QUALITY ROAD shrugged off DUNKIRK off the turn and powered to a track record setting Florida Derby win yesterday at Gulfstream.
Edward Evans’ homebred by Elusive Quality – Kobla ran in 1:47 for 9 furlongs and earned a 103 Beyer Figure over the sizzling fast Gulfstream strip. The colt seemingly is poised to bounce back to his 113 Beyer from his Fountain of Youth win when Kentucky Derby day arrives and that would make him tough to beat.
In fact, it’s possible the colt could have won by more had he – rather his rider John Velazquez – been aware that Dunkirk had made a huge, quick, move from far back around the turn to join him. Valezquez was just sitting in his colt and looked to his inside while riding confidently while Dunkirk almost blew past.
“This is an unbelievable experience – I’m so blessed and I love this game.” – Aaron Gryder
PLENTY OF AMMUNITION – Well Armed wins by 14!
• It was a night of some wild results in Dubai and in the big daddy of the all, the $6 million DUBAI WORLD CUP, the American shipper WELL ARMED tow-roped his field to win the big race by about a dozen lengths in a super shocker.
A 6yo gelded son of Tiznow, Well Armed was no factor behind Curlin and Asiatic Boy last year but he just loped along on the lead and no one challenged him. It was thought there would be a lot of speed but there was not. The winner is a homebred from Winstar Farm LLC and is trained by Eoin Harty. It was easily the biggest win longtime veteran rider AARON GRYDER.
“It would be the chance of a lifetime” – Frankie Dettori about riding in Kentucky Derby
Ransom Crashes Party, both headed to Kentucky Derby
• DESERT PARTY, trying to make a bid for the Kentucky Derby with a win in the UAE Derby, could not catch stablemate REGAL RANSOM through the long stretch and lost by just over half a length.
The pair were miles ahead of the 3rd place finisher which suggests that these two might be good enough to get a shot at the Derby.
Desert Party was a stunning 1 to 5 in the betting in North America but his stablemate led all the way and stole the show under Alan Garcia.
The winning pair were 13 to 1.
REGAL RANSOM is by Distorted Humor – Kelli’s Ransom by Red Ransom.
Both Regal Ransom and Desert Party, who raced flat throughout (perhaps reacting a bit off the 2 big efforts to start his season) are headed to Churchill Downs.
With Gary Stevens on the TVG telecast, Desert Party’s rider Frankie Dettori said: “We were disappointed the horse got beat, he didn’t produce the turn of foot he usuaally has, I think the Derby is primary target and I wouldn’t mind going… It would be the chance of a lifetime.”
MORE DUBAI… BIG DEAL
• BIG CITY MAN, who romped through some sprint preps in Dubai this winter, had a minor letdown in his last race, exploded to win the Golden Shaheen on the card, holding off INDIAN BLESSING, the fast filly from United States but was caught a bit flat-footed at the start.
The winner, ridden by Jose Verenzuela is by Northern Afleet out of Mini Appeal, by Valid Appeal.
The winner was a stakes winner at Calder as a 2yo two years ago and was owned by Mr. T Stables previously.
• Trainer MUBARAK BIN SHAFYA won consecutive races on the card – the DUBAI DUTY FREE worth $5 million and the Sheema Classic, also worth $5 million. Jockey Ahmed Ajtebi rode both winners.
GLADIATORUS, a Silic colt that cost just $8,000 as a FASIG TIPTON YEARLING, led all the way in the Duty Free to win the 1 1/8 mile race by a long margin while his jock stood straight up in the irons at the wire.
The winner was 2 for 2 off the long layoff – he missed all of 2008 at the races but is 9 for 12 in his career and he was a budding Italian star before he went on hiatus.
EASTERN ANTHEM, bred in Ireland and by Singspiel, chugged down the middle of the turf course to win a 3-way photo in the SHEEMA CLASSIC, beating Spanish Moon and Purple Moon. The 5yo horse seemed to be lugging in quite well through the stretch and crowding the pair of Moons but he won the bob and piled another winner’s share of $5 million into the pockets of his trainer and rider.
This horse was also 2 for 2 off a layoff but he had raced in England last year for Saeed Bin Suroor and, like Gladiatorus, had been ridden by Frankie Dettori in the past. He is 5 for 10 in his career now.
TWO STEP MILE
from Press Association
Two Step Salsa led home stablemate Gayego to give Saeed bin Suroor a 1-2 in the Godolphin Mile on World Cup day at Nad Al Sheba.
The 2-1 favourite was always up with the pace under Frankie Dettori and put distance between himself and his rivals soon after turning for home.
The result was in little doubt from that moment, with Ted Durcan’s mount, Gayego, coming out of the chasing pack to fill the runner-up spot, two and a quarter lengths in arrears.
Dettori said: “It’s a long straight here and I was running out of petrol, but he had enough to win the race. I was lucky no-one was really close to me so I was able to relax in front.”
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford added: “They both came here with good form from America and we expected a 1-2. It was never going to be easy, but they did it well.”
A delighted Suroor said: “I’m really happy with Frankie and I told him to ride him like that. We’ll now take Two Step Salsa back to New York and try to find a race for him there.”
TWO STEP SALSA is by Petionville out of Two to Waltz, by Seattle Slew.
VLADMIR CERIN AT WOODBINE
• The DAILY RACING FORM has reported that well known California trainer VLADIMIR CERIN is setting up a stable at Woodbine.
The 55-year-old Croatian lived in Canada when he was a teenager and later studied sports science in California. He once worked with tennis star Tracy Austin and, since he grew up with animals, he turned to training racehorses in the late 1970s. He has trained dozens of top class horses and last fall won his first Breeders’ Cup race when Albertus Maximus won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last year at Santa Anita.
Sunday, Gulfstream Park, post time: 5:14 p.m. EDT
RAMPART S.-GII, $150,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m
PP HORSE (SIRE) TRAINER ODDS
1 Ginger Brew (Milwaukee Brew) Lynch 3-1
2 So Glitzy (Gilded Time) H Jerkens 15-1
3 One Caroline (Unbridled’s Song) Arnold 5-2
4 Hamsa (Fusaichi Pegasus) Tagg 4-1
5 Sea Chanter (War Chant) Pletcher 5-1
6 Striking Tomisue (Smart Strike) Zito 4-1
7 African Violet (Lemon Drop Kid) Motion 10-1
Sunday, Sunland Park, post time: 7:45 p.m. EDT
SUNLAND DERBY, $800,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m
PP HORSE (SIRE) TRAINER ODDS
1 Valid Stripes (Valid Expectations) Ja mison 15-1
2 Santamonicacanyon (Soto) Vienna 12-1
3 Advice (Chapel Royal) Pletcher 6-1
4 Dumar (Maria’s Mon) Asmussen 12-1
5 Mayor Marv (Distorted Humor) Baffert 7-2
6 Scorewithcater (Even the Score) O’Neill 6-1
7 Mythical Power (Congaree) Baffert 10-1
8 Kelly Leak (Runaway Groom) Machowsky 4-1
9 Mine That Bird (Birdstone) Woolley Jr 8-1
10 Infernal (Sir Cherokee) Hone 20-1
11 Mark S (The Cooler) Johar O’Neill 12-1
12 Smokin’ Legend (Smoke Glacken) Grissom 20-1
QUEEN’S PLATE ELIGIBLE, a filly, HARD KISSES, won her maiden at Santa Anita yesterday in her 2nd career start for Parri and Hal Earnhardt III.
The Toccet – Hunting Jade filly was a $50,000 and $100,000 yearling purchase. She was bred by James A & Janeane Everatt & J Arika Everatt-Meeuse in Ontario.
Bob Baffert trains.
FRIDAY – Ontario bred GHETTO SUPERSTAR won a $15,000 claimer for Maggi Moss and trainer Steve Asmussen and was claimed by trainer Keith Bourgeois. The 5yo is by Touch Gold out of Punchbowl by Two Punch.
PIECE OF THE PIE, by Domasca Dan – Emerald Afternoon by Cabrini Green, won at 7 to 1 at Mountaineer for $5,000 claiming for the red-hot combo of Mike Newell and Mike Barkowski. She is a 5yo mare bred by Gardiner Farms.
GREY MIRAGE won on Friday at Mountaineer for $5,000 claiming by a nose at 5 to 2. The You and I gelding is a 6yo owned by Doncaster Farm and trained by Paula Loescher.
ONTARIO’S HORSE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (H.I.P.)
• On March 25, The Ontario Racing Commission approved $47.1 million Canadian for the 2009 Horse Improvement Program, which funds stakes, breed development, and equine research for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.
The Thoroughbred program will get $20.9 million, and the Standardbred program $26.2 million, according to an ORC release.
The Thoroughbred program will offer about $6.1 million for Ontario-bred bonuses, $3 million in breeders’ awards, $400,000 in stallion awards, and $5.8 million in purse supplements for Canadian- and Ontario-bred horses and Canadian graded stakes.