Archive for March 2017


O ConnellHALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Nobody does more commuting during the winter than trainer Kathleen O’Connell, who splits her time between Gulfstream Park West, where she has 28 horses stabled, and Tampa Bay Downs, where she keeps 36 runners and is second in the meet standings.

Click here to read article from DRF.

As a result, O’Connell was not here Saturday to see her 3-year-old filly Who’s the Lady remain unbeaten with a wire-towire, three-quarter-length victory over the odds-on favorite Cursor in the $75,000 Any Limit Stakes. The Any Limit was the fourth win in as many starts for Who’s the Lady, a homebred daughter of Munnings who was ridden by Paco Lopez for Darsan Inc.

“I’ll take it any way I can get it,” O’Connell said by phone from Tampa on Monday. “I mean, it was kind of a weak field except for Cursor, who probably wants to go further and didn’t have the best of trips. My filly is very small, but she has a big heart, and she loves her job. She hasn’t grown an inch since I got her. But she’s been lucky, and I’m really happy for my owner.”

– Wednesday’s 11-race program will kick off the final week of the 2016-17 championship meeting and features a carryover of $1,354,776 in the Rainbow 6 pool. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool Sunday.

– Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Coasted was the big name on Monday’s work tab at Gulfstream, going five furlongs in 1:02.77 on the main track, with her final three-eighths in 36.79. Coasted finished second to Dream Dancing in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride while launching her 3-year-old campaign here this month. Coasted, trained by Leah Gyarmati, is nominated to Saturday’s $100,000 Sanibel Island Stakes.

– There will be 14 races on Saturday’s Florida Derby program, with first post scheduled at noon Eastern


Who's the ladyWho’s the Lady maintained her perfect record coming off a neck win in a track and trip optional claimer Mar. 8 to salute in the Any Limit S. at Gulfstream Park Saturday. Making a break for the lead from the bell, the second choice was allowed an easy time of it on the front end and, after lulling her rivals to sleep through a :47.67 half-mile, had enough left in the tank when tackled by the closing duo of even-money favorite Cursor (Quality Road) and Fashion Runaway (Old Fashioned) to hang on comfortably. Who’s the Lady won by a neck in her maiden voyage against fellow Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 13 and added an optional claiming victory over this strip in her sophomore bow Feb. 9. Nicole Kathryn, a half-sister to GSW Bushwacker (Outflanker), visited Prospective in the spring of 2016.

Click here to read article from Thoroughbread Daily News.

ANY LIMIT S., $75,000, GP, 3-25, 3yo, f, 6f, 1:12.29, ft.
1–#WHO’S THE LADY, 116, f, 3, by Munnings
1st Dam: Nicole Kathryn, by Star Gallant
2nd Dam: Musical Score, by Romantic Lead
3rd Dam: Too Many Girls, by Four-and-Twenty
($50,000 RNA Ylg ’15 OBSAUG). O/B-Darsan, Inc. (FL);
T-Kathleen O’Connell; J-Paco Lopez. $45,570. Lifetime Record:
4-4-0-0, $111,570.2–Cursor, 116, f, 3, Quality Road–Scarlet Love, by Not For Love.
($340,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Courtlandt Farms (Donald &
Donna Adam); B-Mill Ridge Farm et al (KY); T-Mark A. Hennig.
3–Fashion Runaway, 116, f, 3, Old Fashioned–Terrific Tiffany,
by Strong Hope. O/B-William Humphries (KY); T-William B.
Bradley. $7,350.
Margins: 3/4, HD, 3. Odds: 1.60, 1.00, 20.90.
Also Ran: Faith N Hope, Truge, Colorincolonel, Mia.


DickinsonOLDSMAR, Fla. – Dickinson had been tried under a variety of conditions, but it wasn’t until she moved to the grass and got a little older that the 5-year-old mare began to flourish.

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“We were patient with her, and now we’re starting to be rewarded,” said Jimmy Bell, the U.S.-based racing manager and president for the mare’s owner-breeder, the Godolphin powerhouse.

Adeptly ridden from midpack by Paco Lopez, Dickinson surged to her second straight graded victory Saturday when overhauling the front-running favorite, Isabella Sings, and holding safe a late run from Elysea’s World to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs.

“Paco fits her very well,” Bell said. “He gave her a great ride today.”

Dickinson, by Medaglia d’Oro, finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.77 over a firm turf and returned $8 as second choice in a field of 10 older fillies and mares. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, she was coming off her first career stakes win in the Grade 3 Suwanee River over the Gulfstream Park turf.

“The most important thing is she’s proven she can compete at this level now,” said Bell, adding the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley on April 15 at Keeneland could be her next start.

Elysea’s World finished a half-length behind the winner, with Isabella Sings another 1 1/4 lengths back in third. Evidently was 4 3/4 more lengths back in fourth.

The $2 exacta (3-5) paid $39.60, the $1 trifecta (3-5-6) returned $49, and the 10-cent superfecta (3-5-6-8) was worth $71.


Miss Sky WarriorNo matter the distance or running style, Miss Sky Warrior keeps yielding the same result.

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Arlene London’s homebred filly dispelled any notion of rust on her form when she came with a three-wide move on the final turn to score a half-length victory in the $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, her seasonal bow March 4, signaling her arrival on the Road to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Miss Sky Warrior had been cooling herself since her front-running victory in the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 26, a win that came 21 days after she registered a win in the one-mile Tempted Stakes (G3). Where she was right up on the lead in those two outings and her maiden triumph, the daughter of First Samurai showed she could rate during the one-mile Davona Dale, sitting a close-up fourth while Modacious and Jordan’s Henny traded turns up front through opening fractions in :23.65 and :46.60.

Paco Lopez handled the 2-1 favorite with appropriate confidence, letting Miss Sky Warrior advance outside coming off the final turn and keeping her to task late to record the filly’s fourth straight victory and pick up 50 qualifying points on the Oaks leaderboard.

“I’d like to say the farther she goes the better,” said trainer Kelly Breen. “Today was a little bit by plan (coming off the pace). The stars were aligned and everything worked out.”

The 3-year-old filly division has some deep waters with the presence of multiple graded stakes winners Unique Bella and Farrell. Miss Sky Warrior has shown versatility in her five starts, with her maiden win being a seven-length dazzler going six furlongs at Parx Racing Oct. 15.

“Maybe we’ll have to step up our performances to meet (Unique Bella) in the Oaks,” Breen said. “But to have a horse of this caliber is a lot of fun.”

Miss Sky Warrior recorded a final time of 1:38.49 over a fast track with Jordan’s Henny holding for second over Summer Luck, who closed well to get third. Modacious came in fourth and Brahms Cat rounded out the top five in the 14-horse field. The race was marred when Saratoga Citizen went wrong down the backstretch, falling and unseating jockey Jorge Ruiz. Saratoga Citizen was vanned off while Aspen Hilltop was able to walk off after stumbling over the fallen rival.

Grade 1 winner Pretty City Dancer never threatened and finished off the board.

Miss Sky Warrior rewarded her backers with payouts of $6.40, $4.80, and $3.40 across the board. The dark bay filly out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Sky Minister improved her record to four wins from five starts with $461,490 in earnings.

Highland Sky targets Pan American after winning return

Highland Sky1HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – A long layoff, a bad post, an eventful trip – in the end, none of that mattered to Highland Sky, who made an impressive return from a 7 1/2-month vacation with a game three-quarter-length triumph over a strong optional-claiming/allowance field here last Saturday.

Click here to read article from DRF.

With Paco Lopez putting in a fearless ride, Highland Sky dove to the inside following a tardy beginning to save ground early, raced in some traffic down the backstretch, swung about seven paths wide rallying into the stretch, and still was able to outfinish Ice Cutter and Hockey School. It was his first appearance since running second, beaten a neck, last July in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby.

“He had some little, minor problems, one after the other, following the Belmont Derby, so we just said the heck with it, we’ll give him the rest of the year off,” said Barclay Tagg, who trains Highland Sky for a partnership that includes his breeder, Joyce B. Young. “We had a nice couple of months to get him ready again, and he came into this good. We thought about running him back in the stakes, but this race was in the book, and the timing was perfect, so I decided why not start him out here?”

Tagg said winning the 1 1/16-mile race on Saturday was a bonus for him.

“He had a bad post, and I certainly don’t think this is his best distance,” Tagg said. “He really wants to go a lot farther. I wasn’t really worried about winning it. I just wanted to get a race under his belt and not get him hurt, and Paco did a super job.”

Tagg said he’ll likely point Highland Sky for the Grade 3 Pan American at 1 3/8 miles here April 1.

Derek’s Smile leads all the way in winning Texas Glitter

Derek's SmileHALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The gate-to-wire victory Saturday by Derek’s Smile in the Texas Glitter made his prior race even more puzzling to trainer Kelly Breen.

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“I’m still shocked he was eased,” Breen said moments after Derek’s Smile finished three-quarters of a length clear of Uncle B in winning the third running of the $75,000 Texas Glitter at Gulfstream Park, reversing his dismaying performance here Feb. 4 in the Swale Stakes.

Under Paco Lopez, Derek’s Smile sped to the lead in the five-furlong turf race and never looked back, returning $4.20 as favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds after finishing in 55.77 seconds over a firm course. Apache Brave was third, another three-quarters of a length back in third.

Owned by George Hall, who was watching on television from his home in West Palm Beach, Derek’s Smile now has won three of four overall starts and is 2 for 2 over grass. Two starts back, the Brother Derek colt won a first-level allowance at five furlongs on the Gulfstream turf.

“He jumped a shadow that day, so today we put a big ol’ shadow roll on him and told Paco just to go,” Breen said. “I’d hate to say he’s only going to be a grass horse, because he trains really well over the dirt (at Palm Meadows). But for now, yes, you’d have to say he might be pretty tough to beat going short on the grass.”

The $2 exacta (6-3) paid $14, the $1 trifecta (6-3-5) returned $55.50, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-3-5-2) was worth $15.94.

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