Gulfstream News And Notes, March 23
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Kuehne Racing Stable’s 4-year-old Candyman E has won both of his starts at the Gulfstream Park meet this year and appears likely to be favored to make it three straight in Friday’s ‘two other than’ optional/allowance feature with jockey J.L. Castanon taking a return call for trainer Michael Mareina.
Candyman E is a chestnut gelding by Candy Ride that finished second and third in two starts last summer at Calder and a close-up third in a maiden special test at Churchill Downs on early November. He came back for a hard-fought, half-length maiden special score here on Jan. 8 and a head victory in an allowance on Feb. 21, both races run over the same six-furlong distance as Friday’s feature.
Candyman E faces seven rivals with Glen Hill Farm’s 5-year-old gelding I’ll Show Them certain to attract support in his South Florida debut for trainer Tom Proctor after beginning his career in California and finishing third in a Tampa Bay Downs allowance on Feb. 21 in his first start in a year. Jockey Jose Lezcano will have the mount.
I’ll Show Them is a Florida homebred by Smarty Jones out of Glen Hill’s Grade 1 performer Top Rung and won his first two career starts at Hollywood Park in the summer of 2009 before a fourth-place try in the La Jolla Handicap (G2) on turf at Del Mar when trained by David Hofmans. He made only two more starts in California until the good try at Tampa Bay before the long layoff.
Several contenders in the field came out of a similar race at 6 ½ furlongs on Mar. 4 that finished second, third and fourth, including Jacks or Better Farm’s 4-year-old homebred Hear Ye Hear Ye, who finished fourth after dueling for the lead to the upper stretch in his first start since turning back in distance from his seventh-place finish Donn Handicap (G1) on Feb. 5.
Hear Ye Hear Ye is trained by Stanley Gold and will be ridden by regular partner Jeffrey Sanchez. The roan/gray colt by Hear No Evil is a winner of nearly $200,000, earned mostly competing in stakes. He won the Jack Price Juvenile at Calder as a 2-year-old and finished fourth in both Hutcheson Stakes (G2) and Swale Stakes (G2) here early last year.
Completing the field for Friday’s feature are Flying Zee Stable’s Shrewd One, Edgar Prado; G J Stable’s Dabnabit, Carlos Esquilin; Peras International’s Andersonstate, Alex Solis; Half Hollow Racing’s Mia’s Angel, J.R. Velazquez; and Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Ask Joe, Paco Lopez.
Velazquez Draws into Tie for Lead with Castellano
Jockey John R. Velazquez rode three winners on Sunday’s card at Gulfstream Park, highlighted by the victory of German-bred 4-year-old filly La Luna de Miel in the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3), to move into a tie with Javier Castellano for the ;lead in the standings with 51 victories apiece.
Defending Gulfstream meet champion Paco Lopez also rode three winners Sunday to highlight his first week back in the saddle since sustaining an elbow injury in a spill here on Feb. 18. Lopez ranks third in the standings with 43 wins, followed by Jose Lezcano fourth with 39 and Rajiv Maragh fifth at 38.
Trainer Todd Pletcher continued to coast on the lead in the standings over the weekend with a triple on Saturday, including the victory of Starlight Partners’ 4-year-old filly Hilda’s Passion in the $150,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2), and holds a 34-19 lead over closest rival Nick Canani, who sent out three winners on Sunday.