Sunday, January 15 2012

Gulfstream Today: 1.14.12

Robert LaPenta and Jacks or Better Farm’s 5-year-old Jackson Bend overcame a slow start from the one post to capture the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes (G1) Saturday at Gulfstream Park by a length as the 9-to-10 favorite under jockey Javier Castellano.

Making his first start since finishing third as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, Jackson Bend bobbled at the start of the one-mile test and then had to wait for racing room before splitting horses in mid-stretch for the deserving victory. Godolphin Racing’s Sangaree finished second, a neck before Jim Bakke and Gerry Isbister’s Cool Blue Red Hot third in the field of eight as the winner was timed in 1:38:19 over the ‘fast’ track.

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Jackson Bend Captures Hal’s Hope with Grit and Class

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Calling on the generous reserve of grit and determination that has defined his career, Jackson Bend overcame a little bobble at the start and a lack of racing room at the top of the stretch and willed his way to victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The diminutive 4-5 favorite, who emerged as one of the country’s premier sprinters in 2011, got off to an impressive start for his 2012 campaign in the one-mile stakes, closing from far off the pace to score by a length under jockey John Velazquez.

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Silver Medallion Rallies for Victory in $100,000 Fort Lauderdale

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Black Rock Stable’s Silver Medallion, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castellano, moved five-wide entering the stretch to win the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale (G3) by a neck.

Yummy With Butter was disqualified from second to sixth for causing interference down the stretch with favored Mutual Trust. Hollinger, who finished third, was placed second and Kindergarden Kid was moved from fourth to third.

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Gulfstream News & Notes: 1.14.12:

Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) runner-up Force Freeze worked for the second-time in preparation for his 2012 campaign Saturday at Gulfstream Park, breezing four furlongs in 49.45 seconds to the complete satisfaction of trainer Peter Walder.

“He looked good. He was happy to be out there,” said Walder, who has scheduled the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G2) on Feb. 18 as Force Freeze’s first race back.

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Saturday, January 14 2012

Gulfstream Today: 1.13.12

Cumulonimble, a multiple-stakes winner trained by Wayne Catalano, returned from a 19-month layoff in winning form, closing along the rail with a late rush to prevail in the featured ninth race.

The 6-year-old mare, who hadn’t raced since winning an Illinois-bred stakes at Arlington Park on June 19, 2010, got a ground-saving trip under jockey Jose Lezcano, who found room along the inside in the stretch in time for the daughter of Stormy Atlantic to post a victory by three-quarters of a length. Kiss the Stars, ridden by Paco Lopez, finished second, a half-length ahead of Here to Run and jockey Joe Bravo.

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Friday, January 13 2012

Gulfstream News & Notes: 1.13.12

Nominations to Florida Derby & Sunshine Millions Close Saturday

Gulfstream Park Racing Secretary Dan Bork reminds horsemen that nominations to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1), the Florida Sunshine Millions program, and the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) all close on Saturday.

The races are:

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Gulfstream Today: 1.12.12

Susan Moore and M and M Thoroughbreds’ 5-year-old King Arthur went wire-to-wire under jockey Joe Rocco, Jr. in the sixth race Thursday at Gulfstream Park to break his maiden in just the second start of his career for trainer Steve Klesaris, scoring by 2 ¾ lengths over Darley Stable’s regally-bred 4-year-old Fact in the one-mile maiden special weight test on turf.

A roan/gray son of El Corredor purchased for $180,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sales, King Arthur finished fourth behind Ninja Blade in a six-furlong main track sprint here on Dec. 10 in his only previous career start. He paid $14 for $2 to win and was timed in 1:36:86 for the distance on ‘firm’ turf.

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Soaring Empire Looking to Repeat in Hal’s Hope

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Ol Memorial Stable and C. E. Glasscock’s Soaring Empire will try to score back-to-back victories in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) Saturday, a feat accomplished only once before when Chatain captured both the 2007 and 2008 runnings. Soaring Empire, a dark bay horse by Empire Maker, won the 2011 running of the one mile dirt event for his trainer Cam Gambolati, and he is looking forward to starting his 2012 campaign in good form.

“We’re looking for a good race from him,” said Gambolati. “It’s not an easy race, with Jackson Bend in there, but we hope he runs a good race.”

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Great Attack Likely Choice in Gulfstream Turf Sprint

HALLANDALE BEACH,, FL - Houyhnhnm Stable’s Great Attack ran a big race to finish fourth Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2). The 5-year-old will begin his 2012 campaign Sunday as the horse to beat in the $60,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint, a five-furlong test in which he finished second last year.

“He ran a good race (Breeders’ Cup) and I can’t give him an excuse,” said trainer Wesley Ward of the son of Greatness that was beaten only 2 ¾ lengths for it all by Regally Ready. Asked about the possibility that wet conditions could force Sunday’s race off turf, he said “we’re running.” Great Attack drilled a ‘bullet’ half-mile in 46 3/5 Thursday morning in preparation for his return.

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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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