Affirmatif easily won his debut at Gulfstream Feb. 28.

Affirmatif easily won his debut at Gulfstream Feb. 28.

Coglianese Photos

Pletcher May Have Another Late Bloomer

Affirmatif impressed in his maiden score on the turf Feb. 28

(from Gulfstream Park notes)

The dust wasn’t completely settled from the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 28 when trainer Todd Pletcher threw another 3-year-old on to the stage in a big way as the Wertheimer Brothers’ Affirmatif rolled to a nine-length victory in his career debut.

The Kentucky homebred son of Unbridled's Song won the one-mile maiden turf contest in 1:34.27 – faster by .04 than the time run by 5-year-old Pletcher-trained stablemate Twilight Meteor, who won the Canadian Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) two races earlier.

“That was very impressive,” said Pletcher immediately after the race. “He had been training really well and we were optimistic, but you can never really know with a first-timer going long. He was bred to run long and he was training like he was going to run long. I wouldn’t have any problem running back in a stakes after that.”

The win was also the first at Gulfstream for jockey Chris DeCarlo since his return from shoulder surgery.

Pletcher also saw Starlight Racing Partners’ Take the Points finish second to The Pamplemouse in the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Feb. 28. And he is expected to send another Unbridled’s Song colt, Dunkirk, into the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) March 28.

Break Water Edison, Notonthesamepage to Regroup

Eli Gindi’s Break Water Edison was scheduled for X-rays, a head-to-toe once-over, and likely a nuclear scan as trainer John Kimmel seeks to explain why the 3-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid  had to be pulled up in the stretch of the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

The winner of the Nashua Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct  Nov. 3 has now finished last in his two stakes attempts at Gulfstream Park, and the way he ran Feb. 28 under jockey Eibar Coa has Kimmel, a licensed veterinarian, concerned about what the tests will find.

“Eibar said he seemed to put himself in a great position until they got into the turn,” said Kimmel. “He switched his lead and immediately took himself off the bridle and kept switching back so that Eibar thought he hurt himself. He tried to protect the horse and the horse seemed pretty willing to pull himself up.

“We don’t know yet, but if these X-rays don’t show anything, I have a feeling the nuclear scan will. A lot of times the X-rays will come back clean, but the scintigraphy will light up bruises on the cannon bone. I hope that’s not the case, because that’s 60-90 days right there, and that would pretty much wipe out his season.”

Scintigraphy is a diagnostic test in which a two-dimensional picture of a body-radiation source is obtained through the use of radioisotopes.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Spectacular Bid Stakes winner Notonthesamepage suffered pulmonary bleeding during the Fountain of Youth and will be sent to a hyperbaric chamber and pointed to shorter races in the future.

“He bled pretty bad,” said trainer Wesley Ward. “It’s something we’ve been fighting with him and it came out again yesterday. It’s unfortunate, but I think we’ve got the makings of a pretty good miler. That’s where we will look from here.”

Notonthesamepage was an impressive front-running winner of the Spectacular Bid  Jan. 3. With a fast pace expected in the Fountain of Youth, Ken Ramsey, Ward, and jockey Elvis Trujillo decided to experiment with taking back off the pace. Ramsey now regrets that call.

“I told them let’s see if he can take back, but it now looks like that put stress on him,” Ramsey said. “We’ve studied why horses bleed like this and it’s always the stress. We thought maybe we could take him back and send him a signal when it was time to go, but instead it just stressed him out. It was bad timing.”

Ramsey also added that his oft-injured 6-year-old sprinting star Talent Search again has some filling in a knee and will not make the trip to Dubai for the $2-million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on the Dubai World Cup program  March 28.