Thursday, February 05 2009
Smooth Air Returns in Tallahassee Saturday at Gulfstream
The connections of Mount Joy Stable’s 4-year-old homebred colt Smooth Air are hopeful the two-time Grade 2 winner will be a major player in the handicap division this season. A test comes Saturday when he makes his 2009 debut in the $75,000 Tallahassee Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Paco Lopez will be aboard Smooth Air for the first time in the one-mile turf race for trainer Bennie Stutts Jr. It will be his first start since a respectable seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, beaten only 5 ¼ lengths for it all by Raven’s Pass.
Monday, February 02 2009
Winning at Gulfstream Becoming a Regular Experience for Frank Calabrese
His eyes fixated on the race playing out on the flat screen before him, and his right thumb flipping through a program, Frank Calabrese is barely moved by the question.
He shrugs off the thought of his life story being depicted in Hollywood with a slight grin, but if any producers or directors have any ideas, Calabrese has a suggestion for the leading man – and only one.
Barn Notes 2-1
Huge Gain for Gulfstream Park’s On-Track Handle on Donn Day
On-track handle at Gulfstream Park Saturday was $1,254,814, a 20.75% increase from the previous year’s Donn Day mark.
There were 10 races Donn Day this year, as there was Donn Day last year, which fell on Feb. 2.
Overall handle on the Gulfstream card, combining on-track handle with interstate and intertrack wagering, reached $13,816,476.54, up 14.54% from last year’s mark of $12,063,021.78.
Sunday, February 01 2009
Barbaro’s Brother Suffers Slight Injury in Defeat
Barbaro’s younger full brother Nicanor injured himself slightly leaving the gate, put in a strong mid-race rally, but tired from his efforts and finished 10th of 12 in his eagerly anticipated debut Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Nicanor is owned by the Lael Stable of Roy and Gretchen Jackson; trained by Michael Matz and ridden by Edgar Prado, the same connections that guided Barbaro to victories in the Florida Derby here and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs three years ago.
Castellano Sent to Hospital, Leparoux Wins 3 After Gulfstream Spills
Javier Castellano was sent to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood complaining of pain in his right shoulder after falling from his mount, Presto Change O, in the third race at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Presto Change O ducked in at the start, rushed into contention, then clipped heels with another horse, forcing Castellano from the saddle. Castellano, one of the nation’s top riders, took off his remaining mounts Saturday.
Saratoga Sinner Upsets Holy Bull Stakes
Lally Stable’s 3-year-old Saratoga Sinner stamped his credentials as a Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect when he edged away to win Saturday’s $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park by three-quarters of a length at 14-1 over Bear Stable’s longshot pace-setter Bear’s Rocket.
A son of 2002 Florida Derby (G12) winner Harlan’s Holiday, Saratoga Sinner had broken his maiden last out over the track and 1 1/8 miles distance on Jan. 7 after a fifth- and third-place finish in two starts last year at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Saratoga Sinner stalked the pace set by Bear’s Rocket from the backstretch and went on to give jockey Julien Leparoux his third winner on the card and seventh in two days here.
Gulfstream Park Donates $22,000 to Injured-Jockeys’ Fund
Gulfstream Park presented the Jockeys’ Guild with a $22,000 check Saturday.
“In recent years Gulfstream Park has proven itself to be an invaluable friend to the Guild and jockeys everywhere,” said John Velazquez, Guild President. “We thank Frank Stronach (Chairman of MEC, owner of Gulfstream Park) and Bill Murphy (track president and General Manager) for their continued support, deep commitment and invaluable friendship.”
Saturday, January 31 2009
Take the Points Takes Next Step
Could it be an omen a day before Super Bowl XLIIII in Tampa Bay?
Paul Pompa Jr.’s 3-year-old Well Positioned was a strong 7-5 favorite in Saturday’s first race at Gulfstream Park in his first start since a 14¼ lengths maiden victory at Aqueduct in November.
Well Positioned broke a half-step slow in the one mile allowance race, but never got closer than third down the backstretch as Starlight Stable’s Take the Points went on to score by two lengths under jockey Edgar Prado at 9-2 over Peachtree Stable’s Masala at 5-1 in second. Well Positioned finished sixth of seven.
Barn Notes 1-31 GP
Hello Broadway Crew Happy With Hutcheson Performance
Elizabeth Valando’s 3-year-old homebred Hello Broadway was tired but looking good the morning after his second-place finish behind Capt. Candyman Can in Friday’s $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Barclay Tagg was concerned about starting the strapping son of Broken Vow’s season off in a seven-furlong race, but his connections were happy with the colt’s effort and where it could lead.
Friday, January 30 2009
Capt. Candyman Can Gets it Done in Hutcheson Stakes
Joseph Rausch and David Zell’s 3-year-old Capt. Candyman Can was eased back to the inside off an early pace duel in Friday’s $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park until jockey Julien Leparoux swung him to the outside near the quarter pole and powered to score by 1½ lengths over Elizabeth Valando’s 2-1 favorite Hello Broadway in the seven-furlong test.
The victory marked the fourth of the afternoon for Leparoux as Capt. Candyman Can paid $7.40 to win as the third choice in the field of six while timed in 1:23:69 over the fast track. Capt. Candyman Can, who is trained by Ian Wilkes, is a son of Candy Ride who was making his first start since a close-up third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29.
Frolic’s Dream Dominates Friday’s Forward Gal
Dare To Dream Stable’s 3-year-old homebred filly Frolic’s Dream took command easily into the far turn of Friday’s $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, and was never threatened in the stretch as she coasted home to score by 2½ lengths over Richard Rowan’s 14-1 Renda in the seven-furlong test.
Ridden by regular jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan, Frolic’s Dream avenged the lone defeat of her career when beaten a head for it all, finishing third in the Old Hat Stakes (G3) going six furlongs here Jan. 4 when she had a troubled trip.
Breeders’ Cup Winners Kip Deville & Red Rocks Clash in Gulfstream Turf
IEAH Stables and partners’ 6-year-old Kip Deville and J. Paul Reddam’s 6-year-old Irish-bred Red Rocks have each won Breeders’ Cup championship races, and the two veteran performers will meet for the first time Sunday in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
Also to be run on Sunday will be the $125,000 Suwannee River Handicap (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf with Three Chimneys Racing and Harlequin Ranch’s Irish-bred, Canadian champion mare Callwood Dancer and Dennis Federico’s Waquoit’s Love among the favorites in a field of 10.