Brown won Gulfstream Park’s Florida Derby (G1) as the favorite two years ago in
just the third start of his career for trainer Rick Dutrow after winning his
debut at Saratoga the summer before by 11 ¼ lengths and an allowance race over
the Gulfstream track by 12 ¾ lengths in his first start as a 3-year-old.
Michael Mareina plans to send Kuehne Racing’s 3-year-old Game On Dude into this
year’s 59th edition of the historic Kentucky Derby (G1) preview on Sat., Mar.
20 to make his third career start, but he’ll be a longshot in the 1 1/8 miles
event as he gets his first test around two turns.
Dude is a son of Awesome Again bred in Kentucky
by Adena Springs Farm and finished second by three-quarters of a length at
17-to-1 in his first career start at Gulfstream on Jan. 23 going seven
furlongs. He came back to break his maiden by three lengths going a mile on Feb.
27 as the 6-to-5 favorite with jockey Jeremy Rose aboard both times.
an excellent race the first time and was probably 80 per cent (fit) that day,”
said Mareina earlier this week. “The race went in nine flat (1:09
three-quarters split). I think we’re going to have to go to the Florida Derby.
If you’re looking down the road you’re going to have to get some earnings.
him seven-eighths to start and I would have run him back at a mile even if he
had won that first race. Now, he’s been schooled. He’s sat behind horses. He’s
eaten dirt and waited. He does everything like an older horse would do. We
couldn’t be more pleased with him.”
Castellano Leads Gulfstream Standings into Weekend
Javier Castellano has ridden one winner on each of the last three days of
racing this week at Gulfstream
Park to take the lead in
the standings with 37 victories, three more than closest rival John Velazquez,
going into this weekend’s action.
Julien Leparoux and Elvis Trujillo each won a race Friday and are tied for
third with 30 tallies apiece ahead of Rajiv Maragh fifth with 29. Leparoux will
miss the Saturday card at Gulfstream for stakes mounts at Aqueduct, but will
return to ride here on Sunday.
Pletcher continues alone atop the trainers’ standings with 21 wins as he bids
for a seventh consecutive Gulfstream meet championship, leading his closest
rival Rick Dutrow and Bill Mott tied for second with 11 each. Nick Zito is
fourth with 10 victories, followed by Ken McPeek and Marty Wolfson tied for
fifth with nine each.
Guys Reward Back to Turf in Sunday
Bruder’s 3-year-old Guys Reward ran a big race to finish fifth in the $100,000
Dania Beach Stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 16, beaten less than two
lengths by the winner and may rule the choice in Sunday’s ‘a other than’
allowance feature at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Julien Leparoux rides Guys Reward for trainer Dale Romans, who ran him back in
a 1 1/8 miles allowance on the main track on Jan. 31 after the Dania
to see if he could be a Florida Derby (G1) prospect, but he finished sixth
Kentucky-bred son of Grand Reward, Guys Reward showed promise in main track
events last year finishing second in the ‘off the turf’ Cradle Stakes at River
Downs and a Churchill Downs allowance in late November. He was nominated for
the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) on turf Saturday, but Romans opted for the allowance.
certain to attract solid support in Sunday’s field of 11 3-year-olds will be
Peter Vegso’s Florida
homebred Show the Way J with Kent Desormeaux to ride for trainer Bill Mott. The
son of Forest Camp finished a close-up third in the Arthur Appleton Juvenile
Turf at Calder in November behind Bim Bam and rallied for third behind Asphalt
in a turf allowance here last out on Jan. 13.
the field are Ione and Herb Elkins’ Forty Nine Acres, My Purple Haze Stable’s
Small Town, Lewis A. Hall, Jr.’s Downs Awareness, White Hall Lane Farm’s Saint
Jude, Stronach Stable’s Forever Awesome, Thomas and Frank Conway’s Stately
Victor, A. Steven Miles, Jr.’s Harken Up, Lets Go Stable’s No Shenanigans and
Fast Finish Racing’s Bwana Brave.
Backstretch Appreciation Picnic on
annual Backstretch Appreciation Picnic takes place on Monday at Gulfstream
The event recognizes the efforts of the many backside employees who make the
day-to-day racing possible.
backside help are the ones we wouldn’t have a show to put on unless they did
their part,” said Donna Ward, wife of trainer John Ward, Jr., who organizes the
event. “I think it promotes a lot of camaraderie between the barns and with
everyone. It’s a very upbeat event.”
event takes place on Monday, March 8 at 5pm at the Tiki Bar at Gulfstream
A Florida Racing License is required to participate. There will be raffles and
prizes given away.