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Sunday, January 25 2009


It’s Bird Posts Mild Upset in OBS Sunshine Millions Classic


Edmund Gann’s 6-year-old Florida-bred It’s a Bird raced close-up behind the pace set by Rolbea Thoroughbreds’ Finallymadeit in the early going of Saturday’s $1 million OBS Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, took command in the upper stretch, and never was threatened while drawing out to win by 5¼ lengths over Carol Nyren’s Dry Martini.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux, It’s a Bird had lost three in a row going into the race for trainer Marty Wolfson and paid $24 to win while timed in 1:49:35 for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track. Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old gelding Delightful Kiss was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 12, breaking from the far outside, and rallied late in the stretch to gain third under jockey Calvin Borel, only a nose behind the runner-up.





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Wild Promises Wins Sixth Straight in Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf


Making her second trip from Northern California to South Florida this winter, Estate of Harry Aleo’s 5-year-old Florida-bred mare Wild Promises captured the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Saturday at Gulfstream Park with jockey Aaron Gryder along for the ride, posting her sixth consecutive stakes victory for trainer Greg Gilchrist.

Gryder had Wild Promises rating comfortably in third down the backstretch of the 1 1/8 miles turf test and she took command easily when asked in the upper stretch before drawing out to win by 1¾ lengths over Gold Mark Farm’s Elusive Lady in the field of eight fillies and mares. Live Oak Plantation’s Snow Cone rallied for third, 1¼ lengths behind the runner-up.





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“Phil’ Rallies to Upset Score in Sunshine Millions Dash


Paul Pompa Jr’s 3-year-old Florida homebred This Ones for Phil collared the leaders at the top of the stretch in Saturday’s $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash at Gulfstream Park, and drew clear to win by 2¼ lengths over Kramer Stables’ 6-5 favorite You Luckie Mann in the six-furlong test.

With Edgar Prado aboard, This One for Phil was making his first start since Nov, 8 at Calder and first since being purchased privately and placed with trainer Rick Dutrow. The chestnut gelding by Untuttable was twice stakes-placed last year for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. He paid $25.40 to win and was timed the six furlongs on a fast track in 1:09:10 to give Prado his third winner of the afternoon.





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GP Barn Notes 1-24


Beethoven and Borel Team for Holy Bull Breeze

With a busy afternoon ahead of him, jockey Calvin Borel got his Sunshine Millions day started early with a breeze aboard John Oxley’s 3-year-old colt Beethoven at Gulfstream Park with a return planned for next week to ride the colt in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3).

Trainer John Ward indicated he was happy with the son of Sky Mesa’s 1:01 3/5 drill and declared him ready for his 2009 debut.





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Saturday, January 24 2009


In the Face of a Slow Economy, Gulfstream Park’s Handle Up from ’08 Numbers


Through the first 14 days of the 2009 meeting, on the eve of the ultra-popular Sunshine Millions, Gulfstream Park recorded an 8.6% increase in “live,” or on-track handle while also showing a 5.4% bump in all-sources handle.

Crowd counts are not taken at Gulfstream Park but the feeling among management and fans is that there are more people attending the races here this year than there has been since the facility was renovated in 2004.





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Friday, January 23 2009


STABLE NOTES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 23RD, 2009


MARY HARTMANN HOPES FOR GOOD RATINGS IN SUNSHINE MILLIONS TURF

When Mary Hartmann saddles Presious Passion for Saturday’s $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf, she doesn’t expect the race to turn into a soap opera.

The trainer probably has heard all the wisecracks about her name, and its nearly identical spelling to that of the 1976 syndicated soap opera parody, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”





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Barn notes GP 1-23


Macho Again Ready to Strut in OBS Classic

After spending 2008 in a ‘Big Brown’ shadow, West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again is ready to step into the sun as one of the top choices in Saturday’s $1 million OBS Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park.

The 4-year-old son of Macho Uno battled through a hardcore campaign last year, running the gauntlet to a second-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and a victory in the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga. He also endured a rough trip in the Travers Stakes (G1) where he finished eighth and had to settle for second in the Super Derby (G2) after traffic hampered his closing kick.





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Fasig-Tipton Signs On as Fountain of Youth Sponsor


Fasig-Tipton, North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction firm, has partnered with Gulfstream Park to sponsor one of the track’s most venerable events, the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes.

To be known as the “Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth,” the race has a storied history: Kentucky Derby winners Thunder Gulch, Spectacular Bid, Kauai King and Tim Tam won it while Go For Gin, Unbridled, Swale, Pleasant Colony, Carry Back and Iron Liege came up short but rebounded to put their connections in the Churchill Downs winners’ circle the first Saturday in May.





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Ju Jitsu Jax Ready to Kick Down Door in Sunshine Millions Dash


Robert Cole’s 3-year-old colt Ju Jitsu Jax has an opportunity to keep his undefeated record intact Saturday when the Florida-bred sprints into action in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash at Gulfstream Park.

Three starts into the son of Tiger Ridge’s career trainer, Scott Lake feels the timing is perfect for a first attempt in a stakes race even though his charge still has plenty to learn.





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Thursday, January 22 2009


Kip Deville Works Between Races at Gulfstream


IEAH Stable and partners’ Kip Deville had the Gulfstream Park turf course all to himself Wednesday afternoon, between the second and third races, as the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner worked six furlongs ahead of a start in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 1.

Under regular jockey Cornelio Velasquez, the 6-year-old son of Kipling clicked off fractions of :26 4/5 and :51 3/5 before finishing his breeze in front of the racing crowd in 1:16 4/5.





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Wednesday, January 21 2009


Break Water Edison Busts Loose in Gulfstream Workout


Trainer John Kimmel just got back from a skiing vacation in Utah.

After the way Eli Gindi’s 3-year-old colt Break Water Edison worked at Gulfstream Park Wednesday morning, he knows that’s probably the last time off he will get for a while as the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail offers no vacation time.





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Monday, January 19 2009


Classic Presence of Delightful Kiss a Highlight of Gulfstream’s Sunshine Millions


Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old homebred gelding Delightful Kiss ranks among the most accomplished and celebrated one-horse stables ever seen in the sport, and his appearance as the probable favorite in the $1 million OBS Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park will be among the highlights of the annual clash between Florida-breds and California-breds in eight races at Gulfstream and Santa Anita.

Jockey Calvin Borel will be back aboard the charismatic Delightful Kiss when a full field of 12 older horses goes to the post for the OBS Classic at 1 1/8 miles, the richest of the four races run Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream, preceded by the $500,000 Filly & Mare Turf, $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Filly & Mare Sprint and $250,000 Dash.





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