Thursday, April 07 2011


Coffee Boy Bids to Improve on Last Start in Sunshine State


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - While D’Funnybone will likely be a solid choice in Saturday’s $60,000 Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Gary Barber’s Coffee Boy beat him in their only previous meeting last summer in the $200,000 Carry Back Stakes (G2). Not only does Coffee Boy enter the Sunshine State with a race under his belt, D’Funnybone makes his first start since last summer at Saratoga.

“He (Coffee Boy) got very tired in his first start back,” said trainer Marty Wolfson Thursday morning from Calder, referring to the son of Yonaguska’s sixth-place finish behind Tackleberry in the Gulfstream Sprint Championship going seven furlongs in Feb. 12, his first race since the Carry Back on July 10.





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D’Funnybone Returns in Sunshine State Saturday


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Paul Pompa, Jr.’s 4-year-old D’Funnybone, winner of last year’s Hutcheson Stakes (G2) and Swale Stakes (G2), is entered to make his highly-anticipated return to competition in Saturday’s $60,000 Sunshine State Stakes going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.

Jockey Joe Bravo picks up the mount on D’Funnybone for trainer Rick Dutrow in the field of eight Florida-breds as he makes his first start since finishing seventh at 3-to-1 in the King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) on Travers Day at Saratoga. The chestnut son of D’wildcat won a pair of Grade 2 stakes in New York as a 2-year-old and also scored in the W.C. Stephens Stakes (G2) on Belmont Day last spring before going to the sidelines after Saratoga.





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Monday, April 04 2011


GULFSTREAM BREAKS RECORDS ON DERBY WEEKEND


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park’s Derby Weekend, featuring the $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks (G2) on Saturday and $1 million Florida Derby (G1) Sunday, combined for a total weekend handle of $33.6 million, shattering the previous weekend record in Gulfstream’s new building from last year by 29 percent.

Gulfstream’s Derby attendance Sunday was a record 14,521, the largest crowd on any day since the new building was constructed in 2006.





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DIALED IN WINS 60TH $1 Million Florida Derby


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Robert LaPenta’s Holy Bull (G3) winner Dialed In, trained by Nick Zito and ridden by Julien Leparoux, rallied from last in an eight-horse field Sunday to win the 60th running of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) by a head over $68.90-1 longshot Shackleford at Gulfstream Park. It was 6 ¾ lengths behind to To Honor and Serve in third.

LaPenta and Zito, who won the 2010 Florida Derby with Ice Box, become the first owner and/or trainer to win consecutive Florida Derby’s since Calumet Farm and H.A. Jones won the race in 1957 with Gen. Duke and 1958 with Tim Tam.





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Little Mike Wins Appleton For Third Graded Stakes Of Meet


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fl – Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike, trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Joe Bravo, won his third graded stakes race of the meet by Sunday by winning the $100,000 Appleton Handicap (G3) by one length over a late-closing Riviera Cocktail. Asphalt was third.

Little Mike, a 4-year-old gelded son of Spanish Steps, covered a firm mile course in 1:32.87. As he did when winning the Jan. 9 Fort Lauderdale (G3) and Feb. 27 Canadian Turf (G3), Little Mike led gate-to-wire.





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Sunday, April 03 2011


R Heat Lightning Draws Away To Oaks Victory


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – E. Paul Robsham Stable’s R Heat Lighting stamped herself as one of the favorites for the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) with a devastating 8 ¼-length victory Saturday in the $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks (G2) at Gulfstream.

The victory capped off the fifth victory of the day for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also saddled Robsham Stable’s Awesome Maria to victory in the $150,000 Rampart (G3) earlier in the afternoon. Jockey John Velazquez rode both winners.





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Pink Kickoff Party Raises Money For Coa, TRAC


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino raised nearly $20,000 Friday night during its ‘Pink Cocktail Reception’ which kicked off Florida Derby Weekend.

The event was held in Gulfstream’s walking ring where the water from the famous shooting fountains was turned pink in honor of Saturday’s Ladies Day events. Several items were auctioned off by Gulfstream handicapper Ron Nicoletti, including a bat signed by Major League Baseball’s three-time MVP Albert Pujols, a four prints by Fred Stone, a Dan Marino jersey, diamond ring, a Soldat halter, and a photograph by Bob Coglianese.





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Awesome Maria Wins Rampart By 8 Lengths


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – E. Paul Robsham Stable’s Awesome Maria, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, took the lead effortlessly around the final turn and then drew off down the stretch to an eight-length victory Saturday in the 32nd running of the $150,000 Rampart Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Awesome Maria, a 4-year-old daughter of Maria’s Mon who won the Sabin (G3) here by 4 ¾ lengths Feb. 19, covered the 1 1/8th mile distance in 1:49.09. Awesome Maria has won five of 10 starts and has finished first, second or third in nine races. Successful Song finished second and Unrivaled Belle, making her first start since winning the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1), finished third.





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To Honor and Serve Seeks Redemption in Florida Derby


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - To Honor and Serve was widely touted as the horse most likely to pose a danger to Uncle Mo this spring, but his popularity took a considerable hit after fading badly to finish a distant third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 26.

How is the Bill Mott-trained colt going to challenge the unbeaten Eclipse Award champion if he couldn’t put up a stronger showing against less acclaimed 3-year-olds?





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Friday, April 01 2011


Soldat & Dialed In the Favorites in 60th Florida Derby Sunday


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Harvey Clarke and partners’ Soldat, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), and Robert LaPenta’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3) winner Dialed In will be the choices in Sunday’s $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

The historic 1 1/8 miles preview for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown has attracted the deepest filed of young prospects assembled in the nation this season.





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Travelin Man in Swale Leads Florida Derby Undercard


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - With Hutcheson Stakes (G2) winner Flashpoint getting a chance in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) Sunday, E. Paul Robsham Stable’s Travelin Man will inherit the favorite’s role in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds in one of three other Graded stakes to be run on the 12-race program

In addition to the Swale at seven furlongs, the card will include renewals of the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) at 1 3/16 miles and the $100,000 Emirates Airlines Appleton Stakes (G3) at one-mile on turf, both races for older horses.





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Wednesday, March 30 2011


Gomez Comes To Gulfstream in Search of Derby Victory


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez has never won the Derby...not at Churchill Downs or Gulfstream Park. But the 39-year-old rider hasn’t given up trying and his quest for his first victory in the Run for the Roses will bring him to Gulfstream Park Sunday for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1).

Gomez will ship to South Florida from his California base to ride To Honor and Serve for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott in Gulfstream’s most prestigious race.





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