Archive for March 2018

Martini Glass makes Azeri biggest win of career

Azeri03.3-17-18.BL_Whatever trainer Keith Nations thought he saw in Martini Glass when he claimed the filly for $16,000 out of her career debut Feb. 20, 2016 at Tampa Bay Downs, he was right. And then some. Click here to read article from DRF. Martini Glass won for the 10th time in 23 races and scored the biggest win of her career when she took the Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri Stakes by three resounding lengths Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Actress, who broke slowly from the rail and finished with good energy, passed pace-setting Farrell for second. Farrell held well for the show after setting taxing splits of 23.15, 46.92, and 1:11.23, and turning for home still on the lead. Martini Glass got an ideal trip under Paco Lopez in the Azeri and made the most of it. Racing behind Farell and pace-prompting Terra Promessa and hemmed in by Blue Prize, Martini Glass kept up nicely while drafting in the leader’s wake and saving ground. Lopez, sensing he had more horse than Blue Prize, tipped three paths off the fence while corning into the homestretch, bulling past a fading Blue Prize, quickly passing tiring Terra Promessa, and going up to engage Farrell. Farrell dug in and still had the lead at the eighth pole, but Martini Glass was straight and strong, took her measure, and never looked like anything other than a winner through the final furlong. She was timed in 1:42.95 for the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track and paid $8.80 to win. “Paco knows her so well,” Nations said. “He had her in a great position. We got to the lead pretty early, and I was a little nervous, but she finished up really well.” Nations, who winters at Tampa Bay, is part owner of Martini Glass with Vince Campanella. The mare first hit the national radar when she finished second to Songbird last summer in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap, but she appears to have hit a new peak this winter, and the Azeri win came following a fine third in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic and a last-out win in the Royal Delta Stakes at Gulfstream. Martini Glass has a turf-leaning pedigree, by Kitalpha and out of the Run Softly mare Glassy, and has raced well on grass, but she appears to have found her true calling on dirt. She ran her career mark to 10-5-2 from 23 starts, and the $210,000 winner’s share of the purse ran her bankroll to $863,675 – not bad for a $16,000 claim. Nations said Martini Glass is a likely runner next month in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn. “There’s probably a pretty good chance of that,” he said. “We’ll ship her back to Tampa, give her an easy week and evaluate her. If everything looks good we’ll plan on coming back.” And why not? They might not yet have gotten to the bottom of this mare Martini Glass.

Servis-Lopez sweep Silks Run, Captiva Island

Vision Perfect the Silks Run credit Lauren KingHALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Jason Servis and jockey Paco Lopez were kings of the Gulfstream Park turf Saturday after combining to win both the $75,000 Silks Run Stakes and its filly counterpart, the $75,000 Captiva Island. Click here to read article from DRF. Both races were five furlongs on the grass. Vision Perfect got Servis, who was not in attendance for his two stakes victories, and Lopez off on the right foot when finishing full of run down the center of the course en route to a convincing 4 3/4-length decision over defending champion Pay Any Price in the Silks Run. Buccero, who finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last fall at Del Mar, was another three parts of a length farther back in third. The win was the first for Vision Perfect since haltered for $80,000 by the Mr. Amore Stable and turned over to Servis last June, and the first for the son of Pollard’s Vision since October 2016. Vision Perfect completed five furlongs over a firm course in 55.20 seconds and returned $10.80. Darkness enveloped the track by the time the field reached the starting gate for the Captiva Island nearly five hours later, but the poor visibility could not deter Servis and Lopez from completing their sweep of the afternoon’s co-features. This time is was Blue Bahia, who slipped up the rail under deft handling by Lopez to out-finish the 8-5 favorite Morticia and register a three-quarter-length triumph for her third win in her last four starts. Morticia, making her 2018 debut, raced wide while forcing the pace from the outset but could not match strides with the winner at the end. She finished a half-length in front of Girls Know Best, who rallied mildly to be third. The victory was justice, of sorts, for Blue Bahia, who appeared on her way to a sure win in the Lady’s Turf Sprint here last month only to stumble badly and nearly unseat Lopez after stepping in a hole near midstretch. Blue Bahia, a 5-year-old daughter of Wildcat Heir owned by Dennis Drazin, paid $6.00. “I had a perfect trip. I loved my position today,” Lopez said after the Captiva Island. “My filly likes to come from behind and she always tries. My filly didn’t stumble like she did the last time. The last time I got in perfect position and she stumbled very badly. Today I was very lucky.”

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