Friday, January 27 2012
Fawkes Has Big Shot on Florida Sunshine Millions Day
Trainer David Fawkes is optimistic about his chances in Saturday’s $1.3 million Florida Sunshine Millions…and why not?
Not only will Fawkes saddle the 2-1 favorite and Mr. Prospector (G3) winner Apriority in the $150,000 Sprint, but he’ll also send the hard-knocking, stakes-winner Duke of Mischief to post in the $400,000 Classic.
Undefeated Hansen Hits the Derby Trail in Holy Bull Saturday
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing’s undefeated 2011 Eclipse champion 2-year-old Hansen takes his first steps toward the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown trail as the flashy roan/gray colt launches his 3-year-old campaign in Sunday’s $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) going a mile at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez will be back in the saddle on Hansen for trainer Mike Maker after they teamed up for a stunning wire-to-wire victory by a head over heavy favorite Union Rags in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. A Kentucky homebred by Tapit, Hansen had won both of his previous starts at Turfway Park by double-digit margins. He’s the 6-5 favorite.
Thursday, January 26 2012
Mucho Macho Man Makes 2012 Debut in Florida Sunshine Millions Classic
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – As Mucho Macho Man headed to post at Aqueduct on Nov. 9 for the first time in more than five months, trainer Kathy Ritvo was about to learn just how much the Triple Crown campaign had taken out of the Florida-bred colt.
Only one of three horses to compete in all three spring classics – Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness victor Shackleford being the others – Mucho Macho Man had given his trainer every indication that he was ready to make a fresh start. However, the aftereffects of the Triple Crown can often go undetected until a return to action.
GULFSTREAM TODAY 1.25.12
Afleet Lass captured her fourth consecutive victory –her first under the colors of Gainesway Thoroughbreds - in the second race, a $32,000 optional claiming race for fillies and mares that have raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or less.
Now trained by Todd Pletcher, the defending eight-time training champion at Gulfstream Park, Afleet Lass was sent to post as the 1-9 favorite. The 5-year-old daughter of Northern Afleet, who was privately purchased from owner/trainer Jose Pinchin since her previous start, scored a front-running victory by 1 ½ lengths under John Velazquez.
17 Graded Stakes Winners in Florida Sunshine Millions
Seventeen Graded Stakes Winners in Florida Sunshine Millions
A quick look at the Saturday overnight of the six stakes races worth $1.3 million to be run on the Florida Sunshine Millions program at Gulfstream Park would not easily identify the event as restricted to Florida-bred runners because more than a third - 17 of the 48 horses entered - , are ‘open’ Graded stakes winners of a total of 30 Graded races.
In addition to 2010 Eclipse champion Awesome Feather and 2011 Eclipse champion Musical Romance, two others (Teaks North and Hooh Why) are Grade 1 winners while four more have won one or more Grade 2 events. There are at least two Graded stakes winners in each of the six races, topped by five of the nine entered in the Filly & Mare Turf.
Tuesday, January 24 2012
‘Awesome’ Record On the Line in Saturday’s Millions
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Perfect.
That’s the word trainer Chad Brown uses to describe the condition of Awesome Feather since her victory Nov. 26 in the Gazelle (G1) at Aqueduct. It’s also the word to describe the 4-year-old filly’s record.
When Awesome Feather makes her 2012 debut Saturday in the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff, she’ll do so with a perfect record – undefeated in all eight of her lifetime starts, seven coming in stakes.
Monday, January 23 2012
Dayatthespa on Firm Footing in Sweetest Chant Stakes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Dayatthespa was on firm footing in Saturday’s $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park Sunday, helping her to rebound from an off-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G2) in her 2011 finale with a 1 ¾ -length victory in the turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Dayatthespa was sent to post as a strong 7-5 favorite in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies on the strength of a four-length maiden score in her debut at Saratoga last August and a subsequent runner-up finish in the Natalma Stakes (G3), two lengths ahead of Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten, at Woodbine in September.
Gulfstream, Santa Anita to Offer $250,000 Guaranteed Luck Pick-6
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park will celebrate the HBO series LUCK with a Pick-6 wager on Florida Sunshine Millions Day, Saturday, Jan. 28 with a $250,000 guarantee.
Three races in the Pick-6 will be part of Gulfstream’s $1.3 million Florida Sunshine Millions program and three will be part of Santa Anita’s Sunshine Millions Day.
Gulfstream Today: 1.22.12
Making her first start of the year, Dayatthespa was reserved off a swift early pace before launching a powerful stretch drive to capture the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes under Javier Castellano.
The Chad Brown-trained 3-year-old filly hadn’t raced since finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
Marquee Stars Lead Cast in Florida Sunshine Millions Saturday
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Stronach Stable’s undefeated 4-year-old filly Awesome Feather, Pinnacle Racing and Bill Kaplan’s 2011 Eclipse champion filly or mare sprinter Musical Romance and Reeves Thoroughbreds and partners’ Mucho Macho Man are among the most accomplished of 48 Florida-breds entered Sunday to run in the six $1.3 million Florida Sunshine Millions Stakes to be run Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
“Florida Sunshine Millions Day is going to be a tremendous day of championship racing,” said Gulfstream Park’s Racing Secretary Dan Bork. “The public is going to see two champions racing at Gulfstream Park – Awesome Feather and Musical Romance – along with Mucho Macho Man, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby. Every race will feature graded-stakes winners and many of the top horses in the country.”
Sunday, January 22 2012
Howe Great Caps Big Week for Connections in Kitten’s Joy
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Howe Great capped a big week for trainer Graham Motion Saturday while leading the way in a one-two stable finish in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes.
Motion, whose Kentucky Derby-winning Animal Kingdom was named 2011 champion 3-year-old on Monday, was on hand at Gulfstream Park to saddle Howe Great ($11.40) for a front-running 2 ½ -length triumph over favored stablemate Lucky Chappy in the 1 1/16-mile turf event for 3-year-olds.
Gulfstream Today: 1.21.12
Team Valor International’s Howe Great took the field wire-to-wire in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Saturday run on turf a 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park. Even-money favorite and fellow Team Valor color-bearer Lucky Chappy closed from well back to be second.
Beneath Hall of Fame rider Edgar Prado, Howe Great set moderate early fractions of :24 3/5 for the first quarter and :48 for the half mile. Around the far turn, the 3-year-old colt by Hat Trick opened up a clear lead and was able to hold off his Graham Motion-trained stablemate. As the 9-2 third choice in the wagering, Howe Great returned $11.40 to win.