Thursday, January 08 2009
Macho Again on Target for Sunshine Millions Classic
Most of the leading contenders for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic to be run at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24 are already stabled in South Florida for the winter season, but a few will be flying in for the rich 1 1/8 miles test, including West Point Thoroughbreds’ 4-year-old Macho Again from Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
“He’s doing fine, just needs a couple more works and we’ll be there,” said trainer Dallas Stewart Wednesday morning. A roan/gray Florida-bred colt by Macho Uno, Macho Again was a major player in the 3-year-old division last year as runner-up to Big Brown in the Preakness (G1) at Pimlico and winner of the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Silver Tree Launches 2009 Campaign in Fort Lauderdale Saturday
Peter Vegso’s Florida homebred Silver Tree has posted career earnings of more than $1.75 million for trainer Bill Mott, and the durable chestnut horse by Hennessy will begin another season at age 9 Saturday as one of the favorites in a full field of 12 older horses drawn for the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Robby Albarado is named to ride Silver Tree in the 1 1/16 miles turf test over a course where he has posted a career record of 8-4-2-1, including a memorable runner-up effort behind Miesque’s Approval in the 2006 edition of the Sunshine Millions Turf with Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey riding the last race of his career, prior to an exhibition at Santa Anita last fall.
GP Barn Notes 1-8
Big Drama Targeted for Holy Bull
Harold Queen’s Florida homebred colt Big Drama will make his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) to be run at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park on Sat., Jan. 31, according to trainer David Fawkes.
“He’s been a distance twice and for right now we want to keep him at two turns,” said Fawkes. “I’m going to keep him home at Calder to train for the race, keep everything the same. (Eibar) Coa will ride him back.
Monday, January 05 2009
Notonthesamepage Booked for Fountain of Youth
Trainer Wesley Ward gave a ‘thumbs up’ sign Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park the morning after Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Notonthesamepage rolled to a near-record setting victory in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
The connections of the Kentucky homebred son of Catienus will point him for the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) to be run at one mile here on Feb. 28.
Gemswick Park Wins Three-Horse Photo Thriller in Old Hat
Melnyk Racing Stable’s 3-year-old Kentucky homebred filly Gemswick Park was up in the final steps under jockey John R. Velazquez to post a nose victory over Martin Schwartz’ favored Elusive Heat in Sunday’s $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Elusive Heat was made the 11-to-10 favorite in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies after winning her only previous start impressively in October at Belmont Park, and took command early in the six-furlong test with Gemswick Park stalking from the outside and Dare To Dream Farm’s Frolic’s Dream close-up on the inside down the backstretch. It became a three-horse battle to the wire in deep stretch with Frolic’s Dream finishing only a nose back of the runner-up in third.
Sunday, January 04 2009
Huge Crowd Turns Out for 2009 Opening
A huge crowd delighted in balmy South Florida weather, full fields and winning performances from the popular gray horse Delightful Kiss in the Hal’s Hope Stakes and the ultra-fast 3-year-old Notonthesamepage in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday, opening day of the 79-day stand.
“This is what racing is all about,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy. “There were a few opening-day glitches, but we had them ironed out in short order and all in all it was a great day of racing.”
Delightful Kiss Charges to Victory in Hal’s Hope
Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old homebred Delightful Kiss produced a powerful stretch charge coming from off the pace under jockey Calvin Borel to capture the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Handicap (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park by three lengths over Mitchell Farm’s Bullsbay. The winner was timed in 1:36:13 for the one-turn mile run over a fast track.
A roan/gray Florida-bred by Kissin Kris, Delightful Kiss was making his first start since finishing a game second behind Einstein in the Clark Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs in late November. Trainer Pete Anderson has taken his talented one-horse stable back and forth across the nation for major events the last two seasons, and had won the All American Stakes (G3) at Golden Gate and finished a close-up fourth in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Santa Anita on Oct. 25 before the Clark.
Notonthesamepage Dominates Spectacular Bid Stakes Saturday
Ken and Rarah Ramsey’s 3-year-old Kentucky homebred Notonthesamepage took command from the start of Saturday’s $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes on opening day at Gulfstream Park, and drew off to a commanding 8¼-length victory over Kramer Stable’s You Luckie Mann.
The winner ran the six furlongs in 1:08:48 on the fast track, missing the track record by 2/100s of a second.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Notonthesamepage is a son of Catenius who was making his first start since tiring to last of 11 after setting the early pace in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 4. He paid $11.40.
GP Barn notes 1-3
Beethoven Rolls Over Gulfstream Strip
Two of John Oxley’s top 3-year-old prospects worked out Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park for trainer John Ward, including Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Beethoven, and jockeys who won two of the last three editions of the Kentucky Derby (G1) rode them.
Calvin Borel, who rode Street Sense to win the 2007 Derby, shipped in to work Beethoven, going three furlongs in 36. Edgar Prado, rider of 2006 Derby winner Barbaro, was aboard Strategic Decision, a maiden out of the champion mare Beautiful Pleasure. He was timed an easy half-mile in 50 1/5.
Friday, January 02 2009
Gate Work Pleases Matz
Lael Stable’s Nicanor, the full-brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, continues to progress toward his highly anticipated career debut at the end of January or early in February.
Trainer Michael Matz reported the 3-year-old homebred son of Dynaformer worked from the starting gate at Palm Meadows Training Center last Sunday, going three furlongs in :36.50 over the fast dirt track.
Thursday, January 01 2009
Frolic’s Dream & Elusive Heat Clash in Old Hat Sunday
Dare To Dream Farm’s Frolic’s Dream is undefeated in three starts for trainer Marty Wolfson, and Martin Schwartz’ Elusive Heat was brilliant winning her only start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and the two promising prospects will get the most attention in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies drawn for Sunday’s $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan has been aboard Frolic’s Dream in all of her starts and retains the mount in Sunday’s six-furlong test. Edgar Prado gets a return call on Elusive Heat. Frolic’s Dream is a roan/gray Florida homebred daughter of Smoke Glacken who won the $100,000 Cassidy Stakes by 12¾ lengths on Oct. 18 and $150,000 Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 8 by 1¼ lengths in her last two starts at Calder after a winning debut.
Hal’s Hope & Spectacular Bid Get Gulfstream Season Off to Fast Start
A full field of 14 older horses led by Hobeau Farm’s Delightful Kiss will go to the post for the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Handicap (G3), and eight 3-year-olds are set to clash in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes, the highlights of Saturday’s opening-day program at Gulfstream Park.
The Hallandale Beach, Fla. track will run on a five-day-a-week schedule, Wednesdays through Sundays, before closing on April 23. Post time for the first race daily is 1:15 p.m.