Golden Mystery, Off the Jak Win Sprint Tests
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 1/19/2013 5:32:01 PM
Last Updated: 1/22/2013 4:29:52 PM
Golden Mystery rolls home in the Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint.
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Coglianese Photos/Courtney Heeney
There wasn't much sunshine to be found at Gulfstream Park Jan. 19 as Golden Mystery opened the Florida Sunshine Millions program with a romping victory in the $150,000 Filly and Mare Sprint (VIDEO).
The race was one of two six-furlong sprint stakes for Florida-breds contested over a sloppy, sealed main track on the Sunshine Millions card.
Golden Mystery, ridden by Luis Saez, defeated grade I winner Emma's Encore and 6-5 favorite R Holiday Mood by 5 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:11.07. Emma's Encore edged R Holiday Mood by a neck for second.
In the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint three races later, the victor was 13-1 surprise Off the Jak, who was timed in 1:10.27 while defeating Bahamian Squall and Little Drama by three-quarters of a length (VIDEO).
Golden Mystery, sent off as the second choice at odds of 2-1, had a recency edge over her main rivals and the 7-year-old mare used it to her advantage in halting an 11-race losing streak for Farnsworth Stables and trainer Marty Wolfson.
Wolfson said Golden Mystery will be retired and sold Feb. 11 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Mixed Sale. The Adena Springs-bred chestnut mare finishes her career with an 8-7-4 mark in 37 races with earnings of $450,223.
Vying between pace rivals Becausei'mworthit and R Holiday Mood through a quick opening half mile (:21.99, :45.63), Golden Mystery took off in upper stretch after getting through on the inside on the turn.
Opening up by 2 1/2 lengths mid-stretch, she drew off easily under an energetic hand ride from Saez.
Emma's Encore, making her first start since Oct. 6, trailed by about nine lengths on the backstretch before rallying five wide in the stretch to get the place spot. R Holiday Mood was three wide early in her first appearance since last March and could not keep up with the winner.
The victory was the second in a stakes for Golden Mystery, who captured the Mongo Queen at Monmouth Park in September 2011. During her losing streak, the daughter of Awesome Again —Mysterious Angel, by Saint Ballado, posted five runner-up finishes. That included her past two outings in the Sugar Swirl (gr. III), in which she was defeated by Dust and Diamonds Dec. 8. and the one-mile Ocala stakes at Gulfstream three weeks later.
"I thought coming off that mile, I knew she'd have the stamina," Wolfson said. "When they were going head and head, I knew she'd finish strong. I didn't know she'd win off by six, but I knew she'd finish strong. And that race to Dust and Diamonds (Dec. 8) was a good race."
Carrying 117 pounds, Golden Mystery paid $6, $3, and $2.20 while topping an $18.40 exacta with Emma's Encore, last summer's Prioress Stakes (gr. I) winner at Saratoga Race Course. Emma's Encore paid $3.20 and $2.40 as the 121-pound high weight. R Holiday Mood paid $2.20.
In the Sunshine Millions Sprint, stalker Off the Jak collared favored Star Harbour rounding the turn for home after fractions of :22.15 and :45.32, and led through the stretch under Jose Alvarez. He held the late-running Bahamian Squall safe under brisk handling for a measured victory.
Second choice Bahamian Squall rallied from eighth at the quarter pole to edge Little Drama for second by half a length, with Close It Out another half-length back in fourth. Star Harbour finished fifth as the slight choice.
Trained by Shivananda Parbhoo for Sherry Parbhoo, Off the Jak was coming off a runner-up finish to Indiano in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Dec. 29.
Off the Jak, a 5-year-old gelding by With Distinction —Quiet Lake, by Quiet American , was bred by Big C Farm. The dark bay paid $28.20, $9.80, and $5.40 for his fourth victory from 18 starts, boosting his earnings to $229,872.
"He's getting better and better. He's a nice horse," Parbhoo said. "He's more relaxed every time he comes out. Coming to the race today the groom actually had to pull him to come over. But when he goes to the gate he's a totally different horse."
Bahamian Squall paid $4.40 and $3, rounding out a $149 exacta. Little Drama paid $3.80.
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