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.





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Jack Spratt Takes Dania Beach


Thomas Conway, Sand Dollar Stable and partners’ 3-year-old Jack Spratt overcame the far outside post position in a bulky field of 13 to rally to a half-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux in Saturday’s $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Less than a length separated the first four under the wire in the one mile turf test.





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Career Debut Imminent for Nicanor after Saturday Workout


Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the 3-year-old full-brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, is doing “terrific” and has trainer Michael Matz hoping he will be able to make his career debut on Donn Handicap (G1) weekend, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

The Kentucky homebred son of Dynaformer breezed a half-mile in company with fellow Matz-trainee Hennigan in 50 2/5. The two finished together with Nicanor getting the wider, outside trip around the sweeping Palm Meadows turn under exercise rider and assistant trainer Peter Brette. It was a breeze designed to gauge how ready the colt is for his debut. By all accounts, it’s a matter of scheduling now.





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Friday, January 16 2009


Maturity Coming Through for Nicanor


Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the full-brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, is doing “terrific” and has trainer Michael Matz eagerly eyeing possible debut dates on Donn Handicap (G1) weekend later this month.

“I’m not sure there’s a race scheduled for him,” said Matz Friday afternoon. “I would love to get him into a race those days.”





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Gilchrist Stable in Sunshine Millions Action at Gulfstream and Santa Anita


Trainer Greg Gilchrist has had a remarkable record of success shipping stakes runners from his Northern California headquarters to South Florida in recent years, and he will have two top contenders in Sunshine Millions races at Gulfstream Park next Saturday (Jan. 24) and another that afternoon at Santa Anita.

“Wild Promises and High Resolve will be on a FedEx cargo flight out of Oakland Tuesday for the races at Gulfstream and Victorina will run in the Distaff at Santa Anita,” said Gilchrist Friday morning from Golden Gate Fields, adding that he will be at Gulfstream that afternoon.





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Any Limit & Game Face Lead Cast for Sunday’s First Lady


Joseph V. Shields, Jr.’s 6-year-old homebred mare Any Limit and Zabeel Racing International’s 4-year-old filly Game Face, established graded-stakes-winning sprinters, will attract the most attention in a field of eight fillies and mares drawn for Sunday’s $100,000 First Lady Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The 27th running of the six-furlong First Lady will share top billing on Sunday’s 10-race program with the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf. Trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. will send out a pair of contenders each with solid credentials in the field of 11.





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JOCKEYS RECEIVE MOUNT FEE INCREASE IN SOUTH FLORIDA


Jockeys riding at Gulfstream Park as well as Calder and the Tropical Park meeting will receive an increase in losing mount fees beginning today, January 15.

The new scale provides for losing mount fees to range from $75 on the bottom to $105 at the top of the purse scale. Previously, the losing mount fee started at $55 or $65, depending on the track.





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Black Seventeen Brings Grade 1 Talent East to Mr. Prospector


Wind River Stables’ Black Seventeen is hitting the road again from his Southern California base as the Grade 1-winning sprinter ships east to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3).

The 5-year-old son of Is It True racked up the frequent flier miles last year along with his trainer and co-owner Brian Koriner, who took advantage of the best horse he has ever trained to travel to racing’s biggest stages. Along the way the Florida-bred scored an upset victory in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) on a ‘sloppy’ at Belmont Park in late September.





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Thursday, January 15 2009


Kelly’s Landing & Black Seventeen Clash in Mr. Prospector Saturday


The $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park came up particularly strong for Saturday’s renewal with Summerplace Farm’s 8-year-old gelding Kelly’s Landing coming out for another season and Wind River Stable’s 5-year-old Black Seventeen shipping in from California for the six-furlong dash.

The co-feature on Saturday’s 10-race program will be the $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf and drew a wide-open field of 14 with Three Diamond Farm’s Smart Shot and Green Lantern Farm’s Koptar among the likely favorites.





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Wednesday, January 14 2009


Any Limit Ready to Return after Gulfstream Workout


Joseph Shields’s star mare Any Limit is nearing the end of her career, but she showed her connections there is still some gas in the tank after a Wednesday morning workout at Gulfstream Park that likely puts her in Sunday’s $100,000 First Lady Stakes (G3).

The 6-year-old homebred by Limit Out is a two-time stakes winner at Gulfstream, but enters this campaign after two sixth-place finishes last fall.





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Monday, January 12 2009


‘First Saturday in May,” Aired at Gulfstream Park and on HRTV, Wins Eclipse Award


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association have announced that the Hennegan Brothers documentary, "The First Saturday in May," which chronicled the story of Florida Derby winner Barbaro and five other horses and their connections en route to the 2006 Kentucky Derby, has won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award in the National Television Feature programming category.

The 90-minute program was repeatedly aired free of charge at Gulfstream Park last May, in the days leading up to the 2008 Kentucky Derby, and on HRTV as well, later in the year.





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Waquoit’s Love Wins First Stakes in Marshua’s River Sunday


Dennis Federico’s Maryland homebred mare Waquoit’s Love had come close to winning a stakes several times over the last year, twice losing head decisions, but finally broke through to capture Sunday’s $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream Park by a neck under jockey Rene Douglas.

The roan/gray 6-year-old daughter of Waquoit, trained by Tim Hills, was close-up from the start, broke clear in the stretch, but was all out to hold Darley Stable’s Sea Chanter safe at the wire after 1 1/16 miles in 1:41:10 over the ‘firm’ course. Stronach Stable’s Ginger Brew was the even-money favorite in the field of 11 fillies and mares and rallied for third, 1¼ lengths behind the runner-up.





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