Water
Trainer Barclay Tagg and Sackatoga Stable general partner Jack Knowlton thought that 5-year-old Pastel Gal earned a chance in a black-type race after two come-from-behind allowance victories this season at Gulfstream Park, and Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes at 7½ furlongs on turf was their chosen target.
“It looks like the water is pretty deep in there,” said Knowlton Thursday morning. “But we’re here and she’s never been better, so we’ll take our chances. I talked to Robin (assistant trainer Robin Smullen) after the entries came out and she said that it looked like a Grade 2 stakes.
Full Field of 14 Set for Sunday’s Wide-Open South Beach
Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old mare Flibberjibbit finished a game third behind I Lost My Choo last out in the Honey Fox Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 7, and will be among the favorites in a field of 14 fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes.
Jockey Elvis Trujillo gets the call on Flibberjibit for trainer Marty Wolfson in the 7½-furlong turf test and will not have to face I Lost My Choo again – that rival was entered in Saturday’s Jenny Wiley Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Wednesday, April 08 2009
Barn Notes 4-7-2009
Gulfstream Outrider to Accompany Quality Road to Post for Kentucky Derby
When Edward P. Evans’s Florida Derby (G1) hero Quality Road takes to the track for the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs in three weeks it will fulfill a dream for his connections as well as the rider on the pony guiding the 3-year-old beneath the Twin Spires.
Gulfstream Park’s outrider Lisa Wintermote and her 9-year-old Quarter Horse pony Hollywood will have the honor of leading Quality Road to and from the barn that week and will march alongside in the post parade to the strains of “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Monday, April 06 2009
Barn Notes 4-5-2009
Confident ‘Vixen’ Ready to Tackle South Beach
Trainer Joe Orseno has been patiently waiting for Reata Thoroughbred Racing Farm’s Reata’s Vixen to come around. Apparently the 4-year-old filly simply needed a confidence boost and now she’s poised for a strong effort in the $50,000 South Beach Stakes at 7½ furlongs on turf Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Sligo Bay won a $35,000 claiming race on turf on Feb. 26 to snap a 10-race losing streak. She built off that effort to be third in an allowance race on Mar. 22, and Orseno says it is all part of a plan.
Saturday, April 04 2009
Barn Notes 4-4-2009
Gulfstream Park Handicap Winner Smooth Air Texas-Bound
Mount Joy Stable’s 4-year-old Florida homebred Smooth Air, winner of the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) last out on Mar. 14, will likely make his next start in the $300,000 Texas Mile (G3) at Lone Star Park on Apr. 25, according to trainer Ben Stutts Jr.
“We considered the race at Charles Town (Classic, 1 1/8 miles on Apr. 18), which (as Smooth air is a Grade 2 winner) would have been worth $750,000 if he won it,” said Stutts Saturday morning, “but with all things considered and the major goals ahead, we decided on the Texas race at one mile around two turns.
Finallymadeit Has His Day in Skip Away Saturday
Making his sixth start of the Gulfstream Park meet, all in stakes, Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing’s 5-year-old broke through to the winners’ circle after a dominating wire-to-wire performance winning the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) by 8¼ lengths under regular rider Eduardo Nunez.
Trained by Javier Negrete, the Florida homebred chestnut by Concerto has earned the nickname ‘Iron Horse’ the last few seasons in South Florida and ran very well to finish second in the Donn Handicap (G1) early in the meet and second again in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) three weeks ago, but remained without a victory this year.
Friday, April 03 2009
Barn notes 4-3-2209
Rick Pitino Takes Time for Horse Hobby at Gulfstream
With the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s college basketball fans stirred into a frenzy after the elimination of top-seeded University of Louisville from the NCAA men’s tournament and the hiring of a new coach at the University of Kentucky, Louisville’s coach Rick Pitino escaped the storm for a few hours indulging his passion for horse racing Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The 56-year-old coach is one of the principle partners in Ol Memorial Stable. He was at the track to see his 3-year-old filly In Debt Joanne go for her second career win in a 5 ½-furlong claiming race.
Thursday, April 02 2009
Barn Notes 4-2-2009
Cool Gator Could Heat Up April for Orseno
With a five-win day last year Joe Orseno earned the distinction of being the leading trainer in the month of April at Gulfstream Park. This year the focus will be slightly different and he hopes Garland Williamson’s Cool Gator can start the month in a big way in the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) Saturday.
“Instead of winning five in one day, we’re going to try and win as many stakes as we can,” said Orseno as he mapped out plans for two or three of his best horses.
Wednesday, April 01 2009
Finallymadeit the Center of Attention in Skip Away
Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing’s 5-year-old homebred Finallymadeit has earned his nickname as South Florida’s ‘Iron Horse’ over the last three years, often performing well above expectations, but he will get plenty of attention in Saturday’s $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Regular jockey Eduardo Nunez will be back aboard Finallymadeit for trainer Javier Negrete in the 1 3/16 miles test after a solid runner-up effort behind Smooth Air going one mile last out in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on Mar. 14 at odds of 10-1, his sixth start of the meet without winning.
Barn Notes 4-1, 2009
Finallymadeit May Finally Be Favorite in Skip Away
At every turn this winter Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing’s Finallymadeit has been sticking his unheralded nose into the picture of Gulfstream Park’s biggest races, but Saturday the 5-year-old homebred son of Concerto will have the focus on him as he tries to speed away with the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) at 1 3/16 miles.
The race will be Finallymadeit’s sixth of the meet. Like clockwork the chestnut Florida-bred has seemingly shown up every time a big pot was on the table regardless of distance, surface or class.
Monday, March 30 2009
One Caroline Remains Perfect After Rampart Romp Sunday
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s brilliant 4-year-old filly One Caroline ran her undefeated career record to five-for-five Sunday at Gulfstream Park after a dominating wire-to-wire victory in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G2), coasting home 6½ lengths ahead of Darley Stable’s 22-1 longshot Sea Chanter.
Jockey Edgar Prado had One Caroline in front shortly after a somewhat awkward break in the 1 1/8 miles test, and had plenty left when challengers got close nearing the stretch, drawing clear effortlessly. The roan/gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song won both of her starts last year at Churchill Downs and all three at this meet for trainer Rusty Arnold, most recently the Sabin Stakes (G3) on Feb. 20.