Thursday, February 24 2011
Twilight Meteor In Canadian Turf Sunday
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Peachtree Stable’s 7-year-old Twilight Meteor, winner of the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) in 2009 when trained by Todd Pletcher, comes back in Sunday’s renewal of the one-mile grass course fixture in the care of trainer Marty Wolfson, who won back-to-back renewals of the Canadian Turf in 1995-96 with The Vid.
Jockey Alex Solis gets a return call on Twilight Meteor in the wide-open field of 10 after they teamed up to finished an even fifth last out in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 5, beaten only 2 ¼ lengths for it all. The son of Smart Strike was sidelined for 20 months after the Canadian in 2009 and returned to finish third in an allowance at Calder and win the Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) at Calder in the fall.
Timing’s Right for Soldat
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Who’s going to complain about spending the winter in Florida? Not Kiaran McLaughlin.
The New York-based trainer has spent the past several winters at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training center in Boynton Beach, and he couldn’t more pleased with his stay this year, particularly as it concerns Soldat.
To Honor and Serve Draws No. 7 Post in Saturday’s Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - The ‘Road’ to the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) grows wider and faster Saturday at Gulfstream Park as Live Oak Plantation’s To Honor and Serve makes his 3-year-old debut as the solid favorite in the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at 1 1/8 miles with John Velazquez aboard for trainer Bill Mott.
They teamed up to win the nine-furlong Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct by two lengths last out on Nov. 27 in a performance that stamped him with most observers as at least second best of his crop behind undefeated Eclipse champion Uncle Mo, the latter expected to make his first start of the year in the Timely Writer overnight stakes at Gulfstream on Sat., Mar. 12.
Wednesday, February 23 2011
Gulfstream News & Notes, Feb. 23
Let’s Get Fiscal & Lady Vi Meet in Friday Feature
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Let’s Get Fiscal and Flying Zee Stable’s Lady Vi each showed promise in New York as 2-year-olds last summer with two starts each, and both make their 3-year-old debut in Friday’s $51,500 ‘other than’ allowance feature going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Alan Garcia rode Let’s Get Fiscal in both starts last year for trainer Rick Violette and retains the mount. The daughter of Bandini was a $130,000 OBS February 2-year-olds and flashed brilliance winning her debut at Belmont Park on June 17 and came back to finish fourth as one of the favorites in the Schuylerville Stakes (G3) run over a ‘sloppy’ track at Saratoga last out on July 23.
Lopez Unlikely To Ride This Week, Coa Remains Stable
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Leading rider Paco Lopez, injured in a spill after the sixth race Friday, will likely remain off his mounts through the weekend, according to agent Cory Moran.
Lopez, who sprained his left elbow, is still experiencing soreness, Moran said.
Tuesday, February 22 2011
Gulfstream: News & Notes, Feb. 21
Manicero Probable For Start in Hutcheson
Leo Azpurua, Sr.’s 3-year-old Manicero, a winner of four consecutive starts, appears likely to try and run his streak to five this weekend in Saturday’s $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
“We’re very seriously considering the Hutcheson,” said Azpurua Jr. “We do plan on stretching him out later on, but for now we think it’s best to keep him sprinting. He worked very well (Saturday at Calder) and Luis Saez will ride him if we go.”
Monday, February 21 2011
Keertana Out-Kicks Rivals in The Very One
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL.— Barbara Hunter’s 5-year-old mare Keertana stalked a very slow pace from the start of Sunday’s $100,000 The Very One Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park and went on to win the 1 3/8 miles test by a half-length over Blue Devil Racing Stable’s 24-to-1 longshot Zapparition in the field of five fillies and mares.
Belle Watling Syndicate’s Belle Watling was the 8-to-5 second choice under jockey Edgar Prado while making her North American debut, after winning 13 of 16 starts in her native land. The 5-year-old Chilean-bred mare set the dawdling pace of 53 seconds for the first half-mile and 1:45 for a mile before giving way to finish fourth.
Sunday, February 20 2011
Gulfstream News & Notes Feb. 20
Ritvo Considers Final Derby Prep for ‘Mucho’
Trainer Kathy Ritvo reported Sunday morning that Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Mucho Macho Man came out of his 1 ½-length victory Saturday in the $300,000 Risen Star (G2) in “excellent” condition and will ship back to Gulfstream Monday from the Fair Grounds.
“He came out great,” said Ritvo, who watched the colt kick off his 3-year-old campaign with a fourth-place finish Jan. 30 in the one mile Holy Bull (G3). “It was great to see him get back to two turns; he really needed that. I was really happy overall. (Jockey) Rajiv (Maragh) said he had a lot of horse left, too.”
Catalan Finds Softer Spot in Monday Allowance Feature
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Flying Zee Stable and Kona Stable’s 4-year-old gelding Catalan was no match making his first start in five months against Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Big Drama in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) on Jan. 15 at Gulfstream Park, particularly after a poor start. The gelding finds a more comfortable spot in Monday’s holiday allowance feature with apprentice Ryan Curatolo aboard for trainer Patrick Biancone.
Catalan is a roan/gray by Holy Bull and was making his first appearance in the Mr. Prospector since a good third-place finish in the Select Stakes at Monmouth Park on Aug. 8 and tired to last of six as Big Drama set a track record of 1:08 flat for six furlongs just days before being acclaimed Eclipse champion sprinter of 2010. Catalan broke his maiden at Delaware Park prior to the Select when making his fourth career start.
Coa, Lopez Update
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockey Eibar Coa remained in good spirits and showed slight improvement overnight after undergoing surgery Saturday on his C4 vertebrae, which was broken in a spill following the finish of Friday’s sixth race.
According to family spokesperson Tito Fuentes, Coa’s agent, the jockey came out of Saturday’s surgery well and has some movement in his arms and shoulders. Coa has feeling throughout his body but no movement in his legs.
Prince Will I Am Drives To Mac Diarmida Victory
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Prince Will I Am, trained by Michelle Nihei and ridden by John Velazquez, drove to the lead above the sixteenth pole to win Saturday’s $100,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) by three-quarters of a length at Gulfstream Park.
The 4-year-old chestnut son of Victory Gallop has now won three graded stakes in his last four starts, including the McKnight (G3) and Jamaica (G1). His only loss was a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G3). Ray’s Attorney was second and Musketier was third.
Awesome Maria Best In $100,000 Sabin
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – E. Paul Robsham Stable’s Awesome Maria, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, drove away from Amen Hallelujah down the stretch Saturday at Gulfstream Park to win the $100,000 Sabin (G3) by 4 ¾ lengths.
A 4-year-old filly by Maria’s Mon, Awesome Maria covered the mile in 1:36.38. It was another 5 ¼ lengths behind Amen Hallelujah to Catch a Thief in third.