Saturday, March 28 2009
Dunkirk (N.Y.) Abuzz
New York Great Lakes Town (No, Not Sacketts Harbor) Has Rooting Interest in the Florida Derby
The south shores of Lake Erie are far from the Aegean Sea, but there’s been a war brewing between city-states here mildly reminiscent of that between Athens and Sparta.
The cities in question are Fredonia, population 10,706, and Dunkirk, the bigger city with 13,131 inhabitants, two hamlets nestled between Erie, Pa., and Buffalo, N.Y..
Friday, March 27 2009
Barn Notes 3-27
So Glitzy Stepping Up for the Rampart
Mr. and Mrs. Leverett Miller’s So Glitzy has been tracking some of the leading females at Gulfstream Park this winter with mild success, and will try to put her name among the distaff division’s elite in Sunday’s $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G2).
Trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, the 5-year-old Florida homebred daughter of Gilded Time has lost her last eight races, but is going around two turns and traveling 1 1/8 miles in the Rampart – just like she did in her last victory last July at Saratoga.
Gulfstream Park’s Barbaro Foundation Names Its Three Winners for 2009
Gulfstream Park, in conjunction with the University of Florida, has named Erica Rosen and Megan Murphy Lamb winners of its annual Florida Derby Scholarship and Astrid Groshe winner of the Barbaro Scholarship.
Ms Rosen and Ms. Lamb will each receive $12,500 as winners of their scholarship, and Ms. Grosche will receive $5,000 for her award.
One Caroline & Ginger Brew Clash in Rampart Sunday
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s undefeated 4-year-old filly One Caroline will be favored to keep her record perfect in Sunday’s $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, but will face her sternest test yet with Stronach Stable’s Canadian champion filly Ginger Brew among six rival fillies and mares.
Jockey Edgar Prado rides One Caroline for trainer Rusty Arnold in the 1 1/8 miles Rampart as the roan/gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song bids for her third straight victory of the meet and fifth overall all after winning her first two starts at Churchill Downs last spring at 1 1/16 miles.
Thursday, March 26 2009
Barn Notes 2/26
Speedy Casey’s On Call Jumps Into the Fray
When Casey’s On Call made his 3-year-old debut in a $75,000 claiming race Feb. 19 at Gulfstream Park, his connections were not thinking about the Kentucky Derby trail.
Trainer Alec Fehr was.
The 42-year-old Canadian-based trainer convinced owner Terry Hamilton to claim the son of Gimmeawink. Six weeks later they are hoping to run away with the biggest prize of the season as BlackBerry Presents the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) Saturday.
Florida Derby advance
Dunkirk & Quality Road Lead Cast for 58th Florida Derby
Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk, very impressive winning his two starts at Gulfstream Park this season for trainer Todd Pletcher; and Edward P. Evans’ Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) winner Quality Road are the morning-line favorites at 9-5 and 2-1, respectively, for Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1).
The two emerging star 3-year-olds will bid to use the historic 1 1/8 miles fixture to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs five weeks later on Sat., May 2. A field of nine was drawn Wednesday morning for the 58th edition of South Florida’s showcase race.
Wednesday, March 25 2009
GP Barn Notes 3-25
Beethoven Out of Florida Derby
John Oxley’s Beethoven was expected to be the third or fourth choice behind Dunkirk and Quality Road in Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park but will pass the race, according to trainer John Ward Jr.
“There was some heat in a tendon in a front leg (Wednesday) morning,” said Ward of the Sky Mesa colt. “It seems minor, not extreme, but we decided it’s best to not make a minor situation worse. It’s possible he could be back in the entries in the not-too-distant future.”
Monday, March 23 2009
Dress Rehearsal Rallies to Orchid Victory Sunday
Completing a big weekend for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Kent Desormeaux, Swettenham Stud’s 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Dress Rehearsal rallied through the stretch to capture the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) Sunday at Gulfstream Park by 2¾ lengths over Aston Hall Stud’s Lamentation.
Desormeaux had Dress Rehearsal rating comfortably off the pace in the early running of the 1½ miles turf test before rallying past Darley Stable’s 3-5 favorite Criticism in midstretch. Criticism had soundly defeated Dress Rehearsal when they met on Feb. 22 in The Very One Stakes (G3), and appeared headed to victory Sunday with a clear lead into the stretch, but tired to third, 1¼ lengths behind the runner-up in the field of six fillies and mares.
Sunday, March 22 2009
Justwhistledixie Strong Favorite in Bonnie Miss Friday
West Point Thoroughbreds and partners’ 3-year-old filly Justwhistledixie will be strictly the horse to beat in Friday’s $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, the first of five graded stakes to be run over the three-day Florida Derby (G1) weekend.
Jockey Julien Leparoux rides Justwhistledixie for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, replacing regular rider Alan Garcia, who will be in Dubai over the weekend. Justwhistledixie bids for a fourth straight stakes victory and fifth overall while facing five rival 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8 miles South Florida preview of Kentucky Oaks (G1) prospects.
Barn Notes 3-22
Theregoesjojo Drills for Florida Derby at Gulfstream
Trainer Ken McPeek had scheduled a final major workout yesterday for Samotowka Stables and partners’ 3-year-old Theregoesjojo ahead of next Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park yesterday, but postponed it because of ‘sloppy’ track conditions.
After day-long rain on Saturday, the Gulfstream surface remained ‘sloppy’ with ‘dogs’ up protecting the inside rail Sunday morning, but McPeek gave the go ahead for ‘Jojo’ to work at about 7:30 a.m. and the son of Brahms was timed six furlongs in 1:15 1/5. Clockers caught him in fractions along the way of 25 2/5, 37 4/5, 1:03 and galloping out seven furlongs in 1:30.
Buddy’s Humor Splashes to Victory in Pan American
Day-long rain at Gulfstream Park Saturday forced management to take races scheduled for the turf off that surface and run them on the main track, including the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (G3), but that worked out fine for Eli Lomita’s 5-year-old Buddy’s Humor as he wore down Patricia Generazio’s Presious Passion to win by three-quarters of a length.
A field of only five went to the post after the race was shifted from the scheduled 1 ½ miles on turf to 1 ¼ miles on a ‘sloppy’ main track. Jockey Jose Lezcano was aboard Buddy’s Humor for trainer Bruce Levine and stalked pace-setting Presious Passion from the start before surging to the lead in the upper stretch.
Barn Notes 3/21
Dunkirk & Quality Road Drill at Palm Meadows
Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk and Edward P. Evans’ Quality Road, the two likely favorites for next Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, posted impressive workouts on a fast track Saturday morning at Palm Meadows.
Dunkirk, working in company with highly-regarded stablemate Affirmatif, was timed a ‘bullet’ five furlongs in 1:00:15 for trainer Todd Pletcher while Quality Road was timed in 1:25 for seven furlongs for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, the only horse working that distance on the tab.