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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oilgonewile Wire-to-Wire for 22-1 Upset in Sweetest Chant
Chester Bishop and partners’ 3-year-old filly Oilgonewile had won her last stakes start leading from start to finish in late November as a 13-1 longshot, but still got little respect from the bettors before going wire-to-wire to capture Sunday’s $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park at 22-1.
With jockey Wesley Henry aboard, Oilgonewile coasted under the wire in 1:36:24 over the ‘firm’ turf course, finishing 1¾ lengths clear of Edward P. Evans’ Weekend Strike in second. James Riccio’s Exe finished another neck back in third while A. Steven Miles Jr.’s 5-2 favorite Banker’s Choice retired to last in the field of 11 3-year-old fillies.
Game Face Prompt Favorite Winning First Lady Sunday
Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face won the Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park last winter by seven lengths, and was back in the winner’s circle Sunday after drawing clear to win the $100,000 First Lady Stakes (G3) over the same track and six-furlong distance by 2 ¾ length under jockey John R. Velazquez.
A chestnut daughter of Menifee, Game Face was off a half-step slow and stalked the pace down the backstretch before rallying past Joseph V. Shields, Jr.’s 6-year-old pace-setter Any Limit, who held well in the stretch to finish second. Live Oak Plantation’s Slewfoundmoney rallied for third, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up in the field of seven fillies and mares.
Here for Eclipse Awards, Karlsson Might Stay Awhile
With sub-zero temperatures in Chicago and a date at the Jan. 26 Eclipse Awards Dinner in Miami Beach, Inez Karlsson was making the rounds at Gulfstream Park Sunday morning hoping to get a foothold in the tough local jockey colony.
The 26-year-old native of Sweden is one of three finalists for the Eclipse champion apprentice award to be announced at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach. Karlsson led the standings at Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago at their recently concluded meet.
Sunday, January 18 2009
Ikagai Scores Biggest Victory Yet in Mr. Prospector
Edmund Gann’s 4-year-old colt Ikigai had won four of his last five starts for trainer Marty Wolfson, but was taking a big step up in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, facing Grade\Group I winners Kelly’s Landing and Black Seventeen in the field of seven going six furlongs.
With jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan aboard, Ikigai stalked from second down the backstretch, took command on the far turn, and drew clear to score by 2¼ lengths over Lael Stable’s Rollers with Wind River Stable’s California invader Black Seventeen another 3¼ lengths back in third as the winner was timed in 1:09:37 over the ‘fast’ track.