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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

CHECK GULF FEATURE, STAT

Edited Gulfstream Staff Release – It was never a guessing game while handicapping a race in which C2 Racing Stable LLC’s Stat was involved. Bettors could always count on the son of Will Take Charge taking charge of the race early, win or lose.

            Gulfstream Park handicappers will be somewhat more challenged Sunday when they try to figure out the pace scenario in the $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer, a mile handicap for 3-year-olds and up on turf. Stat showed them that he doesn’t need the lead to win last time out. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained 5-year-old gelding rated in fourth in traffic before rallying to win by a head in a mile optional claiming allowance on turf April 27.

            “Stat is coming into the race really good. Last time, he showed a new dimension. He rated. It’s kind of nice to have that option,” Joseph said. “You’d think he’d be the favorite and a deserving favorite.”

            Stat, the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a field of 11, will carry highweight of 123 pounds while conceding between 1 and 10 pounds to his 10 rivals. Edgard Zayas has the return mount.

            Stat leads a Joseph-trained contingent of four that includes Daniel Alonso’s Novo Sol, Rosedown Racing Stables LLC’s Champions Dream, and Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s Bluebirds Over.

            Novo Sol, Group 1-placed in Brazil, was graded stakes-placed on multiple occasions in 2023 shortly after coming to North America.

            “He’s a horse that kind of tailed off. He’s been rounding back in form. His last two races have been decent. He won nicely for Drayden [Van Dyke] and last time he ran fourth, but it was a pretty good run. He got too far back and stayed on nicely,” Joseph said. “Running him more, he’s kind of thriving on that more than training in between races.”

            Champions Dream won a mile-and-70-yard optional claiming allowance on Tapeta in his first start since being transferred to Joseph.

            “He ran big the first time. He’s a solid horse,” said Joseph, who has yet to determine the son of Justify’s starting status if the Soldier’s Dancer remains on turf. “I think the Tapeta track is going to help him.”

            Bluebirds Over won the Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine on Tapeta in his second career start but has been winless in six subsequent races.

            “He’s been a disappointment, to put it nicely,” Joseph said.  “After he won his first race, we shipped him up to Woodbine. It was a hard task to overcome shipping in just two weeks, and he won. After that, he’s been flat. He’s trained well. We’ve freshened him. His best chance would probably be if the race came off the turf.”

            Van Dyke has the return mount on Novo Sol; Edwin Gonzalez has the call on Champions Dream; and Teshawn Hazelwood is named on Bluebirds Over.

            If the Soldier’s Dancer is run on turf as scheduled, Rancho Alegre’s K. C. Chief and Soldi Stable LLC and Ohana Racing Stable LLC’s Amstrong will be scratched, trainer Jose D’Angelo reported. If the stakes is moved from turf to Tapeta, both horses would be formidable contenders.

            K.C. Chief has won three races in a row on the all-weather surface. Amstrong is a three-time stakes winner on Tapeta.

`           M Racing Group LLC’s Eyes on the King, DeBello Racing Stable LLC’s Sir Saffer, Wallace Moore Jr.’s Souper Energizer, Starship Stable and trainer Steve Dwoskin’s Starship Renegade and Shadybrook Farm Inc. and Pam Klein’s Themanupfront round out the field.

            Teshawn Hazelwood Rides First U.S. Winner at Gulfstream

            Teshawn Hazelwood, a former champion rider in Barbados, rode his first winner in the U.S. Friday at Gulfstream Park.

            The 25-year-old jockey guided Beastly Speed to a rallying nose decision aboard Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Beastly Speed ($6.60) in Race 6, a six-furlong $25,000 claimer for 3-year-olds and up.

            “It feel great after all the hard work I’ve been doing behind the scenes,” said Hazelwood, who has been exercise riding for Joseph, also a native of Barbados, in the morning. “I thank Saffie for the opportunity.”

            Beastly Speed was Hazelwood’s sixth mount since arriving in the U.S. late last year.

            “After one championship in Barbados, Saffie gave me an invitation and asked if I’d like to come to the U.S.,” Hazelwood said. “I gave it a shot and it’s paying off.”

            Edgard Zayas, the leading rider at the Royal Palm Meet, enjoyed a four-win day Friday.

Zayas rode both ends of the early double, scoring aboard Love Mami Love ($9) in Race 1 and Etrurian ($4.80) in Race 2, before winning aboard Pay Zone ($8) in Race 4. He returned in Race 8 to score aboard American of Course ($4.20).

            Leading trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. saddled three winners — Love Mami Love in Race 1, Beastly Speed in Race 6 and American of Course in Race 8.

  Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Estimated at $75,000  

            The 20-cent jackpot pool is expected to grow to an estimated $75,000 Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the popular multi-race wager went unsolved on the first racing day following Sunday’s mandatory payout.

            Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 5-10, headlined by the $120,000 Smile Sprint in Race 9.  Sibelius and Run Classic will make their first starts since finishing off the board in the March 30 Dubai Golden Shaheen, a race won by Sibelius in 2023. Graded-stakes winner Octane will seek his 10th career victory after scoring b 6 ¼-length win in the Big Drama last time out.

             The jackpot pool is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

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