“I am very happy. He’s settled into our program really nicely and I think the sky is the limit with this horse. Prat is a great fit for him. This horse actually reminds me of Obviously and he guided Obviously to a nice Breeders’ Cup win and hopefully next year we’re doing the same with this horse.” -trainer Phil d’Amato about CONQUEST ENFORCER
Ontario-bred CONQUEST ENFORCER, recently bought for $785,000 from the Conquest Stables’ dispersal, won his first race for his new owners, Loooch Racing, Imagainary Stables and Raquel Ritchie at Santa Anita on Monday.
The Ivan Dalos-bred’s first graded stakes win was his 3rd stakes score of the year as he won the Queenston Stakes and Charlie Barley this year at Woodbine, the Allied Forces Stakes sprinting on turf at Belmont while placing in a pair of graded stakes sprints. The colt has put his name on the list of contenders for turf male, sprinter, 3yo of the year in Canada for the Sovereign Awards.
Conquest Enforcer has now bankrolled $480,640 from his 8-5-0-2 line. His only losses came in his ambitious Summer debut, and against older horses this term, suggesting that D’Amato is right to entertain an optimistic forecast.
Bred by Ivan Dalos’ Tall Oaks Farm in Ontario, Conquest Enforcer originally brought $210,000 as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July. His dam, the unraced Victory Gallop mare Keen Victory, is batting a thousand with all of her runners being stakes performers. Her first is the multiple stakes-placed Keen Gizmo, her second is Conquest Enforcer, and her third is current juvenile filly Conquest Vivi, who boasts a three-for-three mark with wins in the Nandi S. and Victorian Queen S.
Keen Victory has a 2-year-old coming up for 2017, Keen’s Success, by Successful Appeal, a soon-to-be yearling by First Samurai and she is scheduled to be bred back to Into Mischief.
BISCUITS GETS THE COOKIES
Breaking from the inside in a field of nine sophomore sprinters, Mind Your Biscuits sat a close third under Joel Rosario a quarter mile from home and overhauled Sharp Azteca late to take Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita by a half-length as he covered seven furlongs in 1:20.81. Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths here in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5, Mind Your Biscuits, who is trained by Robert Falcone, Jr., posted his fourth win from nine starts this year.
Although Mind Your Biscuits returned to his Belmont Park base following the Breeders’ Cup (in which he was subsequently awarded second money due to the medical disqualification of runner-up Masochistic), he returned to Santa Anita to drill a bullet half mile in 47.20 on Dec. 18 and the sharp drill obviously served him well in the Malibu.
Although favored on the morning line, he was off as the second choice at 7-2 and paid $9.40, $5.00 and $3.20.
Owned by J Stables, Head of Plains Partners, LLC, Summers, Summers, Kisber and Summers, the New York-bred colt by Posse improved his overall mark to 13-4-4-3. With the winner’s share of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $675,366.
MIND YOUR BISCUITS’ dam, Jazzman (Toccet) is from the Ontario bred mare Alljazz (Stop the Music – Bounteous) who was bred by Tom Webb. Alljazz is the dam of Woodbine Oaks winner and champion Kimchi and other good winners King of Jazz and Deputy Jazz. Alljazz produced these good runners for Stonyfield Farm in Manitoba.
Note that Mind Your Biscuits was 2nd to Woodbine sprinter Noholdingback Bear in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx earlier in the fall.
Monday’s Winter Meet opening day crowd of 46,514 was up from last year’s 44,873. Total pari-mutuel handle of $18,363,495 was up roughly $900,000 over last year’s $17,406,122.
DELTA PRINCE WINS FOR STRONACH
Stronach Stables’ Delta Prince, a half-brother to multiple Eclipse Award titlist Royal Delta, made an auspicious turf debut at Gulfstream Park Monday, graduating from the maiden ranks with a commanding four-length victory in the eighth race.
The 3-year-old son of Street Cry, who is out of multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Delta Princess, had run twice on dirt previously, finishing third and second, respectively, after being bumped at the start of both races.
“There’s some turf in his pedigree,” said Michael Doyle, Stronach Stables’ racing manager. “It looks like it’s just a little bit easier for him. He just seems to move well on it. He was going very well. He showed a nice turn of foot on it.”
Delta Prince ($9.20) broke alertly from the starting gate under Antonio Gallardo to press the pace while racing comfortably in hand. After closely attending pacesetter Mutazen into the stretch run of the mile turf race, the Jimmy Jerkens-trained colt drew away to a convincing triumph in 1:35.01 on a firm course. Notion Secret closed to finish second, a neck ahead of Mutazen.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot swelled to $260,541.70 for Wednesday’s program at Gulfstream Park when the popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 12th consecutive racing day Monday.
Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $33,001.06.
Rainbow 6 wagering commenced Monday with a jackpot carryover of $218,111.75. A total of $176,816 was wagered on the innovative wager Monday.
A Rainbow 6 mandatory payout has been scheduled for the New Year’s Eve card on Saturday, Dec. 31, when there will also the pools for the Late Pick 5 and Super Hi-5 will be paid out.
The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is paid out only 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.
Stronach’s Canadian-bred Shaman Ghost readying for Pegasus
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed satisfaction with Stronach Stables’ Shaman Ghost preparation thus far for a scheduled a start in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28.
The Grade I winner worked a half-mile in 50.50 seconds at Palm Meadows last Sunday. It was Shaman Ghost’s first breeze since finishing third in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.
“The work was good. I wasn’t looking for anything more than that at this stage. I don’t have his work schedule planned down to the minute, but we’ll have him as ready as we can [for the Pegasus], that is for sure,” Jerkens said.
Shaman Ghost, an Adena Springs homebred, won the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga Race Course in September and earlier in the year captured the Brooklyn Invitational (G2) at Belmont Park. He was being pointed to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but developed a fever and was not eating after arriving in California, and as a result he was scratched.
Jerkens said the 4-year-old Shaman Ghost bounced back quickly and was ready for the Clark, which Jerkens said was a good race for the son of Ghostzapper.
“I thought it was better than it looked on paper,” Jerkens remarked. “I thought the track was pretty speed-biased that day. He made a nice run around the turn, but he was losing ground and they weren’t going fast enough up ahead of him to tire in front of him. When he saw that he got a little disappointed and it looked like he was going to fall out of it, but then he kept going to finish third and I thought that was great. It’s always a good sign when they come back on like that.”
A rider for Shaman Ghost has yet to be confirmed for the Pegasus World Cup.
Also at Gulfstream on Monday, HAMPSTEAD HEATH, a Woodbine stakes winner, was claimed for $16,000 at Gulfstream on Monday by Mark Valentine and trainer Jorge Navarro. Hampstead Heath has earned over $560,000 and is an Ontario bred who was second in this race for Joey G Stables and trainer Dan Vella.