Three Plus U Stable's Northern Quest, taking advantage of a soft turf course he seems to prefer, split horses at the top of the stretch en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $242,500 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields. Under Victor Espinoza, the 6-year-old French-bred completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:58.58.
Sunday at Gulfstream Park
De Bertie earned her second graded stakes win on the current Gulfstream Park meet, closing from last place to win Sunday's $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths over favored Apple of Kent. In January at Gulfstream, the 4-year-old filly earned her first career stakes win in the Sabin Handicap (gr. III).
The voice over the public address system said, "Bring your horses over for the eighth race." Trainer Grover (Bud) Delp had brought hundreds of horses over for the eighth race and was in no hurry. In his mind, this horse was special and everything had to be perfect. The object of Delp's attention was the improving 4-year-old Include. The handsome son of Broad Brush stood in his stall like a gentleman while the groom applied the moistened tongue-tie and slipped a set of yellow blinkers over the colt's head. "He can be a handful," Delp said, "so we tack him up in the stall. That seems to keep him in a frame of mind where he is relaxed and focused at the same time. It's not standard procedure but you have to do it the way the horse tells you."
Owner John Oxley and trainer John Ward are still discussing whether to race or retire Beautiful Pleasure. In mid-February, Oxley said March 1 was decision day, but recently he said another discussion is slated for March 8.
Monarchos, Cee Dee, Dream Run, City Zip, and Talk Is Money were sent out for works Sunday morning in South Florida in preparation for Saturday's Florida Derby (gr. I).
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