Ticker
  • Smart Transition wins the Curlin at Saratoga for trainer John Shirreffs.Posted 7 hours ago
  • There's no catching Moonlight Song in the John Morrissey over Saratoga's slop.Posted 1 day ago
  • La Verdad wins another, dominating today's Honorable Miss at Saratoga.Posted 2 days ago
  • Solow wins the Qatar Sussex Stakes over a stubborn Arod.Posted 2 days ago
  • Breaking Lucky edges Shaman Ghost in the Prince of Wales.Posted 3 days ago
  • Shore Runner turns it on late to win the Lucky Coin.Posted 4 days ago
  • I'm A Chatterbox DQ'd giving Curalina the win in the Grade 1 CCA Oaks.Posted 5 days ago
  • In defense of her Royal North win of last year, Ageless sets a new course record at Woodbine.Posted 5 days ago
  • Catch A Flight gets up in the final stride to win the San Diego.Posted 6 days ago
  • Hard Not to Like gets up in the final jump to win the Grade 1 Diana.Posted 6 days ago

Nikki's Sandcastle Finally Wins One in Emerald

Richard Sherman’s 5-year-old homebred gelding Nikki’s Sandcastle has been running strong races for trainer David Kassen this year, finishing second in stakes at Remington Park, Hawthorne and Keeneland in his last three starts. On Saturday, Opening Day at Gulfstream Park, he finally got his day in the winners’ circle when he posted a hard-fought head victory in the $125,000 John Deere Emerald Stakes.

The Emerald at 1 1/16 miles on turf was the next-to-last of the seven Claiming Crown races worth a total of $850,000 run on Opening Day. Ridden by jockey Corey Lanerie, Nikki’s Sandcastle raced up close to the pace on the inside for much of the trip and held off a big rally from Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 6-year-old Major Marvel in the field of 12.

A Kentucky-bred by Castledale, Nikki’s Sandcastle paid $6.80 for $2 to win as the strong second choice while posting the seventh win of his 29-race career with nine seconds and pushed his career earnings to more than $340,000. Mr. Amore Stable’s 5-year-old Mr. Strike finished third, 1 ¼ lengths behind the top two. The running time was 1:43:13 on ‘firm’ turf. 

Kassen said after the race: “It’s been a little frustrating to see him finish second the last three times, but this makes up for it. He runs hard every time and on any surface – dirt, turf, Polytrack – although I think he’s a little better on turf. He ran good in all five of his races here last winter, but got in trouble several times. The jock said he got to loafing when he got to the lead to day, but got it done.

“I didn’t have him when he began his career. He came to me here in December two years ago. He had a chip in his knee. We didn’t have it removed (surgically), but heeled it using a magnetic boot. He doesn’t have any conditions, so we’ll just look for the right stakes to run him in next.”

 

 

comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories