Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Florida homebred Ameribelle has finished second in three stakes, most recently in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Mar. 14, and is among the most accomplished of 30 3-year-old fillies nominated for the $50,000 Boynton Beach Stakes next Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Boynton Beach will be run at one mile on turf and it’s the final stakes offering of the Gulfstream meeting, which runs through Thursday, Apr. 23.
Ameribelle shows a win and a second in three previous tries on turf. She lost a half-length decision in the John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf at Calder on Florida Million Day, Nov. 8, beaten by James Riccio’s Exe, a roan/gray daughter of Exchange Rate also trained by Plesa and also nominated for the Boynton Beach.
In two turf stakes starts over the Gulfstream course, Exe finished third in the Sweetest Chant Stakes in January and ninth last out in the Coconut Grove on Feb. 15.
Another accomplished nominee for the Boynton Beach is Lawrence Goichman’s New York homebred My Magic Moment, winner of two of three starts on turf, most recently an overnight stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 26. Trained by Tom Albertrani, the chestnut daughter of Forest Wildcat finished third, beaten a neck for it all in the Miss Grillo Stakes (G3) at Belmont in her previous start.
Lezcano & McPeek Lead Gulfstream Standings
Jockey Jose Lezcano won two more races on Friday’s card at Gulfstream Park and has drawn off to a big lead in the standings with 57 victories, nine more than Kent Desormeaux in second with 48, the latter having left for Keeneland last weekend.
Lezcano, a 23-year-old native of Panama, appears ready to capture his first Gulfstream meet title, adding to previous meet championships at Tampa Bay Downs, Monmouth Park and Meadowlands. Lezcano finished third in the Gulfstream standings last year behind Eibar Coa and John R. Velazquez.
Elvis Trujillo won one race on Friday’s card to run his career total to 996 victories as he closes in on the 1,000 career-win plateau. With 40 wins at this meet, he ranks in a tie for sixth with Eibar Coa. Lezcano, Trujillo and Paco Lopez will remain in action here during the final two weeks of the meeting.
While Lezcano is virtually assured the riding title, the competition for the trainers’ championship may go down to the final days with Ken McPeek leading Todd Pletcher by just one going into Saturday’s program (29-28). Both have divisions here to compete through the end of the meet. Pletcher has runners entered in five races Saturday and McPeek three.