Wednesday, February 29 2012

Florida Derby Hero Dialed In Returns in Saturday Allowance

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park last year, is entered to make his 2012 season debut in a one-mile allowance test Saturday. It will be his first start since finishing fourth behind Shackleford and Animal Kingdom in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on May 21.

“We started his season off in a one-turn mile last year in the Holy Bull and he won,” said trainer Nick Zito Wednesday afternoon. “He’ll be going two turns after this one. There are a lot of tough horses in this race. We’re just looking for a good effort to get him going again.”

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Little Mike & Data Link Clash in Canadian Turf Saturday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Priscilla Vaccarezza’s 5-year-old gelding Little Mike and Stuart Janney III’s 4-year-old Data Link are a combined eight wins from nine starts over the Gulfstream Park turf course over the last two seasons. They are set to face off for the first time as the likely choices in Saturday’s $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) going one mile in a field of eight older horses.

Regular jockey Joe Bravo will be aboard Little Mike for trainer Dale Romans as he bids for a fifth consecutive victory going back to last year. The Florida homebred by Spanish Steps swept the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G3), Canadian Turf and Appleton Stakes (G3) here last year, punctuated by a close-up sixth in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) in his lone loss over the course.

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Gulfstream Park News & Notes February 29, 2012

Next Stop on Road to the Derby Pending for ‘News’

Encouraged by News Pending’s second-place finish behind Union Rags in last Sunday’s $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2), trainer Dale Romans will go shopping for a prep that will offer the son of Harlan’s Holiday the best chance of getting into the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby (G1).

“We’ll just nominate him to everything out there. The next race will be important to pick up a big chunk of change,” said Romans, whose 3-year-old colt, who pressed the pace set by favored Discreet Dancer and finished second, four lengths behind Union Rags and 2 ¼ lengths clear of the pacesetter. “It’s early. We’ll see what things look like, but the Florida Derby is definitely possible.”

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Statement from Trainer Todd Pletcher and Owner Jack Wolf on Prognosis for Early KY Derby Favorite

Boynton Beach, FL February 29, 2012 - X-rays taken this morning have revealed that Algorithms, undefeated winner of the Holy Bull S. (III), has a fractured splint in his right front leg that will have to be surgically removed. He is going to ship to Ocala tomorrow, where Dr. John Madison of Ocala Equine Hospital will perform the operation. "We are hoping that he only requires a minimal amount of time off," said his trainer, Todd Pletcher, "but he is definitely not going to make the Triple Crown." Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing, the owner of Algorithms, said, "It is very disappointing that he will have to miss the spring classics, but we look forward to having him back in late summer or early fall. This really is the best long term option for Algorithms."

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Monday, February 27 2012

Union Rags Scores Dominating Victory in Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Union Rags’ reputation may have lost some luster when he suffered his first defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last fall, but the 3-year-old colt’s star couldn’t be shining more brightly in the aftermath of his breathtaking triumph in Sunday’s $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

Making his first start since losing to Hansen by a head in the Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, Union Rags produced the most dominating Kentucky Derby (G1) prep of the season thus far while easily dominating a field that was reduced to seven by the early-morning scratch of morning-line favorite Algorithms.

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Rainbow 6 Hit for $78,389.98

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park’s popular 10-cent Rainbow 6 was hit Sunday on Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth day for $78,389.98.

The winning ticket was played at nearby Pompano Park.

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Simmard Holds Off Newsdad in Mac Diarmida

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Haras Santa Maria de Araras’ 7-year-old Kentucky homebred Simmard kept digging in after taking the lead in the final turn of Sunday’s $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, and held on for a game nose victory over James Karp’s 2-to-1 favorite Newsdad in the 1 3/8 miles turf test.

Leading Gulfstream jockey Javier Castellano was aboard Simmard, taking a stalking position close-up in third in the field of 10 older horses as 25 to-1 longshot Mambo Meister set a moderate pace through three-quarters in 1:13 3/5. Simmard took command into the final turn and was joined by Newsdad for the long duel to the finish as they hit the wire in 2:11:71 over the ‘firm’ course.

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Little Mike & Data Link Lead Prospects for Canadian Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Priscilla Vaccarezza’s 5-year-old Florida homebred gelding Little Mike won the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) among three graded stakes victories over the Gulfstream Park grass course early last year, and appears set to defend his title on Sat., Mar. 3 in the 46th running of the Canadian Turf at one mile.

A son of Spanish Steps trained by Dale Romans, Little Mike has come back this winter meeting to add two more victories over the Gulfstream course, beginning with a game allowance score on Dec. 22 in his first start since capturing the Appleton Stakes (G3) late in the meet last year on Apr. 3. He ran his record over the course to five wins in six starts going wire-to-wire in the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Million Turf last out on Jan. 28.

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Saturday, February 25 2012

Castellano Notches 3,000th Career Winner at Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockey Javier Castellano rode the 3000th winner of his career Friday at Gulfstream Park, guiding Virtuously to a thrilling late-closing victory in the sixth race.

“It feels great. It was time. I stayed patient and rode the same way I always ride,” Castellano said. “I’ve been very blessed to have all the support from all the owners and all the trainers and my agent, Matt Muzikar. People think it’s only myself, but it’s not. I have a lot of help.”

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After jockey Javier Castellano rode four winners on Thursday’s program at Gulfstream Park to bring him to within one victory of the lofty 3,000 career win milestone, the popular rider hit the mark Friday in the sixth race aboard West Point Stable’s 4-year-old filly Virtuously as she rallied from far back at the top of the stretch to score by three-quarters of a length in the one-mile turf test.

A daughter of Congrats trained by Dale Romans, Virtuously was Castellano’s third of five mounts on the program after he finished second aboard Rhineshire Farm’s first-time starting 3-year-old filly D’fraulein in the third race for trainer Eddie Kenneally..

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Matz Charts Course for Union Rags in Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Michael Matz secured his place in thoroughbred history with his masterful handling of Barbaro in 2006, when he placed trust in his astute horsemanship, as well as his abundantly gifted horse, during a winter and spring campaign that led to a spectacular Kentucky Derby (G1) victory.

Barbaro, who would suffer catastrophic injuries in the Preakness (G2) two weeks later that would tragically claim his life, was precision-tuned for his Derby score by a trainer who blocked out skeptics and always did the right thing by his horse.

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Fountain of Youth Notes: Casual Trick & Csaba

Nick Zito entered Casual Trick in Sunday’s $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) after choosing to “draw a line” through his colt’s most recent past performance line, an eighth-place finish as the 9-5 favorite in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.

The Hall of Fame trainer has good reason to expect that the 3-year-old son of Bernardini will rebound from his troubled journey that began with a stumble at the start and ended with a flipped palate.

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