• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 2 days ago
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  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 8 days ago
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Cool Blue Red Hot Opts for Allowance Spot

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC
Jim Bakke and Jerry Isbister’s 5-year-old Cool Blue Red Hot finished a good third behind Jackson Bend in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park a year ago and was entered to make his first start since then in Sunday renewal of the one-mile test.

However, the son of Harlan’s Holiday has been scratched in favor of a ‘three other than’ allowance carded at the same distance on Thursday facing six rivals, a development that has trainer Angel Penna, Jr. a lot more comfortable about his return from the lengthy layoff.

“We needed to get him started back and I entered in the Hal’s Hope because it didn’t look like the allowance race wasn’t going to go (fill),” said Penna Sunday morning from Palm Meadows. “He’s not 100 percent and needs to run, but I really didn’t want him to come back in a race as tough as the Hal’s Hope.

“He pulled gluteal muscles in behind in the Hal’s Hope last year and needed plenty of time. We gave him a little extra time because he needed to grow and mature. I can’t say what might be next after this race. You hope they can end up running in the big races.”

Cool Blue Red Hot shows a 10-3-2-3 record, including a third-place finish behind Dominus in the Dwyer Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in early July of 2011 as a 3-year-old before a dull try when eighth in the Kings Bishop Stakes (G1) at Saratoga behind Caleb’s Posse and Uncle Mo. In his only two starts since he won a Belmont allowance that October before his good try in the Hal’s Hope a year ago. Jockey Luis Saez is named to ride.

Cool Blue Red Hot’s most accomplished rival in the field is Robert LaPenta's 4-year-old Easter Gift with jockey Javier Castellano named to ride as he makes his first start for trainer Chad Brown. A $90,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Hard Spun, Easter Gift won his career debut here last April for trainer Nick Zito and finished second by a neck in the Pegasus Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park in mid-June in his third start.

Easter Gift went on to win the Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) at Parx in early September by 4 ½ lengths, finished eighth in the Indiana Derby (G2) in early October and was third last out in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 9 won by Scatman.

Also scratched from the Hal’s Hope in favor of the Thursday allowance is Silverton Hill LLC’s 5-year-old Swagger Jack with John Velazquez in the saddle for trainer Marty Wolfson.  The son of Smart Strike has already made three starts at the meet and looked good winning a one-mile allowance on Dec. 29 by 2 ¼ lengths over Ever So Lucky.

Completing the field for Thursday’s race are Pegasus Holding Group Stable’s Tell Tale Friend, Orlando Bocachica; Kramer Stables Thank U Philippe, Jose Lezcano; and Ken Mahler and Mutual Fun Stable’s Sky Alert, J.L Castanon.

Hooh Why to Defend Florida Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Title

Mark Hoffman and Earl Trostud, Jr.’s 7-year-old mare Hooh Why breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:04 Saturday morning at Tampa Bay Downs and will be on a van Thursday to Gulfstream Park where she will bid to win the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf for the second consecutive year Saturday.

A chestnut daughter of Cloud Hopping, Hooh Why shipped down to Gulfstream for her last start on Dec. 9 when she finished a game third behind Romacaca in the $100,000 South Beach Stakes at 7 ½ furlongs. The race marked her 12th start of the year and 47th of her career in which she has posted 11 wins, 11 seconds and nine thirds for earnings of more than $1.1 million.




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