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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10-Cent Wager Rewards Three Friends $414,166.52

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – It wasn’t until a week ago that Mark Haidar of Dearborn, MI started to play Gulfstream’s 10-Cent Rainbow 6 wager while on a visit to South Florida.

Seven days later, Haidar and two friends are reveling in being the ones to take down the innovative and unique wager to the tune of $414,166.52.

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Sunday, January 08 2012

Gulfstream Today: 1.7.12

E. Paul Robsham Stable’s 3-year-old Florida homebred colt Discreet Dancer set a track record for 5 ½ furlongs at Gulfstream Park winning his debut by 9 ¾ lengths on Dec. 3, and confirmed that promise Saturday as he drew clear to score by 5 ½ lengths under jockey Javier Castellano going a mile in an ‘a other than’ allowance test in the second start of a promising career..

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Discreet Dancer took command early from the far outside post 9 coming out of the chute and rather easily shook off a couple of challenges in the upper stretch. A Stephen Miles, Jr.’s Neck ‘n Neck rallied for second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Cornelia Dudley’s 42-to-1 longshot Two Is to Many in third as the winner was timed in 1:36:32 over the ‘fast’ track and paid $3.80 for $2 to win.

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Grass is Greener for Heavenly Landing in Marshua’s River

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Heavenly Landing looked like a future stakes star from the moment she broke her maiden with a three-length victory at Saratoga on Aug. 23, 2009. It just took eight more starts and a switch from dirt to turf to realize her potential in Saturday’s $100,000 Marshua’s River (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Heavenly Landing, a 19-1 long shot ridden by Corey Lanerie, overcame a troubled trip to close with a rush to catch La Reine Lionne by a nose at the finish of the 1 1/16-mile turf race to win her first stakes and her third-straight race since trainer Eddie Kenneally made the switch to turf.

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Gulfstream News & Notes (1.7.12)

Romans Stars Back to Work for 2012 Campaigns

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer Dale Romans had Michael Lauffer and W.D. Cubbedge’s 2011 Preakness Stakes (G1) hero Shackleford on the track at Gulfstream Park for his first breeze of the season Saturday morning as well as Donegal Racing’s top 3-year-old prospects Dullahan and O’Prado Again as those two get ready to jump on the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown trail.

Shackleford was timed an easy half-mile in 50 4/5 in his first recorded workout since finishing second in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. The flashy son of Forestry finished second by a head behind Dialed In in the Florida Derby (G1) here last year and fourth in the Kentucky Derby before the Preakness at Pimlico.

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Saturday, January 07 2012

Gulfstream Today: 1.6.12

News of the Day: Making his second U.S. start and first since finishing seventh in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Utley captured the featured ninth race Friday with a strong finish under jockey Julien Leparoux.

Owned by the Augustin Stable, Utley had last raced in England in June before joining the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

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