Big day for popular Canadian bred TOWER OF TEXAS;
Woodbine Oaks contender WONDER GADOT upset;
Rainbow 6 carryover is now almost $2 million…
RAINBOW PICK 6 STILL GOING – 6 WINNERS SATURDAY PAID $104k
Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a carryover Sunday of $1,980,363.70 when racing resumes with a noon post time.
Multiple tickets with all six winners Saturday returned $104,447.20.
The carryover jackpot going into Saturday’s six-race sequence was $1,801,310. Bettors wagered in additional $746,249 into the pool Saturday.
The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
WONDER GADOT UPSET IN 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT
Canada’s probable Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 2017 WONDER GADOT lost a long stretch battle on Saturday at Fair Grounds in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes in her sophomore debut.
The Ontario-bred owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse chased the early pacestter She’s Our fastest early in the 1 1/16 mile dirt race, zipped to the lead around the last turn but then was joined by 33 to 1 shot STRONGER THAN EVER (Congrats-Broken Silence by Broken Vow) in early stretch.
After a good battle, Stronger than Ever owned by Fern Circle Stables, won the fight in a time of 1:44.28. The time was slower than the 3-year-old colts went in the Lecomnte Stakes which went in 1:42.59.
The winning Beyer Speed Figure for the Silverbulletday was 76. Wonder Gadot, a daughter of Medaglia D’Oro bred by David Anderson’s Anderson Farms, won the Grade 3 mazarine Stakes at Woodbine in October, was 6th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1) in November and won the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in December.
She is a logical Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate hopeful, those races in June.
“I thought she ran well, we just got unlucky. She fought on and she probably wants a little more ground where she doesn’t have to be so aggressive early. It’ll be interesting because I think the time will end up being fairly good. I’ve got to think about (running in the February 17 Rachel Alexandra Stakes [G1]), but probably.”
TOWER OF TEXAS WINS COLONEL BRADLEY FOR ROGER ATTFIELD
94 Beyer Speed Figure for personable gelding
Woodbine fan favourite TOWER OF TEXAS, in his 7-year-old debut, won the $125,00 Col. E.R. bradley Stakes at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
The Ontario bred by Street Sense – Rare Opportunity by Danzig Connection relished the less-than-firm grass, stayed close to a slow early pace and angled out into the stretch for a chrage to victory. The honest bay won by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:44.62.
Trained by Roger Attfield for Americans Scott Dilworth and Tom Van Meter. Tower of Texas was bred by Rod Ferguson and David Anderson.
“It was suggested by Roger to come here,” Dilworth said. “When he said come to New Orleans and Fair Grounds, you got good food, good horse racing. What else can I say? He’s been so good to us. We’ve been so blessed with him, and as long as he’s enjoying running, we’ll be there for the ride.”
Tower of Texas won two stakes races in 2017, the Labeeb and Grade 2 Connaught Cup. He has won a total of 7 races in 28 starts, placed in 13 others and has earned $890,989.
Interestingly, the bay was purchased for $195,000 as a ‘short’ yearling in January 2012 at Keeneland from Anderson Farms and then bought back in October of that year for $90,000 when offered for sale by Van Meter Sales.
Tower of Texas was then offered for sale as a 2-year-old in training in March of 2013 but bought back for $150,000.
KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS – Firenze Fire wins in New York, ‘Regard takes N’Oleans
Originally scheduled for New Year’s Day, the Jerome Stakes proved to be worth the wait for Mr. Amore Stable’s Firenze Fire, as he got up in the final jumps to run down a front-running Seven Trumpets on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, getting his sophomore campaign off to a successful, albeit slightly delayed, start with a well-earned victory in the $150,000 Jerome.
Firenze Fire, winner of the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park in October, broke from post 5 under jockey Manny Franco and settled on the outside towards the back of the pack as Seven Trumpets held a comfortable advantage over the field of six, leading through an opening quarter-mile in 25.01 seconds and the half in 50.81. Favored at 2-5, Firenze Fire began to pick up steam as the field rounded the turn and, with a five-wide move into the stretch, steadily gained on his rival to prevail just under the wire to win by a half-length.
Trained by Jason Servis, Firenze Fire completed the one-mile turn over the muddy and sealed main track in 1:42.88.
His Beyer Figure was 92.
“I was on the best horse today,” said Franco, who picked up the mount from the out-of-town Irad Ortiz, Jr. and had teamed up with Servis to win the 2016 Withers with Sunn Ridge. “The instructions were to try to break good and not give him too much to do. That’s what I tried to do, but the race was a little tougher than we expected, but we got it done.”
The win was the first for the Poseidan’s Warrior colt who is out of a Langfuhr (Canadian Grade 1 winner) mare named My Eveyer Wish, since he posted a half-length score in the one-mile Champagne on October 7 over next-out stakes winners Good Magic and Enticed. He closed his 2-year-old campaign, which also included a win in the Grade 3 Sanford and a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, with a lackluster effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where he finished seventh, 20 lengths behind Good Magic.
Firenze Fire’s luck was a bit slower to turn around in 2018 than anticipated, as severe winter weather moved the Jerome, and the Grade 1 winner’s awaited return, back nearly two weeks.
“Heading into the race, I thought he might be up against it,” said Servis. “It looked like there was a speed bias for most of the day on the track. He didn’t have the easiest of trips; he didn’t break on top and had to deal with some traffic, but I’m not going to knock the ride. Manny got the job done. It’s nice when things work it. They don’t usually, but when they do, it’s nice.”
As an official Kentucky Derby prep, the Jerome awarded the winner 10 qualifying points towards a spot in the starting gate on the First Saturday in May, bringing Firenze Fire’s points total to 20, including the 10 he earned in the Champagne.
At Fair Grounds, INSTILLED REGARD took the lead at the top of the stretch and fended off 5-2 favorite Principe Guilherme to win the 74th running of the Grade III, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths Saturday at the Fair Grounds.
“The way he ran was very professional for a young horse,” jockey Javier Castellano said of Instilled Regard, the 4-1 second choice. “He is a smart horse.”
Instilled Regard is one of the first horses to be raced by LARRY BEST’S OXO RACING. The colt is by ARCH from Enhancing by Forestry and his dam is a winner out of the multiple Grade 1 winning Phipps Stable mare Heavenly Prize.
Instilled Regard was bought back for $110,000 as a yearling and then bought last March at the Ocala sale for $1,050,000.
The Daily Racing Form mentioned the new owner in a short piece last spring: Larry Best, 67, is a Boston native who spent 15 years as chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance and administration for Boston Scientific, which manufactures and markets medical devices. He is the chairman and founder of OXO Capital, an investment firm he founded in 2007 centered on life-sciences and medical-device companies.
Entering the Thoroughbred business came late in life for Best, but he said he has long had industry participants in his social circle.
“Someone who I invited to be a guest in one of my homes in Florida got me hooked on the industry,” he said. “Someone that’s involved with some horses, somebody that I worked with over a number of years. He just intrigued me enough to look into it, and I love the industry, I love the horses, and I guess I got a little addicted.”
ON TO BARBADOS! SHINING COPPER UPSETS FT. LAUDERDALE
Will join Queen’s Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges in ‘Gold Cup
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Shining Copper fought back in the shadow of the finish line to capture Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
The multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed 8-year-old gelding was headed by 30-1 longshot One Go All Go in deep stretch, only to fight back to prevail in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes by a head.
“You don’t get that old without having a heart and trying hard,” trainer Mike Maker said. “He’s just a tough old dude. He loves to run. He’s an unbelievably smart horse.”
The ‘Lauderdale went completely askew when HEART TO HEART, the Canadian-bred turf star, reared up at the start of the race and then was rated off the pace while throwing his head.
Another Canadian-bred SHAKHIMAT, tracked Shining Copper who ended up on the lead but then faded.
Shining Copper set comfortable fractions of 24.43 seconds, 48.52 and 1:12.33 for six furlongs over a turf course rated ‘good.’ After repelling a bid by Team Colors on the far turn, Shining Copy took a clear lead into the stretch, only to be engaged by One Go All Go, who had enjoyed a ground-saving trip under Chris Landeros. The Scooter Dickey-trained challenger put his nose in front but was unable to withstand the resurgent pacesetter. All Included finished third, another two lengths back. Heart to Heart was rated off the pace after his poor start, made a brief run entering the far turn before stalling.
Shining Copper ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.44 to win his third straight stakes victory and second straight graded stakes in front-running fashion.
Shining Copper is expected to make his next start in the Sandy Lane Gold Cup March 3 in Barbados, where the Ramseys and Maker have enjoyed success in recent years.
“We have two win and two seconds the last four years,” Maker said of the barn’s record in the Gold Cup. “He’ll be pretty tough to handle. They have very tight turns and you need to be forwardly placed and he fits the bill.”
The FIRST STAGE of nominations for the Sandy lane Gold Cup were released on Friday by the Barbados Turf Club:
The following horses have been nominated at the 1st subscription stage for the XXXVII SANDY LANE BARBADOS GOLD CUP (GR.1. – INT. – BAR) scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 3rd 2018.
CAMPAIGNERS GOLD (CTA Stables)
DAUNTING DAVID (Sir David Seale)
DORSETT (Messrs. Steve & Allan Madoo)
INFRARED (Messrs. Dan & Martin Raizman)
JUST A FASHION (Aysha Syndicate)
MARCUS ANTONIUS (Sir David Seale)
NO NOT AGAIN (Sir David Seale)
NORTHERN STAR (Messrs. Victor Cheeseman & Mervyn Rollins)
SHINING COPPER (Mr. Kenneth L. & Sarah Ramsey) (USA)
SIR DUDLEY DIGGES (Mr. Kenneth L. & Sarah Ramsey) (USA) – Canadian-bred, won 2016 Queen’s Plate
TRINI NAVIGATOR (Mr. Baskaran Bassawh) (T&T)
WON GRAND (Mr. Peter Oneill & Mrs. Angela Simpson)
REMARKABLE ONTARIO-BRED CHELLA WINS AT TAMPA BAY DOWNS
Three years ago, the Ontario-bred Chella was riding a three-race winning streak when Elliot Sullivan claimed her for $10,000 from a race at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Youngstown, Ohio.
Chella was beaten that day by more than six lengths as a 7-10 favorite, and Sullivan was unsure if he wanted to emerge as the filly’s new owner when a shake ensued to determine which of three bidders would take her home.
Now, the 29-year-old owner-trainer can laugh about those mixed feelings. The newly-turned 7-year-old mare is 19-for-22 under Sullivan’s care, including a victory in today’s first race, a starter/optional claiming event for older fillies and mares going seven furlongs.
Samy Camacho rode Chella, who defeated Mo Town Kat by a length while carrying 122 pounds, four more than her rivals. Chella competed the distance in 1:24.90. She is now 25-for-40 lifetime, with career earnings of $298,198.
The final margin of Chella’s victory today might not have been as close as it looked. “Ricardo (Feliciano, on Mo Town Kat) said when he came up to her, he looked at her and knew he wasn’t going by,” Sullivan said. “She always seems to have a little more.”
The son of late trainer Don Sullivan and retired jockey Heidi Harper, Elliot Sullivan trains primarily for Bruno Schickedanz. He owns five horses, but the other four are currently at the family farm in Ohio.
His decision to claim Chella from the April 1, 2015 race wasn’t as tough as dealing with the immediate aftermath.
“I’d seen her run at Mahoning Valley and Mountaineer, and I really liked her,” Sullivan said. “But I wasn’t sure what to think after that race when I claimed her. Sometimes you claim one and really get lucky, but I’ve been on the other side of that spectrum, too.”
Chella let Sullivan know she’d simply had an off-day in her first start under his colors, sprinting to victory in a six-furlong starter allowance. It was the first of eight consecutive triumphs for the daughter of Where’s the Ring-Always Loving, by Hennessy, yet the best was still to come.
Chella began 2016 with five consecutive victories in allowance or starter/allowance company, going on to earn Claiming Horse of the Year honors from the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. Last August at Fort Erie in Ontario, Chella became a stakes winner, capturing the six-and-a-half furlong Andy Passero Memorial Cup.
“I’ve taken her to Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Delaware, Mountaineer, Mahoning Valley, ThistleDown, Fort Erie and now Tampa and won with her,” said Sullivan, who also sent out Chella to win an allowance/$62,500 optional claiming event here at five-and-a-half furlongs on Dec. 29 by almost five lengths.
That actually was the first time Sullivan had entered Chella for a claiming price, and he admits he was nervous at the prospect of losing her, even if the possibility was slim.”That was a much tougher race than today, and she hadn’t run in (almost four months),” Sullivan said. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a chance at losing her.
“There isn’t much else to say about her, except she has a will to win. She is really special and I’m blessed to have her.”
Sullivan is pointing Chella toward the $50,000 Minaret Stakes, a 6-furlong race for older fillies and mares, here on Feb. 17. Camacho, who has ridden her in both her local starts, is confident she will be up to the task if she makes the race.
“I trust in this filly,” Camacho said. “She’s really quiet, but when she gets inside the gate she starts moving around like a dancer, waiting for the break, and she always breaks on top. I think she will be better at six furlongs.”
QUEEN’S PLATE NEWS; ALTERNATIVE ROUTE
77 Beyer Figure for lightly raced full brother to Woodbine SW Enstone
Ontario-bred 3-year-old colt ALTERNATIVE ROUTE won a maiden allowance at Fair grounds on Saturday in his second career start and quickly becomes a Queen’s Plate contender.
Bred by Bill Graham of Caledon, On, the $265,000 March 2-year-old purchase is owned by Spendthrift Farms LLC and Town and Country Farm. He is a son of Tiznow – la Suena by Storm Cat.
The bay colt came from post 10 in the 1 mile race, was very wide early in the race and then “rubbed saddles” with a rival he was battling with in the stretch run. He went on to win by a head under Miguel Mena. Al Starr Jr. trainers Alternative Route.