Archive for January 2017


SunshineHALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Kathleen O’Connell is a self-described “barn rat” who spends countless hours around her horses. That dedication manifested itself Saturday when Early Entry returned from a layoff of nearly a year in winning the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park.

Click here to read the article from DRF.

“It’s been a challenge,” O’Connell said after Early Entry got the best of favored Delta Bluesman following a sustained duel in the six-furlong race. “But he’s a good horse, and that makes it a lot easier.”

Confidently ridden by Paco Lopez, Early Entry stalked Delta Bluesman from the outset, finally pushing past to prevail by a half-length in 1:09.50 over a fast surface. The winner, a 6-year-old horse by Keyed Entry, returned $10.20 as third choice in a field of seven older Florida-breds.

Owned by Tommy Roberts Racing Stables, Early Entry was outstanding here last winter when earning back-to-back triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in winning overnight races. But O’Connell was forced to stop on him when “he came up with a few little problems. The owner was good about letting me give him the time he needed. I would’ve preferred an easier comeback spot than this, but he showed he was up to the task today.”

“He’s a very nice horse,” said Lopez, who is now 4 for 4 aboard him. “I love that horse.”

Early Entry, currently based with the O’Connell string in Tampa, now has won nine of 23 career starts. O’Connell said she has no particular next race in mind other than to keep the horse sprinting. “Seven furlongs is probably his best distance,” she said.

Delta Bluesman, the 8-5 choice under Emisael Jaramillo, gave way grudgingly in the final yards while still able to hold second by a neck over Awesome Banner, the 9-5 second choice. Rounding out the order were Yourdreamsormine, Extravagant Kid, Schivarelli, and Sing Praises.

The $2 exacta (5-2) paid $37, the $1 trifecta (5-2-7) returned $49.90, and the 10-cent superfecta (5-2-7-1) was worth $14.93.


FlatlinedSome patient handling by trainer Scooter Dickey and an explosive late kick urged on by jockey Joe Bravo allowed Flatlined to earn the first graded stakes win of his career when the gelded son of Flatter rallied from well back to edge Almanaar by a neck Jan. 14 in the $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale (G2T) at Gulfstream Park.

Click here to read article from Blood-Horse.

Perseverance has been a theme for 5-year-old Flatlined through his 19 career starts. Unraced as a juvenile, it took the bay gelding five tries to break his maiden— a win that came over the Gulfstream turf in December of 2015— and it wasn’t until last September that he prevailed against stakes company, taking the Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs.

Having previously been off the board in two prior tries in graded stakes races, Flatlined put it all together in the 1 1/16-mile Ft. Lauderdale. Expected pacesetter and defending race winner Heart to Heart did what he was supposed to on the front end, carrying the 12-horse field through opening fractions of :23.23 and :48.30 while under pressure from Rose Brier as Flatlined bided his time on the inside in tenth.

With Heart to Heart trying to dig in along the rail coming off the final turn, Bravo sharply angled Flatlined off the inside path and came surging down the middle of the stretch with Almanaar to his inside, hitting the wire in a final time of 1:41.29 over a course rated firm.

“The Flatters just get better with age, like I had with (multiple grade I winner) Flat Out,” said Dickey, who earned his first graded stakes win since saddling Flat Out to victory in the 2011 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). “If they don’t go wrong, they’re at their best at 4 or 5 years old. I thought if he ran the race he had last time, he’d have a chance.

“Joe rode him great. Joe told me, ‘I knew I had them at the top of the lane.’ I said, ‘I didn’t think you had them until the wire.'”

Sent off at 15-1 odds, Flatlined teased that he was on an upturn in form as he came into the Ft. Lauderdale off a runner-up effort in the El Prado Stakes Dec. 17 where he was beaten just a neck by Heart to Heart.

Almanaar put in a game run of his own to get second with grade 1 winner and 5-2 favorite Divisidero finishing third after traveling extremely wide on the final turn under jockey Edgar Prado in his first start in seven months.

“It wasn’t the greatest trip,” Prado said. “Horses were coming in a little bit and I had to check a little bit at the beginning of the race. Then I sat at the back of the pack just biding my time. Around the turn I was looking for a place to go and there was nothing. It was very tight.”

The race was marred in upper stretch when 4-year-old longshot Copingaway went down after appearing to clip heels when squeezed between Fire Away and Macagone. The Jaime Mejia trainee had to be euthanized due to his injuries. Jockey Jairo Rendon was taken to the hospital with a sore shoulder, but was reported to be up and walking.

Owned by Brian Hytrek, Rodney Paden, and Ryan Kuhn, Flatlined returned $32.60, $11.20, and $9.00 across the board and is likely to target the $350,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1T) Feb. 11. Heart to Heart ended up fourth with Rose Brier, Night Prowler, Lukes Alley, Jay Gatsby, Fire Away, Macagone, and Diamond Bachelor completing the order of finish.

Out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Buttercup’s Song, Flatlined was bred by B & B Thoroughbreds Inc. and Marty Hughes, and was purchased for $65,000 out of the Denali Stud consignment at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale. He improved his record to five wins from 19 starts and $346,765 in earnings.


Via Borghese Stakes

Trainer Christophe Clement held the upper hand in the $75,000 Via Borghese Stakes, sending out the 21-1 Paige and her uncoupled stable mate Desiree Clary to a one-two finish in the 1 3/16-miles stakes for older fillies and mares. His third entrant in the race, Trophee, finished seventh after getting shuffled to next to last at the top of the stretch.

Click here to read article from DRF.

Paige had to alter course briefly, angling to the rail near mid-stretch under jockey Paco Lopez before finishing strongly to register a half-length decision over Desiree Clary. The latter finished a head in front of the late-running Flipcup.

Happyness raced well-placed, but weakened through the stretch, finishing ninth as the 9-5 favorite.

Paige ran the distance in 1:54.23 and returned $44.80.


giant-runRobert Baker and William Mack’s Giant Run lived up to his name when he won the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby by 1 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park Dec. 31.

Click here to read article from Bood Horse.

Going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, the 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway raced along comfortably in fourth under jockey Joe Bravo behind pacesetters Stockyard and Franklin Towers through six furlongs. As the frontrunners began to tire, Giant Run made his move by going four wide in the turn and taking off down the stretch to stop the clock in 1:40.02. Favorite Oscar Nominated finished second, a head over Two Step Time in third.

“You couldn’t have asked for a horse to have a better spot heading into the first turn,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “From there, he was just sitting by himself without anyone putting any pressure on him. It worked out in our favor. It looked like Joe had plenty of horse once he reached the three-eighths pole. I could see him looking over his shoulder, kind of looking for the competition. He really had an extra gear today and it was very impressive.”

Giant Run returned $19.80, $9.40, and $5.40 across the board. Oscar Nominated paid $3.80 and $3.40, while Two Step Time was worth $16.20.

Saturday’s win was Giant Run’s fourth stakes victory this year. In September he won the Centaur Stakes at Indiana Grand Race Course, in July he took the Manila Stakes at Belmont Park, and in March it was the Cutler Bay Stakes, also at Gulfstream. He also finished second and third in the Palm Beach Stakes and the Penn Mile (both gr. IIIT), respectively.

Bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds in Maryland, the colt was purchased by Baker and Mack for $200,000 from consigner Hidden Brook at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. Giant Run now has a record of 5-3-1 from 14 starts, with earnings of $419,480.

Four races later in the Tropical Park Oaks, also run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s homebred Ultra Brat won at odds of 35-1.

The 3-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo broke well and raced along in second behind Gypsy Eyes while favorite Try Your Luck was a half length back in third on the rail. Jockey Angel Cruz started to urge Ultra Brat around the turn for home and the filly responded, easily moving around Gypsy Eyes to hit the wire first in 1:41.23. Shaan nabbed second in a late surge, with Try Your Luck in third.

“(Trainer) Graham (Motion) told me not to send her because she would be rank, so I just let her break on her own and she settled really good for me down the backside,” Cruz said. “When I asked her, I had a lot of horse.”

Ultra Brat entered Saturday’s race off a fourth place effort on the dirt in the Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel Park. A winner on turf and dirt, she also won the Christiecat Stakes at Belmont Sept. 9. Her record is now 4-1-0 from 9 starts.

Ultra Brat paid $75.40, $29.40, and $19.00 across the board. Shaan returned $11.40 and $7.40, and Try Your Luck paid $4.

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