Wolfson Well Armed at Gulfstream Park West

October 30, 2014 11:37am
First race - Gulfstream Park West (10-8-14).
Photo: Gulfstream Park West

Trainer Marty Wolfson had a successful summer at Gulfstream Park with his fillies and mares, winning three stakes with three different horses. He’ll look to win his first stakes race of the fall when he sends out a total of five fillies and mares in Saturday’s $90,000 Sky Beauty Stakes and $90,000 Sparkler stakes at Gulfstream Park West.


He comes fully loaded into the Sky Beauty with four entrants – Kipling’s Joy, Centrique, Best Behavior, and Ol Donyo – that constitute more than 40% of the nine-horse field. It’s a position that Wolfson has found himself in quite often. Since May, he has entered at least two horses in every stake race offered at Gulfstream for older female runners, and he’s been very successful. His starters have finished first, second, or third in each of those five stake races, and he claimed the entire trifecta in the $75,000 Musical Romance on September 20. He also had the exacta in July’s $75,000 Paseana.


“It’s all about placing them right,” said Wolfson, who specializes in scouting out fillies and mares, boosting their resumes with stakes wins, and re-selling them as racing and broodmare prospects for his clients.


One of his more recent scouting additions is Best Behavior, who enters the six-furlong Sky Beauty looking for her first stakes placing. Wolfson claimed the 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief in August out of an optional claimer at Gulfstream, which she won by a length. The filly is on a two-race winning streak but in her last stakes effort finished fifth to Wolfson’s Heart Stealer in the Paseana back in July.


“She’s just hard-knocking,” Wolfson said when asked what he saw in the filly. “With some black-type, she’ll bring a lot a year from now. That’s what we do. Get black-types with them and sell them the next year. It works out good.”


Wolfson’s top entrant in the Sky Beauty is Ol Donyo, who most recently ran off with the $90,000 Musical Romance stakes by 3 ½ lengths at Gulfstream on September 20, a performance Wolfson was impressed with.


“She’s very nice,” Wolfson said. “She two-for-two (since she’s been in the Wolfson barn). I like her. She ran strong [in the Musical Romance].”


The third place finisher in the Musical Romance was Kipling’s Joy, a late-running filly who also got up for the place in the Paseana. In between those in-the-money efforts was an unplaced showing in the G1 Ballerina at Saratoga.


“It just all depends on pace for her,” Wolfson said. “If she gets a lot of pace, she’ll run real good.”


Centrique, unraced since July, rounds out the Wolfson quartet. While she was well beaten in the Paseana, she has shown an affinity for the Gulfstream Park West surface and posts five stakes placings over that racetrack.


“She likes that track,” Wolfson said. “She did a lot of shipping around and got knocked out [this summer]. I gave her a month off on the farm in Ocala. She’s been doing good.”


The remainder of the Sky Beauty field includes Gulfstream Park West allowance winner Flutterby; G3 Vagrancy S. winner Merry Meadow; the speedy multiple stakes-winning R Free Roll; stakes placed Salamera; and Sophomore Fillies Stakes winner Holiday Magic.


In the Sparkler Stakes, to be contested at five furlongs on the Gulfstream Park West lawn, Madame Giry returns to South Florida for the first time since taking the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint at Gulfstream on July 5. She enters the Sparkler off yet another stakes victory, one that came in the Jameela S. at Laurel Park on September 27. Following the Jameela, Madame Giry traveled to join Cam Gamboloti’s string at Gulfstream. The trainer has been happy with the 5-year-old mare’s transition to a warmer climate after spending the previous few months in the northeast.


“She’s doing well,” Gamboloti said. “Usually when she comes back here, it takes time to adjust, but her coat looks great. She’s flourished and blossomed, so I’m pleased with her. It’s a different change when you get down here – the warmer weather – and she was at Saratoga, where it’s really cool, and it’s an adjustment. It takes a while.”


Madame Giry contested two stakes at The Spa in July and was beaten just a length in both efforts, the Caress and the Smart and Fancy, finishing third and fifth, respectively.


“The first one, she broke terrible, and she got beat a length by Free as a Bird, and the second time, she really didn’t have an excuse, but she got beat a length and finished fifth,” Gamboloti said. “But those are those kind of races. They’re all right on our end. If you get a good trip and you don’t lose too much ground – like when Edgar [Prado] won here, he saved ground, got through, and it worked right.”


Madame Giry will be reunited with jockey Prado on Saturday, who was aboard in both the Bob Umphrey and Caress stakes. Gamboloti sees that as an advantage, as well as the way he believes the race is shaping out on paper.


“There’s a lot of speed in there Saturday, which is good for me,” Gamboloti said, “but hopefully it backs up, and you have to get a trip and get through. But she’s ready.”


Marty Wolfson, four deep in the Sky Beauty, adds one more to the Sparkler field in Zia Zia Zia, who most recently was fourth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths, in an allowance at Gulfstream on September 12.


“That’s a tough race,” Wolfson said of the Sparkler. “But I ran her [at Gulfstream] and she ran good.”


Rounding out the Sparkler field are the Eddie Plesa-trained duo of What a Party and Perfect Package; Mark Hennig’s Coarsegold, winner of Safari Queen S. at Gulfstream in April; Fascinate, who’s won four of her last five, mostly in allowance company; Christophe Clement’s Good So Far; Inspired by Grace, from the John Servis barn; stakes winner Jewel of a Cat; and the stakes-placed English-bred Kune Kune.


Source: Gulfstream Park West


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