Pancake Stacks Up Well with Competition in Saturday’s Wait a While
Nov 25, 2015
Little Nick V. Seeks Stakes Repeat in Pulpit on Card Featuring 2-Year-Olds. MIAMI GARDENS, FL
– Undefeated Pancake stacks up well with her competition in Saturday’s $75,000 Wait a While Stakes at Gulfstream Park West, which will host a program of 11 races for 2-year-olds, including six stakes for Florida-bred horses.
Arindel’s daughter of Corinthian is entered in the mile turf stakes for a quest to capture her third race for her owner/breeder, who campaigned Wait a While, the winner of the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and an Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding 3-year-old filly.
Pancake won at first asking Sept. 26 at Gulfstream Park before capturing the $100,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 30.
“I was impressed. The first part of that race she really was relaxed and sat off them. She ran like an older horse. She was really poised,” said trainer Ronny Werner, who took over the training of Pancake and Arindel’s stable less than two weeks prior to her 1 ¾-length triumph in the mile turf stakes. “For a horse who only ran once, she was a real pro.”
Werner was immediately impressed with Pancake upon going to work at Arindel Farm in Ocala, FL, but he had a small concern prior to her victorious stakes debut.
“We ran her off the farm, and she got pretty excited in her stall (at Gulfstream West). We had to keep somebody holding her the whole day. It concerned me, as well, how she was going to act in the paddock,” Werner said. “She was actually very professional in the paddock as well as in the post parade. Running off the farm, you don’t have a chance to school in the paddock. Those were things we had to find out about, and she took it all great and has been running well.”
Slated to take on 13 fillies Saturday, not including an also-eligible, Pancake has trained well since her last race.
“She’s done really well, but we’re coming back in three weeks. You don’t really know. They look good; they train good; but until you run them, you don’t know if they’re going to bounce or not,” Werner said. “We’re shipping, as well. It’s 4 ½ hours down the road. It’s not like we’re leading her out of her stall. All those things can work against you a little bit, but we felt like it’s a good spot. She came out of her last race really well.”
Jose Caraballo has the return mount.
Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Keeneland, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Sapphire Kitten appears to be the filly to beat in the Wait a While. The Joe Sharp-trained daughter of Kitten’s Joy, who won her debut at Kentucky Downs and lost a close photo finish in a second-place Jessamine (G3) finish at Keeneland, recovered from a stumble at the start of the Juvenile Fillies Turf to stalk the early pace before fading to fourth, just 1 ½ lengths behind the winner.
Derek Chin’s Most Inspiring, a daughter of Gio Ponti, enters the Wait a While off a key-race at Woodbine. The Daniel Vella-trained filly finished fourth in the Natalma (G2) behind Catch a Glimpse, who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and next-out stakes winners Gamble’s Ghost and Caren. Previously, Most Inspiring captured her debut by 3 ¼ lengths.
Mathis Stable’s Lira, a Todd Pletcher trainee who captured her debut at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 11; trainer James De Vito and partners’ Recognition, a front-running winner of his two most recent starts on turf at Arlington and Hawthorne: and the first three finishers of a highly competitive local optional claiming allowance, She Takes Heart, China Bella and Melody Croon; merit strong consideration in the Wait a While.
Just Before, Amaze Me Grace, Fitpitcher, Miracle Girl, Vieja Luna, Catira Rock and also-eligible Little Alexandra round out the field.
Little Nick V. Seeks Stakes Repeat in Pulpit on Card Featuring 2-Year-Olds.
Little Dreams Stable’s Little Nick V. is slated to seek his second consecutive stakes victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Pulpit, a mile turf stakes for Florida-bred 2-year-olds at Gulfstream Park West.
Trained by Carlo Vaccarezza, the juvenile son of Colonel John broke his maiden with an ultra-game triumph in the $100,000 Juvenile Turf for Florida-breds on Nov. 7.
“He’s been training extremely well. I’m very happy. I think he’s going to run strong against the big boys,” Vaccarezza said.
Little Nick V. launched his career with a third-place finish at Gulfstream Park Sept. 12 before checking in second in a Gulfstream Park West maiden event, in which he performed well under less-than-ideal conditions to encourage his trainer to enter him in a stakes for his third start. Despite racing wide and getting bumped in his stakes debut, Little Nick V. rallied through the stretch to win by a nose.
“He was very impressive for a 2-year-old, the way he went. After getting bumped, a 2-year-old will usually back up. They don’t like to be in tight. He just went between horses, got bumped a few times, and prevailed,” Vaccarezza said. “It was impressive.”
Little Nick V., who was purchased for $8,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September Sale, is scheduled to be ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez.
Lawana and Robert Low’s Mountain Music Man looms as a formidable opponent in the field of 14 entered in the Pulpit. The Todd Pletcher trainee, who scored in his debut over the Belmont main track Sept. 26, is coming off a 1 ½-length victory in $100,000 Awad Stakes over the Belmont turf Oct. 30. Gulfstream West’s leading jockey, Edgard Zayas, has the mount aboard the son of Bluegrass Cat.
Other prominent entrants for the Pulpit include: Dell Ridge Farm’s Tiznoble, who captured his debut at Churchill Downs by more than five lengths in hand; Warner Thoroughbreds and partners’ Swagger Jagger, a sharp maiden winner over the Gulfstream West turf after competing in the Florida Sire Stakes series at Gulfstream on dirt; Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s Surgical Strike, a Kentucky invader who was a troubled fifth in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland two starts back; Penny Lopez’s At the Ready, a two-time South Florida turf winner; and Like Oak Plantation’s Brass Compass, who was beaten by two lengths in a fifth-place finish in the Pilgrim (G3) at Belmont Park last time out.
Applicator, Copingaway, Frontier Ranger, Galleon Mast, Imperial Warrior, Leonardo Da Vinci and Life Imitates Art round out the field.