Sunday, March 25 2012


Leparoux Maneuvers Newsdad to Pan American Victory


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Newsdad was heavily favored to prevail over just three rivals in the $150,000 Pan American (G2), but his jockey didn’t fall into the trap that a victory would come easily Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Newsdad did go on to capture the 1 ½-mile turf event by two lengths, but not before Julien Leparoux considered all his options.





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Friday, March 23 2012


Gulfstream Today: 3.23.12


Richard Sherman’s 5-year-old Kentucky homebred Nikki’s Sandcastle showed a second, two thirds and a fourth in as many tries at the Gulfstream Park meet going back to Dec. 4, but finally got his day in the winner‘s circle Friday after posting a hard-fought head decision in the eighth race.

Jockey Joe Bravo had Nikki’s Sandcastle rated in fifth down the backstretch of the 7 ½ furlongs turf test run under starter/allowance conditions, and rallied through the stretch to post his fifth victory in 22 career starts. Andrew Farm’s Chosen Empire finished third, two lengths behind the runner-up in the field of seven as Magdalena Farm’s 6-to-5 favorite Dark Cove finished fourth.





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Where’s Sterling Set for Start in Skip Away


Frank Calabrese’s 5-year-old Where’s Sterling worked six furlongs from the gate in 1:14 3/5 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park and is on target to make his next start as one of the favorites in the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) going 1 3/16 miles on Florida Derby Day, Saturday March. 31.

“He’s ready to go,” said trainer Nick Canani. “We know he likes the Gulfstream track. He’s run two good races and had traffic trouble last out in the Donn Handicap (G1). He’s a big horse and he can’t just stop and start. The added distance also should help him.”





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Plans for Kentucky Derby Prospects Set in ‘Motion’


BOYNTON BEACH, FL – Trainer Graham Motion had already loaded Lucky Chappy onto a Dubai-bound plane for a start in the UAE Derby (G1) on March 31 and was preparing for the departure of Howe Great and Went the Day Well to Kentucky for their respective starts in major preps for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

The flurry of activity surrounding his talented 3-year-olds at Palm Meadows Training Center could be viewed as a symptom of a bad case of Derby Fever to anyone unaware of the 47-year-old conditioner’s patient and somewhat conservative training program.





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Thursday, March 22 2012


Gulfstream Today: 3.22.12


Goldrush Girl overcame early trouble and a wide journey to prevail by a neck over Woodford Lady to give trainer Ken McPeek a 1-2 finish in the third race, an entry-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

With her narrow victory in the 1-1/16-mile race, Goldrush Girl earned a trip to Keeneland for a likely start in the Ashland (G1) on April 7 with the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 4 a possibility.





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Matz Hoping for Double Duty Florida Derby Day


Trainer Michael Matz, who is preparing Union Rags to headline the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 31, has a potential starter for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in And Why Not.

“And Why Not may be running in the Oaks here or an allowance race the week after on the grass,” Matz said. “But I definitely want to try and get her to the Oaks. I think she’s that type of filly and I think the distance would be perfect for her.”





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Lopez Released From Hospital and in Good Spirits


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Jockey Paco Lopez, who broke his collarbone and suffered six fractured ribs March 17 in a spill at Gulfstream Park, was released Wednesday afternoon from Memorial Regional Hospital and is in “good spirits,” according to his agent, Cory Moran.

“He’s sitting up, cracking jokes, he’s an amazing guy,” Moran said. “Paco doesn’t feel any pain from the collarbone, but it’s the ribs that are bothering him a little. I spoke to the doctor (Wednesday) and he said the ribs are fractured but not separated, so he doesn’t need surgery. The injuries all occurred to his left side. He’s very fortunate and I’m just glad he’s doing OK.”





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Fort Loudon Confirmed to Start in Florida Derby


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Jacks or Better Farm’s Florida homebred 3-year-old colt Fort Loudon will take at least one more chance with division leaders in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (G1) on Sat., Mar 31 after picking up minor checks earlier this winter in the Holy Bull (G3) and Fountain of Youth (G2).

“He ran a decent race to be fourth in the Holy Bull (Jan. 29) and fifth to Union Rags in the Fountain of Youth (Feb. 26),” said trainer Stanley Gold. “He had a little trouble at the start of the Fountain of Youth, but not enough to give him an excuse. He was beaten only nine lengths by Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), which is hardly a disgrace.





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Wednesday, March 21 2012


Gulfstream Today: 3.21.12 - John Velazquez Presented with Hartack Award


Jockey John Velazquez was presented after the last race Wednesday with the Bill Hartack Memorial Award.

The Bill Hartack Charitable Foundation was established by the friends of Bill Hartack to honor the memory and lifetime achievements of the five-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey. Through its philanthropic arm, the Hartack Foundation will annually contribute to thoroughbred racing charities and recognize the jockey who rides the Kentucky Derby winner. Velazquez won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom.





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Simmard & Newsdad Get Rematch in Pan American


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Roger Attfield and William Werner’s 7-year-old Simmard and James Karp’s 4-year-old Newsdad finished one-two, separated by a neck in the $150,000 Mac Diarmiada Stakes (G2) going 1 3/8 miles at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 26.

The rematch is on for Saturday’s $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G2) going an additional furlong at 1 ½ miles.





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Fort Loudon Confirmed to Start in Florida Derby


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Jacks or Better Farm’s Florida homebred 3-year-old colt Fort Loudon will take at least one more chance with division leaders in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (G1) on Sat., Mar 31 after picking up minor checks earlier this winter in the Holy Bull (G3) and Fountain of Youth (G2).

“He ran a decent race to be fourth in the Holy Bull (Jan. 29) and fifth to Union Rags in the Fountain of Youth (Feb. 26),” said trainer Stanley Gold. “He had a little trouble at the start of the Fountain of Youth, but not enough to give him an excuse. He was beaten only nine lengths by Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), which is hardly a disgrace.





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Gulfstream Oaks & Rampart Lead Florida Derby Day Undercard


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Renewals of the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) for 3-year-old fillies and $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares are expected to attract division leaders and are among six stakes races on the Florida Derby Day undercard at Gulfstream Park on Sat., Mar. 31.

The 61st running the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles has a long tradition as a premiere Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown preview and leading the cast for this edition is Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags, imposing winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) here on Feb. 26 and solid early favorite for the 138th Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs.





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