Ticker
  • Family Tree game down the lane in winning the Iowa Oaks.Posted 5 hours ago
  • Minding rolls home an easy winner of the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh.Posted 5 days ago
  • Melatonin powers home a strong winner of the Gold Cup at Santa Anita.Posted 5 days ago
  • Lord Nelson lunges late to nip Subtle Indian in the Triple Bend.Posted 5 days ago
  • By the Moon proves best in the Grade 3 Bed O' Roses at Belmont Park.Posted 5 days ago
  • Mo Tom finds a trouble free trip, and rolls home an easy Ohio Derby winner.Posted 5 days ago
  • Isabella Sings strolls to victory in Monmouth's Eatontown.Posted 5 days ago
  • Sarah Sis makes all the running as the Chicago Handicap favorite.Posted 5 days ago
  • Harzand holds off Idaho in the Irish Derby to become a dual Derby winnerPosted 6 days ago
  • Far From Over wins his return today at Belmont after more than 16 months away.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