Garter and Tie seeks another Florida Sire series victory at Gulfstream

Press Release
September 26, 2018 03:25pm
Garter and Tie wins 2018 FSS Affirmed
Photo: Leslie Martin
Jacks or Better Farm’s Garter and Tie is scheduled to seek back-to-back victories in the 2018 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the Florida-bred colt is slated to face 11 rivals in the $400,000 In Reality.

With a little luck in the first leg of the FSS series, the son of Brooks ‘n Down could very well be seeking a sweep in the 1 1/16-mile finale. Garter and Tie was forced to alter course while making a strong bid in deep stretch and fell just two necks short of winning the $100,000 Dr. Fager Aug. 4, when he was placed second behind victorious Cajun Firecracker through the disqualification of runner-up Fully Loaded.

“I think he’d have been in a photo for the win. I don’t know if he would have won or not, but he sure lost a lot of momentum in the last sixteenth of a mile and got going again,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “He was beaten by less than a length, so it was a pretty big effort.”

The In Reality, which will be contested around two turns, and the $400,000 My Dear Girl, the 1 1/16-mile FSS finale for fillies, will co-headline a program with seven stakes worth $1.175 million Saturday. A 14 race program will kick off with a Noon first-race post time.

Following his valiant effort in the six-furlong Dr. Fager, Garter and Tie came back to capture the $200,000 FSS Affirmed Sept. 1, giving owner/breeder Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm its record-extending 19th victory in the lucrative FSS series for juveniles sired by stallions standing in Florida.

Garter and Tie, Saturday’s favorite, appreciated the added distance while breaking his maiden in the seven-furlong Affirmed.

“I think he’ll love the two turns. I think that plays to him,” said Nicks, whose likely favorite blew out three-furlongs in 37.55 seconds Wednesday morning. “He’s a horse that’s been running the last part of his races as the strongest part of his races – that’s something you don’t see very often. As long as he continues to do that, he’ll have a good career.”

Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount.

Nicks is also scheduled to saddle Dr. Fager winner Cajun Firecracker for a start in the In Reality. Purchased by William and Corinne Heiligbrodt following his victory in the Dr. Fager, Cajun Firecracker finished third in the Affirmed in his first start for Nicks.

“His works are very good. I was disappointed in his last effort. I thought he worked a little better than he ran,” Nicks said. “I don’t know about the distance – that’ll be answered on Saturday.”

Eric Cancel has the mount aboard the son of Cajun Firecracker.

Nicks saddled the winners of all three FSS open division stakes last year, scoring with Phantom Ro in the Dr. Fager before visiting the winner’s circle with Soutache following victories in the Affirmed and In Reality.

Garter and Tie and Cajun Firecracker will likely be faced again with the task of catching the speedy Stonehedge LLC’s Well Defined Saturday. The Kathleen O’Connell-trained son of With Distinction set the pace in the Affirmed under moderate pressure and held gamely through the stretch before falling a half-length short of holding off Garter and Tie.

O’Connell, who recently celebrated her 2000th career victory, is confident that Well Defined has the ability to carry his natural speed around two turns.

“I think he’ll be fine around two turns. He has a wonderful stride,” O’Connell said. “I’m looking forward to the race.”

Well Defined debuted with a front-running 3 ½-length victory at 4 ½ furlongs at Gulfstream June 2 before chasing loose-on-the-lead Fully Loaded and finishing third in a 5 ½-furlong allowance July 6. The Florida-bred colt outsprinted Fully Loaded for the early lead in the Affirmed and dictated the pace until the final yards.

“He had showed in his works that he had natural speed and gumption. He was a little rambunctious. We were just hoping we would channel it all in the right directions,” O’Connell said. “His mind is improving and he’s definitely more focused in the right direction.”

O’Connell, who has teamed with Gil Campbell’s Stonehedge LLC for 10 victories in the FSS series, has awarded the return mount aboard Well Defined to Carlos Montalvo.

Stanley Gold, who registered his record-extending 19th FSS success when Arindel’s Cookie Dough won the Susan’s Girl Sept. 1, will saddle two Arindel runners for the In Reality, Homeboy and Gump, both homebred colts sired by Brethren.

Homeboy finished a troubled eighth in the Affirmed after breaking his maiden at six-furlongs in his previous start.
“He’s been waiting for this race. He’s been waiting for two turns,” Gold said.

Gump, a full brother to 2017 In Reality runner-up Tip Sheet, is scheduled to make his first start for Gold after finishing in the money in three of four starts in New York for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
Jeffrey Sanchez has mount on Homeboy, while Reylu Gutierrez has the call on Gump.

Trainer David Fawkes will also be represented by a pair of runners: Three Gin Guys Stable’s First and Three and Kales Company LLC’s Elgin Escape. Third and Three, a son of First Dude, recently debuted with a nine-length romp in a 6 ½-furlong maiden claiming race. Elgin Escape, a son of He’s Had Enough who graduated in his second career start, finished seventh in the Affirmed. Nik Juarez has the mount aboard First and Three, while Miguel Vasquez set to ride Elgin Escape.

Rousseau Racing’s Fully Loaded, who was placed third in the Dr. Fager as the 3-5 beaten favorite and finished fourth in the Affirmed, will seek to recapture his winning ways in the In Reality. The Jose Pinchin-trained son of Two Step Salsa launched his career with a debut victory and a 7 ½-length romp in an optional claiming allowance in which Well Defined finished third. Edgard Zayas has the mount.

Michael Dubb’s Dakota’s Dude is set to try dirt again after successfully negotiating two turns on turf to take down the Proud Man Stakes Sept. 1.

The Rory Miller-trained son of First Dude had previously broken his maiden in a claiming event on turf. Jose Batista has the call.

 

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