G3 Winner Well Defined Makes Return in 75K Carry Back
Jun 26, 2019
Among Five Stakes Worth $750,000 on Summit of Speed Program
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Stonehedge LLC’s homebred sophomore Well Defined, a Grade 3 winner around two turns over the winter, will make his first start since leaving the Triple Crown trail nearly three months ago in Saturday’s $75,000 Carry Back Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The seven-furlong Carry Back for 3-year-olds is among five stakes, two graded, worth $725,000 in purses on a 14-race Summit of Speed program highlighted by the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), a ‘Win and You’re In’ event for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, and $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3).
Also on the card are a pair of $75,000 stakes, the seven-furlong Azalea for 3-year-old fillies and the 5 ½-furlong Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds and up, starring two-time defending champion Pay Any Price. First race post time is 11:30 a.m.
Well Defined, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, has had four works at Gulfstream Park West since mid-May for his return to racing, not having started since exiting an eighth-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) March 9 with an injury.
The With Distinction gelding was 6 ¼ lengths behind winner Tacitus, who went on to finish third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and second in the Belmont Stakes (G1), and was 2 ¼ lengths shy of fifth-place finisher Sir Winston, the 10-1 upset Belmont winner.
“The Tampa Derby I’m just throwing out. No. 1, it was just kind of a crazy-run race,” O’Connell said. “And No. 2, they weren’t letting us walk around in the paddock. They were spinning in circles and he actually reared up and almost fell over. He was very awkward.
“He didn’t fall over, but he fell down a little bit and tore a muscle in his back and I gave him a month off at the farm after that,” she added. “He’s always been so good and so consistent, so I’m just putting a line right through that race.”
Second by a half-length to Garter and Tie in his stakes debut in the Florida Sire Affirmed Stakes Sept. 1 – his last time sprinting – Well Defined came back with a front-running 7 ½-length romp over that rival in the FSS In Reality four weeks later. Unable to overcome a troubled trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his 2-year-old finale, he was fifth in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes Jan. 5 at Gulfstream prior to a gate-to-wire triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Sam F. Davis (G3) Feb. 9.
Jockey Luis Saez, who set Gulfstream’s Championship Meet record with 137 wins in 2017-18, will be aboard for the first time from outside Post 8. Well Defined worked five furlongs in 1:01.40, third-fastest of 17 horses, June 22 at GPW.
“He’s doing awesome. I think backing him up to seven-eighths right now makes sense because she’s so sharp. I’d hate to try and run him long because he’s just so sharp he’d want to do too much too early. We’re lucky enough to get Luis Saez on him,” O’Connell said. “I expect to see a big race. It all depends on how the race unfolds. It’ll be up to the horse and Luis Saez.”
Seismic Jolt, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, returned from a freshening to finish second by a head over Carry Back rival Cafe Du Monde in the 6 ½-furlong Ocala Stakes June 1 at Gulfstream. The 10 ½-length winner, Ralph Nicks-trained fellow 3-year-old Garter and Tie, is entered in the Smile Sprint.
The Ocala was Seismic Jolt’s first race since the Kantharos colt ran sixth in his graded-stakes debut, the seven-furlong Swale (G3) Feb. 2 at Gulfstream, where he was bumped hard at the start and was never in contention.
“He came out of the last race fine,” trainer David Fawkes said. “After the Swale I ran him the one time and he ran second, but Ralph’s horse a huge race that day. He ran really good. I thought my horse ran a good race off the layoff.
“When he ran in the Swale, maybe he was in a little funk or something. He just kind of threw in a clunker,” he added. “But we gave him some time and freshened him up and he’s doing really good since.”
A 3 ½-length winner of the six-furlong Limehouse Stakes in his seasonal debut Jan. 5, Seismic Jolt tuned up for the Carry Back with a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.45 – fifth-fastest of 35 horses – June 22 at Gulfstream. Edgard Zayas, leading the current spring meet with 64 wins, has the call from Post 3.
“I thought my horse ran great last time, so we’re going to go ahead and give him a try. He had a really nice work the other day, and did it really well,” Fawkes said. “He’s a nice horse. We really like him. I expect him to run well. I expect him to show an improvement off of that last race. This will be a good test for him.”
Tracy Pinchin’s homebred Jackson won back-to-back state-bred stakes at Tampa Bay Downs before returning to Gulfstream to finish third in the seven-furlong Thirsty Fish Stakes June 9, rained off the turf to a sloppy main track. Third or better in seven of 10 lifetime starts with four wins, Jackson’s lone victory in seven tries at Gulfstream came in his debut last summer.
Cafe Du Monde, also third in the Roar Stakes April 20; Frosted Grace, unraced since the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2; Running for Riz, Take Command and Union’s Destiny round out the field.