Pletcher goes into the Florida Derby weekend with 27 victories, 13 more than Nick Zito in second with 15, followed by Rick Dutrow in third with 13. Nine-time Gulfstream champion Bill Mott is fourth with 12 while Marty Wolfson is fifth with 11.
Castellano leads Velazquez by five (46-41) going into Friday’s program with Elvis Trujillo third at 37, Julien Leparoux fourth with 36 and Rajiv Maragh and Paco Lopez tied for fifth at 34 apiece.
Jockey Alan Garcia is tied for eighth in the Gulfstream standings with 21 wins and remains on the 1,000 career victory milestone watch at 998. He is named on mounts in three races Friday afternoon.
Trappe Shot Takes Conservative Path in Sunday Allowance Feature.
Mill House’s 3-year-old Trappe Shot was very impressive breaking his maiden by 10 ¼ lengths going six furlongs in 1:09 2/5 at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 21 with jockey Alan Garcia aboard for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, a performance that could have sent him directly into stakes company, possibly even Saturday’s seven-furlong Swale Stakes (G2) for which he was nominated.
Trappe Shot’s connections instead opted for Sunday’s allowance race restricted to Florida-breds at 6 ½ furlongs for the highly-promising colt’s next start with Garcia on a return call in a field of seven 3-year-olds.
Trappe Shot is a chestnut colt by Tapit purchased for $850,000 at the Eastern May sale of 2-year-olds at Timonium and finished fifth after a bad start in his debut at Saratoga in late July, his only start before breaking his maiden here as the 3-to-5 favorite that day.
Trappe Shot’s most dangerous rival may be Four Roses Thoroughbreds’ Roman Hall with Rajiv Maragh aboard for trainer Tom Albertrani. The son of Burning Roma was purchased for $85,000 at the OBS February 2-year-old sales and won his career debut at Meadowlands on Nov. 3 by 6 ½ lengths. In one start since he flashed speed before tiring to seventh in an allowance race here on Feb. 25 won by Soaring Empire.
Completing the field for Sunday’s race are Veronica Sarabia’s Double Judge, Luis Saez; David Ross’ What a Prince, John Velazquez; Joseph Arriola’s Havanadaydream, Edgar Prado; Kuehne Racing’s Royal Troon, Jeremy Rose; and Michael Foster’s Non Compete, Eddie Castro.
‘No Respect’ Again Likely for Joanie’s Catch in Bonnie Miss
What’s a horse got to do at Gulfstream Park to get some respect from horse players?
Rose Family Stable’s 3-year-old Florida homebred filly Joanie’s Catch won $266,000 as a 2-year-old in 11 races at Calder, a third-place finish in the $250,000 Delta Princess Stakes (G3) at Delta Downs in Louisiana and a neck defeat when second in the Sandpiper Stakes to complete her season at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 26 for co-owner-breeder and trainer Barry Rose.
In spite of her impressive bankroll and 13-2-5-4 juvenile record, Joanie’s Catch was sent off 48-to-1 in the Old Hat Stakes (G3) on Jan. 9 at Gulfstream, finishing second to longshot Richiegirlgonewild, and came back in the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) on Jan. 31 at odds of 51-to-1 to finish second to Bickersons.
Last out on Feb. 13, Joanie’s Catch was sent away a 27-to-1 chance in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) and finished second behind Amen Hallelujah, and is set to face that rival again in Saturday’s $150,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) with regular rider Paco Lopez aboard. She is listed on the morning line at 10-to-1.
The familiar pink and gray Rose Family colors were in the winners’ circle after the 1995 Bonnie Miss worn by jockey Kristi Chapman after the stable‘s homebred filly Mia’s Hope won the race with family patriarch Harold Rose as trainer. Mia’s Hope’s foal of 1997 was the colt Hal’s Hope, storybook winner of the 2000 Florida Derby (G1).
Harold Rose passed away in 2003 at age 92.