Saturday, January 14 2012

Gulfstream Today: 1.13.12

Cumulonimble, a multiple-stakes winner trained by Wayne Catalano, returned from a 19-month layoff in winning form, closing along the rail with a late rush to prevail in the featured ninth race.

The 6-year-old mare, who hadn’t raced since winning an Illinois-bred stakes at Arlington Park on June 19, 2010, got a ground-saving trip under jockey Jose Lezcano, who found room along the inside in the stretch in time for the daughter of Stormy Atlantic to post a victory by three-quarters of a length. Kiss the Stars, ridden by Paco Lopez, finished second, a half-length ahead of Here to Run and jockey Joe Bravo.

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Friday, January 13 2012

Gulfstream News & Notes: 1.13.12

Nominations to Florida Derby & Sunshine Millions Close Saturday

Gulfstream Park Racing Secretary Dan Bork reminds horsemen that nominations to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1), the Florida Sunshine Millions program, and the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) all close on Saturday.

The races are:

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Gulfstream Today: 1.12.12

Susan Moore and M and M Thoroughbreds’ 5-year-old King Arthur went wire-to-wire under jockey Joe Rocco, Jr. in the sixth race Thursday at Gulfstream Park to break his maiden in just the second start of his career for trainer Steve Klesaris, scoring by 2 ¾ lengths over Darley Stable’s regally-bred 4-year-old Fact in the one-mile maiden special weight test on turf.

A roan/gray son of El Corredor purchased for $180,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sales, King Arthur finished fourth behind Ninja Blade in a six-furlong main track sprint here on Dec. 10 in his only previous career start. He paid $14 for $2 to win and was timed in 1:36:86 for the distance on ‘firm’ turf.

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Soaring Empire Looking to Repeat in Hal’s Hope

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Ol Memorial Stable and C. E. Glasscock’s Soaring Empire will try to score back-to-back victories in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) Saturday, a feat accomplished only once before when Chatain captured both the 2007 and 2008 runnings. Soaring Empire, a dark bay horse by Empire Maker, won the 2011 running of the one mile dirt event for his trainer Cam Gambolati, and he is looking forward to starting his 2012 campaign in good form.

“We’re looking for a good race from him,” said Gambolati. “It’s not an easy race, with Jackson Bend in there, but we hope he runs a good race.”

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Great Attack Likely Choice in Gulfstream Turf Sprint

HALLANDALE BEACH,, FL - Houyhnhnm Stable’s Great Attack ran a big race to finish fourth Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2). The 5-year-old will begin his 2012 campaign Sunday as the horse to beat in the $60,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, a five-furlong test in which he finished second last year.

“He ran a good race (Breeders’ Cup) and I can’t give him an excuse,” said trainer Wesley Ward of the son of Greatness that was beaten only 2 ¾ lengths for it all by Regally Ready. Asked about the possibility that wet conditions could force Sunday’s race off turf, he said “we’re running.” Great Attack drilled a ‘bullet’ half-mile in 46 3/5 Thursday morning in preparation for his return.

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Thursday, January 12 2012

Gulfstream News & Notes: 1.12.12

Walsh Opts to Run Santiva in Fort Lauderdale

Santiva, who returned from a six-month layoff recently with a sharp second-place finish on turf, had been nominated for both the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) on the main track and the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale (G3) on turf, both scheduled for Saturday Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Brendan Walsh, though, opted to keep the 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway on turf for at least one more start, having determined that the 1 1/16 miles of the Fort Lauderdale suits him better than the one-turn mile distance of the Hal’s Hope.

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World-Class horsemanship has always been the hallmark of Gulfstream Park, and yesterday was no exception. However, the most awe-inspiring display of horsemanship at Gulfstream on Wednesday was offered by veteran outriders, Vicki Vice and Hank Hefner, during the running of the second race.

Mordi’s Miracle ducked in and unseated rider John Velazquez at the starting gate before setting off in the wrong direction. Vice and Hefner reacted quickly and joined the runaway, positioning their horses – L.S. and Whiskey, respectively – to keep the loose horse running along the outside rail in the stretch as the race continued uninterrupted along the inner rail.

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Wednesday, January 11 2012

Gulfstream Park News & Notes January 11, 2012

Animal Kingdom Arrives at Palm Meadows

Last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, arrived at Palm Meadows Training Center Wednesday morning, along with Toby’s Corner, the 2011 Wood Memorial winner.

Trainer Graham Motion had been training the two major-stakes winning 4-year-olds at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, where the unseasonably warm and snow-free weather allowed him to keep them close to home for longer than anticipated.

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Jackson Bend to Make 2012 Debut in Hal’s Hope

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Just when it looked like his best days were behind him, Jackson Bend’s career took a turn for the better last year.

Trainer Nick Zito added a sprinting star to his stable by subtracting a turn from the gritty Florida-bred’s racing regimen.

Winless in 12 starts since sweeping the 2009 Florida Stallion Series – although highly competitive against the best horses in the country – Jackson Bend broke through with back-to-back stakes scores last summer while cutting back to one-turn distances.

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The Tale of Man and his Breeders’ Cup Winning Namesake

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Dr. Kendall Hansen has owned horses on and off for 30 years. Over that time, his stable has consisted mostly of what he calls “nice claimers.”

But years ago, with the hope that one day he would come across a star, Hansen began jotting down potential names and keeping them in a shoe box to be used on that special occasion.

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Monday, January 09 2012

R Holiday Mood, Delightful Mary Dead-head in Ocala Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –As Delightful Mary made a last-ditch lunge to catch pacesetter R Holiday Mood and force a photo to determine the winner of Sunday’s $60,000 Ocala Stakes, it seemed destined that the connections of one of the 4-year-old fillies would walk away from Gulfstream Park dejected while those of the other would celebrate their good fortune.

However, the winner’s circle became the site of dual celebrations when a review of the digital photo of the finish of the mile stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares couldn’t separate Delightful Mary and R Holiday Mood, resulting in a dead-heat.

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Even trainer Todd Pletcher thought E. Paul Robsham Stable’s 4-year-old R Holiday Mood got caught on the rail at the finish of Sunday’s $60,000 Ocala Stakes at Gulfstream Park by John Oxley’s 4-year-old filly Delightful Mary, but it didn’t take long for the tote board to flash both numbers in a dead-heat for the victory.

Jockey John Velazquez rode R Holiday Mood and set the pace from the start, except for being headed briefly in mid-stretch, and dug in to share the prize as Luis Contreras rallied Delightful Mary down the outside. A homebred daughter of Trippi, R Holiday Mood paid $12.40 for $2 to win.

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