Dutrow Keeping Busy At Gulfstream
By Ed Gray
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Richard Dutrow sent I Want Revenge and Stradivinsky on their way to Dubai this week, but the 51-year-old trainer will not share in their Persian Gulf adventure.
Dutrow deputized assistant trainer Michelle Nevin to accompany I Want Revenge and Stradivinsky to prepare them for their respective starts in the $1 million Godolphin Mile and $1 million Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan Racecourse on March 26.
“I don’t need to go,” said Dutrow, who’ll watch his horses compete on TV, just as he did when he cheered on Benny the Bull and Diamond Stripes to victories in the $2 million Golden Shaheen and Godolphin Mile, respectively, in 2008.
Dutrow has enough to keep him busy at Gulfstream Park, including Amen Hallelujah’s start in Saturday’s $150,000 Inside Information (G2).
The 4-year-old filly, who captured the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream last year, will be making her third start of the year, having finished fifth in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint on Jan. 23 and a runner-up finish behind Todd Pletcher-trained Awesome Maria in the Sabin (G3) on Feb. 19.
“I was happy with her last race, and the race before that was three-quarters, which isn’t her game and she had a little bit of a rough trip,” Dutrow said. “I never blamed her for getting beat last time. Todd’s filly ran huge.”
Javier Castellano, who rode her last time, is committed to ride the Pletcher-trained Hilda’s Passion, the 9-5 morning-line favorite. John Velazquez will ride Amen Hallelujah, rated second at 3-1, for the first time.
The Inside Information will likely be used as a prep for the Vinery Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on April 14.
“She really likes that surface,” said Dutrow, whose filly finished third over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) in her first start for him in 2009.
Dutrow is looking forward to trying Amen Hallelujah on grass, over which she worked six furlongs in 1:11 4/5 at Gulfstream on Sunday.
“I can’t wait to get her on the grass,” he said. “She really likes the grass and worked great on it.”
Flashpoint, who captured the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream on Feb. 26, will also be getting a lot of Dutrow’s attention. Undefeated in two dominating starts, the son of Pomeroy has been training well for his next start, which will likely be on the Florida Derby card on April 3.
“He’s most likely going to run in the Swale (G2), with the Florida Derby (G1) as a backup. It looks like the Florida Derby will be really tough, so we’ll point him to the Swale,” Dutrow said. “If things are any different on the day of entries, we could change our plans, but we want to do what’s best for everyone.”
Dutrow said a start in the Kentucky Derby is still within the realm of possibility.
“It’s possible if he had the (graded) earnings. It depends on a lot of things. We’re not ruling anything out,” said Dutrow, whose colt has been nominated to the Wood Memorial (G1) and Bay Shore (G3) at Aqueduct on April 9, as well as the Swale and Florida Derby.
Flashpoint, who won his debut at Aqueduct by six lengths and the Hutcheson by nearly eighth lengths, has surprised his trainer with his brilliance.
“We never expected to see what he’s done in his two races the way he trained in the morning,” said Dutrow, who considers his colt’s lackadaisical approach to training as a positive, considering that it has translated into sheer brilliance in the afternoon.
Dutrow’s stable has been infused with a lot of older, familiar talent recently, with Trickmeister and This One’s for Phil, both back in training and doing well.
Trickmeister is undefeated in four starts and has been sidelined since capturing the Pleasant Colony Stakes by nearly 12 lengths last August in his first since being privately purchased by in IEAH Stable. The son of Proud Citizen won his first three starts for breeders Brereton Jones and Timothy Thornton and trainer Cindy Jones.
“He has as much talent as any horse in the game,” said Dutrow, who 4-year-old is ready to resume galloping after recovering with cannon bone issues.
This Ones for Phil has worked twice and should be ready to run within five or six weeks. The 5-year-old gelding, who had a rear-leg injury, is unraced since an off-the-board finish in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) a year ago.
This Ones for Phil’s best races have come over the Gulfstream Park surface, where he was placed first by the disqualification of Big Drama in the 2009 Swale and won a pair of Sunshine Millions races, the 2009 Dash and the 2010 Sprint.
“I’m happy to have him back. He’s one of my best friends. When he retires, he’ll come with me wherever I am. He’s as close to a human being as any horse I’ve known – him and Big Brown. They’re cool horses,” said Dutrow, who saddled Big Brown for victories in the 2008 Kentucky