Archive for December 2017

Paco Lopez Shines Bright On Claiming Crown Day, Voted Jockey Of The Week

Flowers-for-Lisa-the-CC-Jewel-credit-Kenny-MartinPaco Lopez was the star of Claiming Crown Day, winning three of the nine stakes in the annual event to earn Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week honors for the week ending December 3, 2017. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element’s Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.

Click here to read article from Paulick Report.

The only jockey to win multiple stakes last week, Paco Lopez earned the majority of votes from the panel for his performance on Claiming Crown Day at Gulfstream Park. Lopez had a mount in each of the nine Claiming Crown races on Saturday. Of the nine, he won three: the $110,000 Distaff Dash Stakes with Blue Bahia ($5.20) for trainer Jason Servis, the $125,000 Tiara Stakes with Martini Glass ($6.00) for trainer Keith Nations, and the feature race, the $200,000 Jewel Stakes with longshot Flowers for Lisa ($35.80) for trainer Jorge Navarro.

He also finished second in the $110,000 Claiming Crown Canterbury Stakes with Oak Bluffs and was third in the $110,000 Iron Horse Stakes with Solve.

With his three stakes wins, Lopez was the second leading rider by stakes earnings for the week, with $291,000 earned during his Claiming Crown appearances. He earned $331,793 for the week as the fifth leading rider by total earnings, including his race days at Aqueduct and Parx. In 2017, he has earned over $8.9 million and is ranked 14th by earnings among all North American jockeys this year.

Lopez’ three Claiming Crown victories were the only wins of his 26 mounts, but he also had four second-place finishes and four third-place finishes, giving him a win rate of 12% but an in-the-money rate of 42%. He has won 171 of his 975 starts this year and has won 2,191 races lifetime. The winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in 2008, Lopez has career earnings in excess of $75 million in over 11,000 starts.

Flowers for Lisa Wires Claiming Crown Jewel

Flowers for LisaBreaking from the outside post 12, Flying P Stable’s Flowers for Lisa hustled for the lead and never looked back, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream Park Dec. 2.

Click here to read article from Blood Horse.

The win capped off a solid day for trainer Jorge Navarro, whose trainee Sharp Azteca earned his first grade 1 victory in the Cigar Mile Handicap Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) about an hour earlier.

“Jorge told me the day he claimed him that this was our Claiming Crown horse,” owner Jason Provenzano said of the 4-year-old Flower Alley gelding who was claimed for $20,000 at Monmouth Park in July.

“This is a dream for me,” he added. “The phone hasn’t stopped. I got in this game a long time ago. My father was a jockey years ago, he rode down at Bowie, Timonium, Pimlico, Marlboro—tracks that don’t even exist anymore, some of them. I fell in love with horses at a young age but I never thought I’d have the money to own them. I got in a good position in my life and we started claiming horses.”

The 19th running of the Claiming Crown marked opening day of Gulfstream’s championship meet, and record handle on the 11-race program was $11.9 million, up 7% from last year when $11.1 million was wagered. Handle in 2015 was $10.3 million. Handle on the Claiming Crown has gone up every year since Gulfstream began hosting the event in 2012.

In the 1 1/8-mile Claiming Crown Jewel, Flowers for Lisa and jockey Paco Lopez took control early and led by a length through fractions of :23.60 and :47.06 for a half-mile. With six furlongs in 1:11.28, he extended his lead to 1 1/2 lengths and then held off Flashy Jewel and Diamond Bachelor in the stretch. The final time was 1:48.76.

“I had a little bit of a bad post position, and Navarro told me to do whatever I want. I know we have a bad position, but I know the horse is ready for this race,” Lopez said. “I rushed a little out of the gate, but my horse was very responsive and we won in hand.”

Flashy Jewel put a head in front of Diamond Bachelor for second. Turco Bravo and Capital Letters rounded out the top five in the field of 12. Favored grade 2 winner Gigantic Breeze raced near the rear of the field and finished 11th. The winner returned $35.80, $16.40, and $10 across the board.

Bred by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, Flowers for Lisa is out of the winning Lemon Drop Kid mare Indyan Lisa. She now has a record of 7-8-5 from 33 starts, with earnings of $276,616.

Other Claiming Crown races:

In the $110,000 Glass Slipper, Troy Onorato and Maritza Onorato’s Mended shipped in from the West Coast and won by 6 3/4 lengths. The John Martin-trained 4-year-old Broken Vow filly finished the one-mile distance in 1:36.42 over the main track with Ricardo Gonzalez up. The win was her 10th consecutive victory.

Michelle Winters’ First Growth drew clear under Gerardo Corrales for a 3 1/2-length score in the $110,000 Express. The 5-year-old Candy Ride gelding completed the six-furlong dirt event in 1:09.61 for trainer Odin J. Londono Jr.

The $110,000 Distaff Dash went to Dennis Drazin homebred Blue Bahia. Winning by 2 3/4 lengths, the Jason Servis-trained 4-year-old Wildcat Heir filly stopped the clock in :56.89 for five furlongs on the turf under Lopez.

Stephen Derany and John Rigattieri’s Twocubanbrothersu won the $110,000 Iron Horse by 1 1/2 lengths with Daniel Centeno aboard. The 7-year-old Harlington gelding, trained by Rigattieri, completed the 1 1/16-mile dirt race in 1:42.22.

In the five-furlong $110,000 Canterbury on the turf, 7-year-old Pay Any Price picked up a narrow win by a half-length. Owned by Matties Racing Stable and Averill Racing and trained by Ralph Ziadie, the Wildcat Heir gelding finished the distance in :56.49 with Edgard Zayas aboard.

Moshe Mark’s grade 2-placed Cautious Giant and jockey Emisael Jaramillo rallied to a one-length score in the $110,000 Rapid Transit. The 6-year-old gelding by Giant’s Causeway , who is trained by Victor Barboza Jr., finished the seven-furlong race in 1:22.78 on the dirt.

Multiple grade 1-placed Martini Glass, owned by Vince Campanella and Nation’s Racing Stable, nosed out Peru to win the 1 1/16-mile $125,000 Tiara over the turf. Trained by Keith Nations, the 4-year-old Kitalpha filly and Lopez stopped the clock in 1:46.55.

The $125,000 Emerald went to Skychai Racing’s Special Ops, who won the 1 1/16-mile turf test by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:50.41. The 6-year-old Big Brown gelding, who is trained by Mike Maker, was ridden to victory by Julien Leparoux.

Navarro gets another with Flowers for Lisa’s Claiming Crown Jewel win

NavarroFlowers for Lisa finished off a banner day for trainer Jorge Navarro Saturday, registering a front-running triumph in the $200,000 Jewel, the grand finale of the $1 million Claiming Crown and an 11-race program on the first day of Gulfstream Park’s 2017-2018 Championship Meet.

Click here to read article from Horse Racing Nation.

About an hour after Navarro saddled 2017 Gulfstream Park Handicap winner Sharp Azteca for a Grade 1 victory in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, Flowers for Lisa pulled off a 16-1 upset with his 1 ½-length triumph in the Jewel, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for horses that started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2016.

Claimed for $20,000 by the Flying P Stable at Monmouth Park in July, Flowers for Lisa gave jockey Paco Lopez his third Claiming Crown win on Saturday’s card. The past Championship Meet titlist also scored aboard Blue Bahia in the $110,000 Distaff Dash and the Martini Glass in the $125,000 Tiara.

“I had a little bit of a bad post position, and Navarro told me to do whatever I want. I know we have a bad position, but I know the horse is ready for this race,” Lopez said. “I rushed a little out of the gate, but my horse was very responsive and we won in hand.”

Flowers for Lisa, who finished second in a $32,000 claiming race at Belmont last time out and who has won one of three starts for his new connections, was hustled out of the far-outside post position by Lopez and responded to open a clear lead into the first turn. Flashy Jewel, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, pressed the pace along the backstretch without avail, settling for second at the finish, a head in front of ground-saving Diamond Bachelor.

The winning 4-year-old gelding ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.76 after setting fractions of 23.06 (seconds), 47.06, 1:11.28 and 1:35.67 through the first mile.

“Jorge told me the day he claimed him that this was our Claiming Crown horse. This is a dream for me. The phone hasn’t stopped. I got in this game a long time ago. My father was a jockey years ago, he rode down at Bowie, Timonium, Pimlico, Marlboro, tracks that don’t even exist anymore, some of them,” owner Jason Provenzano said. “I fell in love with horses at a young age but I never thought I’d have the money to own them. I got in a good position in my life and we started claiming horses.”

Gigantic Breeze, the 2-1 favorite who won the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes over Woodbine’s Polytrack surface in his most recent race, was never a factor in his first career start on dirt.

Website Created by TCP Global Solutions