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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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.





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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.





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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.





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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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