Sunshine Millions Challenger Elaine's Angel Undeterred by Turbulent Flight

Edited release from Gulfstream Park
Thursday morning found Elaine's Angel, a top California contender in the $350,000 Franks Farms (Filly & Mare) Turf, safely bedded down in Barn 11 on the Gulfstream Park backstretch.

"She was really sharp coming off the track this morning," said Jerry Dutton's assistant trainer Jim Burns who escorted the 5-year-old mare from her base at Santa Anita and then watched as Elaine's Angel jogged one mile in the wrong direction over the track. "She was extra playful and bucking, but she's settled down now. That's normal after her long flight."

Preparations for the flight began at about 2 a.m. on Wednesday when vans began loading horses from Santa Anita. The South Florida-bound charter landed at Fort Lauderdale International Airport at about 1 p.m. and, following a short and uneventful van ride, the California contingent were safely ensconced by 2:30 p.m..

The flight, however, was not so uneventful.

"It was a good flight but there was some turbulence for a while and a lot of the horses were whining and moving around pretty good," Burns said. "But she was good even though it was her first time in the air. I think I might have been more scared than her."

Burns said that horses may adjust better than humans to the three-hour time difference that had him yawning as he prepared oats for Elaine's Angel on Thursday morning. Although the local time of 8:30 a.m. would have put him right in the midst of his normal morning routine, he said he was still suffering the effects of setting his alarm at a time his body clock felt to be 1:30 a.m.