Trainer Marty Wolfson has built a rather extensive resume that includes Miesque’s Approval’s 2006 Breeders’ Cup Mile victory among many other Grade 1 successes.
Despite his well-rounded body of work, the year-round Gulfstream Park-based conditioner could be regarded as a filly whisperer of sorts. The 64-year-old trainer certainly has brought out the very best in the fillies and mares that have passed through his stable.
Chaposa Springs, Starship Truffles, Jessica is Back, Ask the Moon, Icon Project and Pampered Princess have all attained Grade 1 status under the guidance of Wolfson, who has also enjoyed numerous graded-stakes successes with Heart Seeker, Devil’s Cave, Gamay Noir, Speak Easy Gal, Cherokee Queen, Toocleverforwords, Golden Mystery and many more.
Thus, it hardly came as a surprise when Cali Star scored impressively in her first start after joining Wolfson’s barn Nov.18, when she withstood early pressure while setting the pace before drawing clear to win by five lengths.
“She’s very nice. She was working so well. She had unbelievable works,” said Wolfson, who conditions the daughter of Street Cry for Ben Walden Jr. and Larry Taylor. “When she was working at Churchill, every work I saw was 51 or 52. I worked her the first day here and she went 47-and-2 and from there on out, she had the same works all the time. Maybe she didn’t like the track there.”
Cali Star is slated to return to action at Gulfstream Park in Saturday’s $100,000 Rampart (G3), a one-turn mile stakes for fillies and mare in which she is scheduled to be joined by stablemates Best Behavior and Curlin’s Princess in a field of eight entered Wednesday.
The 4-year-old filly, who finished second in two of three starts at Gulfstream Park in 2014 for trainer Bill Mott, had won two of her previous 17 races before debuting for Wolfson in an optional claiming allowance in a two-turn mile at Gulfstream Park West.
“She did it pretty easy. She doesn’t need to be on the front end, if you look at her form. She was much the best that day,” Wolfson said.
Miller Racing’s Best Behavior captured an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park in her last start, but that score came on July 17.
“Her last race was a mile and she won easily,” Wolfson said. “I’m not sure she’s 100-percent fit, but she’ll be in front. Coming off the layoff, I think she’ll show a lot of speed.”
Alter’s Racing Stable’s Curlin’s Princess finished third behind Cali Star last time out after scoring in a one-turn mile optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream.
“I tried her two turns last time and she didn’t like it. She hung,” Wolfson said. “The one-turn mile suits her.”
Gelfenstein Farm’s Danessa Deluxe, who split the Wolfson horses while finishing second at Gulfstream Park West last time out, returns in the Rampart. The Jorge Navarro-trained 3-year-old filly finished third in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in March.
Gil Campbell’s Legal Laura enters the Rampart in sharp form, following up a solid second-place finish at Keeneland with a late-surging 2 ½-length score in the Millions Distaff Preview at Gulfstream Park West.
Holly Crest Farm’s Stiffed, who captured an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park in February, returns to the Hallandale Beach track for the Rampart. The John Mazza-trained 4-year-old filly won two stakes and finished second in the Molly Pitcher (G3) at Monmouth Park during the summer.
Arindel’s Pink Poppy, a stakes winner on turf, is scheduled to run at her seventh different track in her last seven starts while moving to dirt. The Ronny Werner-trained 4-year-old daughter of Tiznow has run three times on dirt, all on off tracks, while producing a win and a third-place finish.
Pinnacle Racing and Norman Racing’s Moment of Delight, who finished fourth behind Legal Laura last time out, rounds out the field for trainer Bill Kaplan.
Wolfson is also expected to be well represented in the $100,000 South Beach, one of three supporting stakes to the Rampart on Saturday’s card, by Lori’s Store. Miller Racing’s 5-year-old daughter of El Prado, who captured back-to-back turf stakes during Gulfstream’s summer meet, enters the 7 ½-furlong turf stakes off a troubled fourth-place finish in the My Charmer (G3) at Gulfstream Park West.
“She should have won her last race. She got stopped at the three-eighths pole. I’m not saying she got a bad ride; she was 45-1,” Wolfson said. “But she should have won. She got in all kinds of trouble.”
Lori’s Store dropped back to 10th before making a five-wide drive to finish just 1 ¼ lengths behind winner Lady Lara and two noses behind runner-up Hope Cross.
Magelen Bryant’s Hope Cross was also entered in the South Beach, which drew a field of 10 fillies and mares. Trained by Chad Brown, the 4-year-old daughter of Cape Cross previously had won two of three starts in Belmont Park and Saratoga.
Jal Dastur’s Endless Light, who lost two graded stakes at Woodbine by a nose; Dauphine Russe, an optional claiming allowance winner in her first start since being claimed by David Jacobson; and Valor Ladies’ Tuttipaesi, a graded-stakes winner who captured the Suffolk Downs Distaff Turf in her most recent start for trainer Bill Mott; are among the more prominent entrants in the South Beach.
Source: Gulfstream Park