Imperial Hint, unraced since mid-February, made an emphatic return Saturday when he rocketed up the rail coming off the final turn en route to a 4 3/4-length victory in the Smile Sprint Stakes (G3).
Handicappers of all persuasions will find something to sink their teeth into Saturday, as we turn the calendar page to July and officially begin the second half of the 2017 racing season.
Veteran graded stakes winners Delta Bluesman and Awesome Banner, who each also have a history of success at Gulfstream Park, return to the South Florida track July 1 intent on getting back to their winning ways in the Smile Sprint Stakes (G3).
Rated R Superstar closed from the clouds and snuck wide down the lane, surprising 2-5 favorite Awesome Banner to win the $150,000 Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) July 2 at Gulfstream Park.
Already a winner in four of five starts at Gulfstream Park, including three stakes, topped by a five-length score in this year's Swale (gr. II), Awesome Banner will try to add to that list July 2 in the $150,000 Carry Back (gr. III).
Gulfstream Park sets increases in purses and number of stakes for 2016, as it aims to draw top horses and large fields to its spring-summer meet.
Wide Range, an 11-year-old half sister to 2015 champion 2-year-old filly Songbird, has been purchased privately in Thailand by Team Valor International, which plans to breed the mare this spring.
Saraguaro is slated to seek his third straight stakes victory in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 16 at Gulfstream, while Flutterby will race for nonagenarian Jerry Bozzo in the Sunshine Millions Distaff.
In its last running before being elevated to grade III status for 2016, the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday will offer another highly competitive field that includes a quartet of graded stakes winners Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
William Parsons Jr. and David S. Howe's homebred Merry Meadow made her return to the races a winning one, taking the $250,000 Princess Rooney Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park on July 5.
One of the least experienced horses in the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) field at Gulfstream Park July 5 pulled off the upset when Grand Bili fought off favored Barbados for a one-length victory under Javier Castellano.
Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) winner Barbados will waste no time getting back to business July 5, when he makes his first start off the layup in the $150,000 Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Work All Week is the most accomplished performer in the July 5 Summit of Speed program, and the champion male sprinter of 2014 looks to get his revenge on season debut spoiler Alsvid.
Paul Rigali Jr.'s homebred Texas Air put away a field almost entirely composed of out-of-state invaders to claim the $200,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) May 1 under the lights at Lone Star Park.
Loooch Racing Stables' Sr. Quisqueyano cuts back in distance for the $200,000 Texas Mile S (gr. III), where a graded-stakes breakthrough is on the line, April 24 at Lone Star Park.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner put away stubborn rival Sr. Quisqueyano March 28 at Gulfstream Park, winning the $150,000 Skip Away (gr. III) by a head after a prolonged battle.
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.
Wildcat Red was honored as the 2014 Florida-bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old colt at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association annual awards banquet and gala March 16.
The field for the $1 million, 1 1/4-mile Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7 is full, but beyond headliner Shared Belief, the race lacks the potential star power that appeared to be possible when nominations came out.
Gulfstream Park announced a record $4.7 million summer stakes schedule March 1. The schedule will feature five graded stakes starting April 25 with the Miami Mile (gr. III) on the turf.
Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Delta Downs, Oaklawn, Turfway Park and More. View Slideshow
Fresh off the claim, Sr. Quisqueyano upset the $250,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 17 at Gulfstream Park, holding off East Hall by a half-length in a shocker.
A small but talented field of six fillies and mares is to go to post in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III) from Gulfstream Park Dec. 13.
Monday, Oct. 27, was another busy work day at Santa Anita Park for horses pointing toward the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Meanwhile, the connections of horses entered were awaiting the post position draw later Monday.
Melnyk Racing Stables' Leigh Court punched her ticket to the Breeders' Cup World Championships by outrunning the competition to win the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland Race Course Oct. 4.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|City of Weston||Peter R. Walder||
|Gotta Be Fate||Kathleen O'Connell||
|Mico Margarita||Steven M. Asmussen||
|R Free Roll||Danny Gargan||
|Red Rocket Express||Chad J. Stewart||
|Sr. Quisqueyano||Jeffrey A. Radosevich||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Prairie Gold Lassie S.||PRM|
|A. P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase H. (G1)||SAR|
|John Morrissey S.||SAR|
|Real Good Deal S.||DMR|
|Prairie Gold Juvenile S.||PRM|