Wednesday, April 15 2009
Barn Notes 4-15-2009
McPeek Back on Top with Two Wins Sunday at Gulfstream
The Gulfstream Park trainers’ title chase continued to be a day-by-day affair over the weekend as Todd Pletcher sent out two winners Saturday to lead by one and the Ken McPeek stable came right back with two on Sunday to regain the lead at 31-30 in competition that promises to continue through the final seven days of the meet, which closes Thursday, April 23.
McPeek broke on top early in the season in January, but Pletcher has steadily picked up momentum as he bids for a sixth consecutive Gulfstream championship. McPeek also is on a career milestone watch with 993 winners and closing in on 1,000.
Monday, April 13 2009
Santiago-Reyes Post 1st Career Win
Christian Santiago-Reyes posted his first career victory aboard Chihulykee in Sunday’s second race at Gulfstream Park.
Santiago-Reyes chased the pace before moving over to take the lead at the quarter pole. He fully extended the 5-year-old chestnut and moved to the inside to score over Dynaquake.
Chihulykee paid $4 to win. Santiago-Reyes’ victory came in his second career mount.
Trujillo Scores 1,000TH Career Victory
Elvis Trujillo reached the 1,000th career-victory plateau aboard Bahia Girl in the first race Sunday at Gulfstream Park
Trujillo reached the mark with a 1 ¾ length win over Princess Haya. His winning mount is a 4- year-old filly owned by Stronach Stables and trained by Brian A. Lynch. She paid $11.20.
Sunday, April 12 2009
Barn Notes 4-12-2009
Trujillo Triple Saturday Leaves One to Go for 1,000
Jockey Elvis Trujillo won three of the first four races on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park to bring his career total to 999 victories, but finished second on three other mounts thereafter, leaving his drive to 1,000 to Sunday at least when he is named to ride in seven races.
Jose Lezcano, who reached the 1,000-win milestone Feb. 13 at Gulfstream Park, won one race Saturday to bring his total to 58, 10 more than Kent Desormeaux, second with 48. John R. Velazquez is third at 47, Julien Leparoux fourth with 45 and Trujillo fifth.
Raw Silk Sets Course Record Winning South Beach
Darley Stable’s 4-year-old filly Raw Silk returned from a four-month layoff to post a wire-to-wire victory under jockey Paco Lopez in the $50,000 South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday, setting a course record of 1:27:28 for 7 ½ furlongs on ‘firm’ turf and giving trainer Tom Albertrani a sixth stakes victory at the meet.
A daughter of Malibu Moon, Raw Silk was making her first start since finishing eighth in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 8, broke on top from the inside post and set fast fractions, but had plenty left to turn back a challenge in the stretch by Farnsworth Farm’s 5-year-old mare Flibberjibbit, the 9-5 favorite, by 1¾ lengths.
Barn Notes 4-11-2009
Ameribelle & My Magic Moment Prominent on Boynton Beach Roster
Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Florida homebred Ameribelle has finished second in three stakes, most recently in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Mar. 14, and is among the most accomplished of 30 3-year-old fillies nominated for the $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes next Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Boynton Beach will be run at one mile on turf and it’s the final stakes offering of the Gulfstream meeting, which runs through Thursday, Apr. 23.
Friday, April 10 2009
Barn Notes - Fla Derby 1,2 prep
Quality Road, Dunkirk Keep on Edge
Quality Road and Dunkirk, 1,2 in their March 28 match in the Grade 1 Blackberry Florida Derby, put in workouts Friday morning toward what their connections hope will be their next meeting, the May 2 Kentucky Derby.
Richard Evans’ Quality Road finished 1¾ lengths ahead of Dunkirk in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, a race that appears in the past performances of 21 Kentucky Derby winners since its inception in 1952.
Thursday, April 09 2009
Barn Notes 4-8-2009
Pastel Gal Carries Sackatoga Colors into Deep South Beach Water
Trainer Barclay Tagg and Sackatoga Stable general partner Jack Knowlton thought that 5-year-old Pastel Gal earned a chance in a black-type race after two come-from-behind allowance victories this season at Gulfstream Park, and Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes at 7½ furlongs on turf was their chosen target.
“It looks like the water is pretty deep in there,” said Knowlton Thursday morning. “But we’re here and she’s never been better, so we’ll take our chances. I talked to Robin (assistant trainer Robin Smullen) after the entries came out and she said that it looked like a Grade 2 stakes.
Full Field of 14 Set for Sunday’s Wide-Open South Beach
Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old mare Flibberjibbit finished a game third behind I Lost My Choo last out in the Honey Fox Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 7, and will be among the favorites in a field of 14 fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s $50,000 South Beach Stakes.
Jockey Elvis Trujillo gets the call on Flibberjibit for trainer Marty Wolfson in the 7½-furlong turf test and will not have to face I Lost My Choo again – that rival was entered in Saturday’s Jenny Wiley Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Wednesday, April 08 2009
Barn Notes 4-7-2009
Gulfstream Outrider to Accompany Quality Road to Post for Kentucky Derby
When Edward P. Evans’s Florida Derby (G1) hero Quality Road takes to the track for the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs in three weeks it will fulfill a dream for his connections as well as the rider on the pony guiding the 3-year-old beneath the Twin Spires.
Gulfstream Park’s outrider Lisa Wintermote and her 9-year-old Quarter Horse pony Hollywood will have the honor of leading Quality Road to and from the barn that week and will march alongside in the post parade to the strains of “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Monday, April 06 2009
Barn Notes 4-5-2009
Confident ‘Vixen’ Ready to Tackle South Beach
Trainer Joe Orseno has been patiently waiting for Reata Thoroughbred Racing Farm’s Reata’s Vixen to come around. Apparently the 4-year-old filly simply needed a confidence boost and now she’s poised for a strong effort in the $50,000 South Beach Stakes at 7½ furlongs on turf Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Sligo Bay won a $35,000 claiming race on turf on Feb. 26 to snap a 10-race losing streak. She built off that effort to be third in an allowance race on Mar. 22, and Orseno says it is all part of a plan.
Saturday, April 04 2009
Barn Notes 4-4-2009
Gulfstream Park Handicap Winner Smooth Air Texas-Bound
Mount Joy Stable’s 4-year-old Florida homebred Smooth Air, winner of the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) last out on Mar. 14, will likely make his next start in the $300,000 Texas Mile (G3) at Lone Star Park on Apr. 25, according to trainer Ben Stutts Jr.
“We considered the race at Charles Town (Classic, 1 1/8 miles on Apr. 18), which (as Smooth air is a Grade 2 winner) would have been worth $750,000 if he won it,” said Stutts Saturday morning, “but with all things considered and the major goals ahead, we decided on the Texas race at one mile around two turns.