A day before the Florida Derby, indications are that Gulfstream Park could be headed for a huge day in wagering and other business.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner returned in 2015 with his connections hopeful of a trip to Dubai, but after he ran sixth in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), they shifted gears to the March 28 Skip Away (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Ekati's Phaeton, a surprise winner of the one-mile Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II), attempts to stretch out an additional sixteenth of a mile March 28 in the $250,000 Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II).
Back at Gulfstream Park, Wildcat Red appears the one to beat in the $250,000 Sunshine Million Classic on Jan. 17, but East Hall could prove his strongest challenger.
Multiple graded stakes winner Wildcat Red sizzled through a five-furlong breeze over Gulfstream Park's main track the morning of Jan. 4 in preparation for the upcoming $250,000 Sunshine Millions Classic.
Ekati's Phaeton wouldn't be denied in her bid for a first stakes victory, holding off R Sassy Lass through the stretch to take the $100,000 Old Hat (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park by a half length Jan. 3.
Improving East Hall turned the tables on nemesis Wildcat Red when he came from off the pace to score in the $100,000 Millions Classic Preview Nov. 8 at Gulfstream Park West, the featured event on a seven-stakes card.
If this fall's Gulfstream Park West meet was an election, Gulfstream Park and its parent, The Stronach Group, might already be able to declare victory.
East Hall, winner of the Ohio Derby two starts back, shipped back north from his Florida base to win the $507,100 Indiana Derby (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Indiana Grand Race Course Oct. 4.
When Stanley Gold saddled Sing Praises to win the Dr. Fager Stakes, the first leg of the Florida Sires Stakes series, the veteran trainer joined exclusive company in the annals of the series for 2-year-olds.
Wildcat Red and General a Rod, the one-two finishers in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, will likely take their nascent rivalry to the next level in the $1 million Florida Derby.
Gulfstream Park was the runaway winner over Calder Casino and Race Course July 13-14 in their head-to-head battle, at least in terms of wagering. Gulfstream handled about $4.5 million to Calder's $1.4 million.
Musical Romance, who sold for $1.6 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale, is headed to Japan where she will be a broodmare, one of her former owners said.
- By Ron Mitchell
Trainer Bill Kaplan discusses champion sprinter Musical Romance. Watch Video
Putyourdreamsaway leads a field of nine juvenile fillies entered for the $300,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes series at Calder Casino & Race Course Oct. 13.
Pinnacle Racing Stables and Bill Kaplan's 2011 Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter Musical Romance bid a proper farewell to Calder Casino & Race Course Oct.6.
Headed by national female sprint champion Musical Romance and multiple grade I winner Turbulent Descent, the $200,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 22 at Belmont Park came up as an exceptionally tough race.
Musical Romance, the champion female sprinter of 2011, will be consigned to the upcoming Fasig-Tipton November sale, Three Chimneys announced Sept. 18.
Emma's Encore and Turbulent Descent are among the others targeting the Sept. 22 race at Belmont Park.
For the first time since 2007, neither division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course will be swept as D'nied Permission won the Affirmed and Putyourdreamsaway took the Susan's Girl.
Last year, Musical Romance missed victory by a neck in the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I). This season, the 2011 Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter would not be denied.
Female sprint champion Musical Romance, preparing for the upcoming Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) at Calder Casino & Racecourse, turned in a bullet half-mile in :46 1/5 over the track June 29.
Musical Romance, the 2011 champion female sprinter, tops the field of 10 fillies and mares set to contest the $300,000 Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on April 12.
Champion Musical Romance, who disappointed in her 2012 debut, will have a chance to rebound when she meets 10 rivals in the $150,000 Inside Information (gr. II) March 17 at Gulfstream Park.
As bigger names garnered the publicity, Musical Romance completed her rags-to-riches story when she was named champion female sprinter for 2011.
Pinnacle Racing Stable and trainer Bill Kaplan's longshot Musical Romance (by Concorde's Tune) pulled away on the inside in the stretch to take the $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I).
Freshmen sires Medaglia d'Oro and Mr. Livingston, both by El Prado, were represented by their respective first winners when Richard Rowan's Renda and Theresa and David Palmer and Merritt Racing's D. C.'s Legacy won at Calder Race Course May 31.
Four of the seven horses that will contest Saturday's Belmont Stakes have owners from the New York metropolitan area, giving a distinct local feel to the Big Apple's big race.
The paddock opens at 11:30 for schooling. One of the first to arrive is Belmont (gr. I) entrant Tiago. Trainer John Shirreffs, his stepson David Ingordo, and Frankie Herrarte, a member of his crew, follows the Pleasant Tap colt, who is led by Frank Leal.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Tiago, as well as Todd Pletcher-trained candidates Rags to Riches and Circular Quay, all hit the Belmont main track for work-outs Sunday morning.
Owner Rick Porter and trainer Larry Jones have named Garrett Gomez to ride Hard Spun in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), replacing Mario Pino, who had ridden the colt in all eight of his previous starts. As of now, Hard Spun is considered 98% certain to run, according to Porter.
Several of the connections of this year's Derby horses have more than one shot of winning the big prize.
In a year where multiple trainers have multiple horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Bill Kaplan will saddle two longshots.
Federico Stakes winner Xchanger will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), moving Bill Kaplan-trainee Imawildandcrazyguy to 20th on the graded earnings list.
The work of the morning at Churchill Downs Monday was Hard Spun's :57 3/5 scorcher, but other Derby hopefuls went through their final paces over the main track just after the renovation break. Trainer Bill Kaplan sent out Storm in May and Imawildandcrazyguy while trainer Darrin Miller worked Silverton Hills' Sedgefield.
Mr. Livingston won the $75,000 Carterista Handicap at Calder Race Course on Saturday with jockey Chris Morales in the irons.
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