Gold, Jacks or Better Hold Strong Hand for Closing Day Program
Nov 27, 2015
Trainer, Owner Represented in Four of Six Juvenile Stakes on Saturday
Zayas, Sano, Calabrese Top Standings
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – After adding to their record totals in the spring and summer juvenile stakes at Gulfstream Park, trainer Stanley Gold and Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm look to carry that momentum into Saturday, the finale of Gulfstream Park West’s Fall Turf Festival meet.
The potent partnership will have horses in each of the four $75,000 dirt stakes on the 11-race program, the one-mile Hut Hut and six-furlong House Party for females, and the one-mile Smooth Air and six-furlong Buffalo Man.
Also on the card are a pair of turf stakes, the $75,000 Wait a While one-mile for females and the $75,000 Pulpit at six furlongs. First race post time is noon.
“What happens with me at this time of year is, we had a good summer and did well against restricted company,” Gold said. “And now we see who wants to step up and is actually better and can handle the change of season with the better horses coming here, and who is going to carry us the rest of the year, if anybody.”
Fellowship, an impressive last-to-first winner of the 1 1/16-mile Florida Sire In Reality Stakes Oct. 3, is the 3-1 program favorite for the Smooth Air, coming off a rallying second going in 6 ½ furlongs in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes Nov. 7 at Gulfstream Park West.
“He’s shown the consistency where he puts in that run,” Gold said. “He would have won the last one with just a few more steps, so now we’ve got the mile. I don’t think the two turns will bother him because he’s already shown he can go two turns in the [In Reality]. If he runs like he did last time, he’ll be fine.”
Florida Sire Susan’s Girl Stakes winner Ballet Diva drew outside post 7 and is the second choice at 3-1 on the morning line in the House Party. It will mark her Gulfstream Park West debut after five starts at Gulfstream, most recently tiring to sixth as the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl Oct. 3.
“I don’t think six furlongs is any problem,” Gold said. “You’ve got a young horse that’s never shipped anywhere and the conditions might not suit her. She might not ship well, she might not like the track. It’s a new experience, but we decided to take the shot and hope that she’s up to the task. It’s time to come off the bench and see what she does. She’s training well.”
Silent Prayer is third choice in the program for the Hut Hut, having drawn far outside post 12. She is winless in six starts since breaking her maiden May 6 at Gulfstream, finishing second to House Party favorite Brandy’s Girl in the Juvenile Fillies Sprint Nov. 7.
Also looking for his first victory against winners is Brighton Lane, listed at 20-1 on the morning line for the Buffalo Man. A full brother to multiple graded stakes winner Jackson Bend, the 2-year-old Hear No Evil colt has been off the board in three straight outings after finishing third, beaten less than four lengths in the Dr. Fager Aug. 8, his second career start.
Brighton Lane’s only previous trip at Gulfstream Park West came on the grass, where he was a distant eighth in the Juvenile Turf Stakes Nov. 7.
“I think he’s better than what he’s been showing. We haven’t had good luck with him,” Gold said. “The turf was an experiment, and it was a negative experiment. The post positions have been pretty much killing him because he’s been coming from off the race and getting stuck on the rail a few times. That’s the luck of the draw. I think his future is not two turns.
“He’s so sharp and he seems ready to sprint, so maybe he’ll live up to the expectations that I’m hoping we have. Jackson Bend liked going the mile but he preferred the one turn and I think this horse might be similar to that. I think he’s going to run good.”
Zayas, Sano Calabrese Top Standings
Going into the final days of the meet, jockey Edgard Zayas will take the leading jockey title. Zayas went into Friday's card with 44 winners, 14 more than Eddie Castro and 15 more than Tyler Gaffalione. Antonio Sano went into the day leading all trainers with 18 wins followed by Jorge Navarro (15) and Todd Pletcher (14). Frank Carl Calabrese led all owners with eight victories. Crossed Sabres Farm, Guarnieri Stables and Robin Team Show Racing each had six.