Archive for January 2020

Island Commish extends his streak in Gulfstream’s Kitten’s Joy Stakes

Island Commish tracked pacesetter Get Smokin and then overtook that rival in deep stretch to prevail by about a length Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

The victory was the third straight for Island Commish, a son of Commissioner owned by Matthew Schera and trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. With Paco Lopez aboard, Island Commish sat a perfect trip from the outside post, pressing 11-1 long shot Get Smokin through fractions of :24.41, :47.81 and 1:10.78. In the stretch, Island Commish wore down the pacesetter and prevailed by a half-length on the wire.

“He broke good I wanted to come from a little bit behind like we did at [Gulfstream Park West],” Lopez said. “He was second and relaxed really good. At the three-eighths [pole] I saw that the horse in front was going good, so I asked him a little bit and he gave me a good run.”

Get Smokin held off Summer to Remember for second with 2-1 favorite Irish Mias a non-threatening fourth. Island Commish completed 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:28.25 and paid $14.40.

“We thought he was going into the race in good form and as good as we could get him,” Joseph said. “We didn’t know if he had the ability to win a race like this, but thought if we’re going to try it now is the time.”

Click here to read from Horse Racing Nation

Island Commish was a 9 1/2-length winner when debuting in a $35,000 maiden claimer taken off the turf at Gulfstream Park on Aug. 3. After a pair of subsequent defeats, which included his only previous stakes try in the Proud Man Stakes at Gulfstream on Aug. 31, he entered the Kitten’s Joy off a pair of starter optional claiming wins going 7 1/2 furlongs on grass at Gulfstream Park West.

Schera purchased Island Commish following the first of those wins on Oct. 17 at Gulfstream West. He made his first four starts for Shooting Star Thoroughbreds, managed by longtime trainer Mary Lightner.

Island Commish was a $32,000 auction purchase at the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale.

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