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Gulfstream Today

Mar 29, 2015

Gulfstream Today

03/29/2015

Celestine Captures Stakes Debut in $75,000 Sanibel Island
 
Castellano Honored as Gulfstream’s Leading Jockey
 
Rainbow 6 Carryover at $356,544 for Wednesday
 
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Phaedrus Flight’s Celestine led nearly every step of the way to win the $75,000 Sanibel Island by 3 ¼ lengths Sunday at Gulfstream Park in her stakes debut.
 
Making her third straight start on turf after two dirt tries and first beyond seven furlongs for trainer Bill Kaplan, the 3-year-old Scat Daddy filly ran one mile in 1:35.60 on a firm turf course. 
            
“She’s a very nice filly. She’s a very fast filly and she loves the turf, I think,” Kaplan said. “After the first couple races we tried her on turf and it’s worked really good.”
 
Ridden for the first time by Rajiv Maragh, only hours returned from a trip to Dubai with Main Sequence for the $6 million Sheema Classic, Celestine ($18.80) broke fast from post 6 and was steered to the rail, taking the field through a quarter-mile in 23.92 seconds.
 
Racing to her outside, 3-5 favorite Isabella Sings stuck a head in front after a half in 48.77 when Maragh roused Celestine and she responded to retake the lead, running six furlongs in 1:12.69. After cutting the corner on the turn, they sprinted away from the field in the stretch while Isabella Sings rallied to edge Miss Margaret for second by a neck.
 
Celestine had two works since breaking her maiden at Gulfstream March 1, most recently going five furlongs in 58.57 seconds on March 22. She is owned by the same group that campaigns 3-year-old filly Ekati’s Phaeton, a multiple graded stakes winner on dirt.
 
“I felt very comfortable about this filly,” Kaplan said. “I thought she had a great chance to win because her last work was just phenomenal. She showed she’d go long. I couldn’t believe my clock when I looked at it. She’s going to move up in class a little bit, but I think she can handle it. It’ll probably be another stake, maybe a graded stake. Maybe she’ll try one with her stablemate.”
 
Castellano Honored as Gulfstream’s Leading Jockey
 
Gulfstream Park paid tribute to Javier Castellano following Sunday’s seventh race for earning his fourth consecutive Championship Meet riding title.
 
The 37-year-old Castellano becomes the first jockey in Gulfstream history to lead the rider standings four years in a row, topping the 100-win mark each year. Jeff Fell (1977-79) and Jorge Chavez (1999-2001) had each won three straight. Sunday was Castellano’s last day at the meet.
 
“It’s very special, because nobody has done it before. I’m very fortunate to be in that position and fortunate to ride with the best riders in the world,” Castellano said. “It’s very competitive. Every single day you need to get involved with different kinds of horses.”
 
Castellano led all Gulfstream jockeys with 114 wins, 16 stakes wins, 11 graded stakes wins and nearly $4.7 million in purse earnings. He captured two of the meet’s three Grade 1 races: the Donn Handicap with Constitution, and the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap with Mshawish, both on Feb. 7.
 
“I have a lot of help from my agent, Matt Muzikar, and all the trainers and owners that support me in different ways,” Castellano said. “I’m very grateful. It’s a great achievement to win four years in a row. I hope I have many, many more.”
 
Who’s Hot: Jockey Paco Lopez swept the early double with Lure of the South ($9.80) in the first race and Cut in Stone ($9.40) in the second, also winning the fifth on Mongolian Chrome ($8.20). Luis Contreras rode back-to-back winners with Hot and Spicy ($16.80) in the eighth and Phineus ($49.40) in the ninth.
 
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $356,544.32



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