Monday, February 09 2009
Scolara Rallies from Last to First in Marion County
Haras Santa Maria de Araras’ 4-year-old homebred filly Scolara brought back a check in each of her last four stakes starts going back to last summer, but didn’t get her first stakes victory until Sunday when she rallied from last of eight Florida-bred fillies and mares to capture the $75,000 Marion County Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Scolara was making her first start since losing a head decision when second in the Pago Hop Stakes at Fair Grounds on Dec. 6. After breaking a half-step slow, the daughter of Quiet American was content to sit near the back of the field until splitting horse at the top of the stretch and going on to win by 2¼ lengths over Richlyn Stable’s Pay Wright.
Barn notes 2-8 GP
Wicked Style Ready to Complete Road to Recovery
Two years ago, Glenn Bromagen’s Wicked Style was an undefeated rising star with a Grade 1 victory and a spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Two leg fractures later he’s a 4-year-old on the brink of a successful comeback, according to trainer Rusty Arnold, ahead of a classy allowance race Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The son of Macho Uno impressively won his first three career races including the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland in 2007 before a disheartening 41-length loss in the Juvenile in the slop at Monmouth Park behind eventual champ War Pass. He emerged with a condylar fracture in his front leg that wiped out a shot at the 3-year-old classics and kept him on the shelf for seven months.
Sunday, February 08 2009
Barn Notes GP 2-7
Exuberant Beethoven Quickly Gets Back to Work
Only one week after finishing fourth in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3), John Oxley’s Beethoven was back on the track at Gulfstream Park working out for trainer John Ward, who is now leaning toward running the 3-year-old classic prospect in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 28.
“He just went easy and I normally wouldn’t think of working him back so soon, but he was jumping out of his skin,” said Ward, who had to take cover when the son of Sky Mesa literally kicked up his heels next to him, showering him with dirt. “See that? I don’t think it took much out of him.”
Thursday, February 05 2009
Scolara the One to Beat in Marion County Sunday
Haras Santa Maria de Araras’s 4-year-old Florida homebred filly Scolara looks like the class and the horse to beat in a field of nine Florida-bred fillies and mares entered in Sunday’s $75,000 Marion County Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux gets the call on Scolara for trainer Bill Mott in the one mile turf test as she makes her first start since a game second by a head in the Pago Hop Stakes over the Fair Grounds course on Dec. 2. The daughter of Quiet American boasts an 8-2-3-2 record on turf and finished a strong third in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 8 prior to the Pago Hop.
Barn Notes GP 2-5
Dutrow Seeks Similar Results on Turf in the Tallahassee
The stakes aren’t quite as high and there isn’t a Grade 1 race on the line, but six days after watching Kip Deville bounce back from a dull race to win the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Sunday, trainer Rick Dutrow will send Vincent Scuderi’s 4-year-old Formal King into the $75,000 Tallahassee Stakes Saturday off a similar dull race.
The gelded son of Formal Dinner will take on a dozen other Florida-breds in the one-mile turf contest while trying to put the memories of his 73-length loss in an optional-allowance race on the inner dirt track at Aqueduct on Jan. 2 behind him.
Smooth Air Returns in Tallahassee Saturday at Gulfstream
The connections of Mount Joy Stable’s 4-year-old homebred colt Smooth Air are hopeful the two-time Grade 2 winner will be a major player in the handicap division this season. A test comes Saturday when he makes his 2009 debut in the $75,000 Tallahassee Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Paco Lopez will be aboard Smooth Air for the first time in the one-mile turf race for trainer Bennie Stutts Jr. It will be his first start since a respectable seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, beaten only 5 ¼ lengths for it all by Raven’s Pass.
Monday, February 02 2009
Winning at Gulfstream Becoming a Regular Experience for Frank Calabrese
His eyes fixated on the race playing out on the flat screen before him, and his right thumb flipping through a program, Frank Calabrese is barely moved by the question.
He shrugs off the thought of his life story being depicted in Hollywood with a slight grin, but if any producers or directors have any ideas, Calabrese has a suggestion for the leading man – and only one.
Barn Notes 2-1
Huge Gain for Gulfstream Park’s On-Track Handle on Donn Day
On-track handle at Gulfstream Park Saturday was $1,254,814, a 20.75% increase from the previous year’s Donn Day mark.
There were 10 races Donn Day this year, as there was Donn Day last year, which fell on Feb. 2.
Overall handle on the Gulfstream card, combining on-track handle with interstate and intertrack wagering, reached $13,816,476.54, up 14.54% from last year’s mark of $12,063,021.78.
Sunday, February 01 2009
Barbaro’s Brother Suffers Slight Injury in Defeat
Barbaro’s younger full brother Nicanor injured himself slightly leaving the gate, put in a strong mid-race rally, but tired from his efforts and finished 10th of 12 in his eagerly anticipated debut Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Nicanor is owned by the Lael Stable of Roy and Gretchen Jackson; trained by Michael Matz and ridden by Edgar Prado, the same connections that guided Barbaro to victories in the Florida Derby here and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs three years ago.
Castellano Sent to Hospital, Leparoux Wins 3 After Gulfstream Spills
Javier Castellano was sent to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood complaining of pain in his right shoulder after falling from his mount, Presto Change O, in the third race at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Presto Change O ducked in at the start, rushed into contention, then clipped heels with another horse, forcing Castellano from the saddle. Castellano, one of the nation’s top riders, took off his remaining mounts Saturday.
Saratoga Sinner Upsets Holy Bull Stakes
Lally Stable’s 3-year-old Saratoga Sinner stamped his credentials as a Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect when he edged away to win Saturday’s $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park by three-quarters of a length at 14-1 over Bear Stable’s longshot pace-setter Bear’s Rocket.
A son of 2002 Florida Derby (G12) winner Harlan’s Holiday, Saratoga Sinner had broken his maiden last out over the track and 1 1/8 miles distance on Jan. 7 after a fifth- and third-place finish in two starts last year at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Saratoga Sinner stalked the pace set by Bear’s Rocket from the backstretch and went on to give jockey Julien Leparoux his third winner on the card and seventh in two days here.
Gulfstream Park Donates $22,000 to Injured-Jockeys’ Fund
Gulfstream Park presented the Jockeys’ Guild with a $22,000 check Saturday.
“In recent years Gulfstream Park has proven itself to be an invaluable friend to the Guild and jockeys everywhere,” said John Velazquez, Guild President. “We thank Frank Stronach (Chairman of MEC, owner of Gulfstream Park) and Bill Murphy (track president and General Manager) for their continued support, deep commitment and invaluable friendship.”