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Juvenile Cajun Firecracker Sparkles in Debut

Apr 13, 2018
Focus on Me Upsets Pure Sensation in Friday Feature
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Climbs to $270,990  

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Shadybrook Farm’s Cajun Firecracker registered a professional two-length victory over stablemate Mardi Gras Girl in Friday’s second race at Gulfstream Park, becoming the first winner for his sire, Cajun Breeze, in the 4 ½-furlong dash for 2-year-olds.
Owner/breeder and trainer Michael Yates couldn’t have been more delighted with the 1-2 finish by the offspring of Cajun Breeze, whom he campaigned during a career that produced four wins from 33 starts and $246,860 in earnings before his 2015 retirement.

“I’m pinching myself. I went out on a limb,” Yates said. “The reason I bred to him was based on his family and pedigree. He’s out of a mare who’s a multiple stakes-producing mare. Having trained him for his whole career, I felt like he was a bit of an underachiever. He was an extremely talented horse. He retired sound at six, and when we started looking around for a stallion to breed to, we said, ‘Why not him?’”

Ridden by Nik Juarez, Cajun Firecracker ($12.20) broke alertly from the starting gate to race outside his pacesetting stablemate Mardi Gras Girl into the stretch before drawing clear nearing the finish in 52.58 seconds. Mardi Gras Girl, who didn’t draw into Friday’s race for 2-year-old fillies from the also-eligible list, finished 5 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Shasta Moon.
“They’re both very forward. They are very smart,” Yates said. “[Cajun Firecracker] is a nice colt. He has a good brain on him. He’s a nice, sound horse. He’s just coming [into his own].”
Yates said he had eight 2-year-olds sired by Cajun Breeze, including Nancysaidso, who set the pace and finished second behind Todd Pletcher-trained Valkyrie Gold in Friday’s first race for juveniles this year.
The primary goal for all three offspring of Cajun Breeze is the Florida Sire Stakes series that gets under way Aug. 4.
Cajun Breeze, a son of Congrats, is a half-brother to Cajun Delta Dawn, who captured two legs of the 2016 Florida Sire Stakes, the Desert Vixen and the Susan’s Girl, before finishing second in the Delta Downs Princess (G3).
In Friday’s featured race, a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf, Focus On Me outsprinted millionaire Pure Sensation to grab the early lead and continued on to post a half-length decision over the 2-5 favorite.
Pure Sensation, a multiple graded-stakes winner who was making his first start since finishing a close fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar Nov. 4, saved ground behind the pacesetter into the stretch but was unable to overhaul the winner.
The David Braddy-trained Focus On Me ($10.60) scored his first victory from three starts on turf and fourth win from 12 career races.
Focus On Me ran five furlongs in 55.58 seconds under Emisael Jaramillo. 
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Climbs to $270,990  

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot rose to $270,990   for Saturday’s 12-race program at Gulfstream Park when the popular multi-race wager went unsolved Friday for the seventh straight racing day.
Multiple tickets with all six winners were worth $9,780.12. 
The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover of $2,234.53.

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