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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Friday, February 18 2011

Lopez Released, Coa Remains Hospitalized

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockeys Paco Lopez and Eibar Coa were taken to a nearby Hollywood Memorial Hospital Friday after being unseated in a spill following the finish of the sixth race at Gulfstream Park.

Lopez was treated for an elbow chip and released Friday evening, while Coa remained hospitalized for further evaluation and treatment.

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50-Cent Pick 5 Solved After Jackpot Swells

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 50-cent Pick 5 jackpot pool swelled to $971,971 Friday at Gulfstream Park, where the innovative wager was solved and rewarded winning ticket-holders with a $7,104.20 payoff.

The Pick 5, which requires bettors to select the winners of the final five races on the card, went unsolved for the previous two racing programs, resulting in a $172,735 carryover to Friday’s card.

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Coa, Lopez Taken to Hospital After Spill

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockeys Eibar Coa and Paco Lopez were taken to a nearby hospital Friday after being unseated in a spill following the finish of the sixth race at Gulfstream Park.

Precious Lady, who finished second behind winner Omi’s Vindication, fell to the turf course, unseating Lopez just yards past the finish line. Unable to avoid the fallen horse, Lady Chesterfield subsequently fell, unseating Coa.

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Gulfstream News & Notes - February 18, 2011

Biancone Unveils Chilean Superstar In The Very One

Belle Watling has won 13 of 16 races, including her last 10 races against the very best horses in her native Chile, so there really wouldn’t seem to be a whole lot of room for improvement. Her connections just have to figure out ways to help the 5-year-old mare to settle into her new surroundings.

Carl Lizza of the Bell Watling Syndicate that purchased the Chilean champion and imported her to the U.S. in December, as well as trainer Patrick Biancone, have done everything possible to keep her happy.

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Thursday, February 17 2011

Hills Hopes To ‘Catch’ a Star, Presious Passion on Hiatus

Tim Hills has been a mainstay at Gulfstream Park for more than 20 years, but the New Hampshire native clearly remembers his first winter training horses in tropical surroundings of South Florida.

“I had a good grass horse named Sans the Shadow, so in 1988, I got four stalls down here. I was at the end of Billy Mott’s shedrow and on the backside was Scotty Schulhofer,” Hills recalled. “So what a culture shock for a guy used to toiling through the winters at Suffolk Downs.”

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