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Vow to Recover Takes Streak into $75,000 Wait a While

Dec 6, 2018
Graded-Stakes Tested Bella Ciao Gets Class Relief in $75,000 Hut Hut
Iva Looks to Keep Perfect Record Intact in $75,000 House Party
Among Six Juvenile Stakes Topping Clasico del Caribe Program

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Imaginary Stables and Paul Braverman’s Vow to Recover, unbeaten on grass with back-to-back victories, puts her streak on the line as she seeks her second consecutive stakes triumph in the $75,000 Wait a While Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The one-mile Wait a While on turf is one of three $75,000 stakes for juvenile fillies, along with the one-mile Hut Hut and six-furlong House Party for 2-year-olds, both on dirt, as part of an all-stakes, 11-race program anchored by the Clasico Internacional del Caribe.

This will be second straight year at Gulfstream for the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, an international event which until 2017 had been run exclusively in Latin America and the Caribbean since its inception in 1966.

Trained by Elizabeth Dobles, Vow to Recover drew Post 5 in a field of 11 that includes main track only entrant Perspire. Paco Lopez, aboard for each of the last two races, returns to ride at 122 pounds, the topweight they share with fellow stakes winner A Bit Special.

“She’s training forwardly. She’s a real nice filly, real easy to train,” Dobles said. “She’s a great horse to work with in the morning. Her breezes are always off-the-charts spectacular, and she does it so easily.”

Vow to Recover debuted running fifth in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight sprint July 28 over Gulfstream’s main track before being moved to the grass during Gulfstream Park West’s Fall Turf Festival meet, where she beat the boys going 7 ½ furlongs Oct. 11.

“I like taking my time with 2-year-olds. They kind of let you know when they’re ready. I don’t like to rush them,” Dobles said. “Her first race was on the dirt. I knew she was going to be a longer distance horse but it’s really hard to get the 2-year-old races at longer distances that early in the season.

“I was looking for the longer distances and, with races being hard to come by for 2-year-old fillies going over a mile on the dirt, I tried turf and she just took to it,” she added. “She just does it so easily. She goes by them like they’re standing still.”

Such was case in her most recent outing, the one-mile Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes, where she returned to face her own kind and steadily advanced through the field before edging clear to win by a half-length.

“I had high hopes for her last time. After she beat the boys in the maiden race, I knew the fillies shouldn’t be that big of an issue. She was running against some decent horses but nothing she couldn’t handle,” Dobles said. “I like this spot. I would prefer more distance. I think with more distance she’ll be even better, but she’s going into the race great.”

A Bit Special will break alongside Vow to Recover. The Patrick Biancone trainee has not raced since her three-length triumph in the one-mile Our Dear Peggy Stakes Sept. 29 at Gulfstream, where she also captured her unveiling Aug. 19. In between, the late-running filly came up a neck shy of winning the 7 ½-furlong Sharp Susan Stakes.

Also entering the Wait a While off consecutive wins is Calumet Farm’s undefeated Red Rounder, who broke her maiden Sept. 26 and returned to capture an open allowance Oct. 23, both at Indiana Downs, the latter at one mile for trainer Mike Maker.

Last-out winners Aunt Hattie, Stormy D and Fortunate Girl; stablemates Multi Strategy and Irish-bred Queen Medb, making her North American debut; Box of Gold, Malibu Dawn, and Red Hot Dame complete the field.
Graded-Stakes Tested Bella Ciao Gets Class Relief in $75,000 Hut Hut

Magic Stables and Cairoli Racing’s Bella Ciao, having faced Grade 1 company in her two most recent starts, will cut back in distance and class for her latest assignment in the $75,000 Hut Hut.

Bella Ciao, trained by Antonio Sano, will be trying one mile for the first time. In her most recent outing, the bay daughter of Flatter bobbled at the start of the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades (G1) Oct. 5 at Keeneland and was never involved, finishing 10th.

In her previous race, Bella Ciao got within a half-length of the lead entering the stretch and had to settle for fourth of 11, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the seven-furlong Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga. That race came after she graduated with a three-quarter-length victory going six furlongs at Gulfstream July 26.

“She is a nice filly. She is more suited for the longer distances,” Santo said. “We took her to Saratoga after she broke her maiden and she ran a good race. The next race she had a big problem in the gate and then she came out of the race with a cough. She is ready for the race. She already won here and it’s very important to have a win over the track. We like her very much. We want to get a win with her.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., locked in battle for the 2018 Eclipse Award as champion jockey with younger brother, Jose, will ride Bella Ciao from Post 4.

Trainer Stanley Gold entered a pair of Arindel homebreds in Bimini and Durlyn, both daughter of Brethren coming in off front-running victories.

Bimini broke her maiden at Gulfstream in debut June 23 and most recently went the distance in a one-mile optional claimer Oct. 18 at Gulfstream West to beat Hut Hut rival Busy Signal by 2 ¾ lengths. Jeffrey Sanchez, regular rider for both fillies, took the call on Bimini from the rail post.

Durlyn was a runaway 17 ¾-length maiden claiming winner going one mile Sept. 30 at Gulfstream, and will be trying stakes company for the first time. Bimini finished off the board in both the Florida Sire Desert Vixen and Sharp Susan Stakes between her two wins.

“Bimini is doing good. She’s going to run good,” Gold said. “She’s legit, and we’ll see if she’s good enough to run in this company. She’s an improving 2-year-old that looks like she’ll be able to go a mile and two turns, preferably two turns. A mile is good and she’s doing good, so I don’t expect her to run any worse than last time. She’s not a horse that needs the lead.”

“Did I think [Durlyn] was going to win by 17? No. When she was in front at the quarter pole, I said, ‘The race is over, because I know she’s dead fit,’ and there was nothing coming,” he added. “She’s going to go to the front and if anybody wants to try and catch her, they can. She won going away and she’s doing good. We’re curious to see what she does against that kind of company.”

Rounding out the field are Lovely Luvy and Michael Stidham-trained stablemates Sweet Diane, a 13 ¾-length maiden winner at Penn National last out Sept. 28, and Classic Fit, a winner of her last two races.

Iva Looks to Keep Perfect Record Intact in $75,000 House Party

Bonne Chance Farm hombred Iva, a winner of her two career starts on different surfaces, will stay on the dirt as she takes aim at her first stakes victory in the $75,000 House Party to open the Clasico Internacional del Caribe program.

Trained by Wesley Ward and set to be ridden for the first time by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who recently earned his 6,000th career victory, Iva drew the rail in a field of eight and will carry topweight of 118 pounds, two more than each of her rivals.

“She hasn’t done anything wrong yet,” Ward said. “We’ve got Johnny V. up and hopefully he can keep the roll going.”

A bay daughter of Scat Daddy, the sire of undefeated 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, Iva won by a half-length at first asking May 16 going five furlongs on the Indiana Downs turf. She returned with a 5 ¼-length optional claiming romp Sept. 14 at Belterra Park in Cincinnati, also at five furlongs, in a race moved from the grass to the main track.

“I like that she’s by Scat Daddy. We’re looking to get some black type, hopefully. That would mean a lot to this filly,” Ward said. “She’s a sweet horse and does everything right. She’s a good doer and doesn’t need anything special. I was kind of going back and forth about running her on the dirt or the turf. I think she can do either. She’s maybe a little better on the grass, but we’ll see what happens.”

Four horses – Myrrh, Calinas Song, Konza Kandy and Paula Andrea – take last-out wins into the House Party. Paumar Racing Stable and Margoth’s Paula Andrea cruised by 10 ¾ lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight Oct. 20 at Gulfstream West.

“She is doing good. She is a good filly,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “She won very easy the last time. It was a great race. Now, she is going into a stake but I like her very much so we’ll take a chance with her. She’s a big filly and very smart for a 2-year-old. She’s very quiet and relaxed.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Paul Andrea from outside Post 8.

Also entered are Bye Bye J, Horologist and Drama Free.

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