Gulfstream News & Notes 12.15.2012
Hot Prospects Please Romans With ‘Super’ Works at Gulfstream
Trainer Dale Romans sported a wide smile following workouts by his top 2-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. Gulfport, who has won his last two starts impressively, went first after the renovation break, breezing an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5.
“He looked super,” Romans said.
Gulfport, a $775,000 yearling purchase by Mike Rutherford and Michael Lauffer, broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on Oct. 31 by 7 ¼ lengths going seven furlongs. Stretching out to a mile at Churchill on Nov. 24, the son of Unbridled’s Song came back to win a mile allowance by nearly three lengths. “He’s probably going to run in the Holy Bull,” said Romans, referring to the $400,000 Grade 3 stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26. Dewey Square, a late-developing son of Bernardini, worked five furlongs, handily, in 59 1.5 seconds to record the second fastest clocking of 31 at the distance Saturday morning.
“He went super,” Romans said. “He went around there fast. He’s a good horse. It looks like he’s turned the corner and is heading in the right direction.” Dewey Square broke his maiden by nearly 12 lengths going 7 ½ furlongs in his debut at Hoosier Park on Sept. 21. The Siena Farms homebred came back on Oct. 28 to run away to a four-length victory in an entry-level allowance at Churchill Downs. He stepped up to stakes company in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on Nov. 24 at Churchill, closing steadily to finish third behind multiple-stakes winner Uncaptured and highly regarded Frac Daddy.
His workout was his second at Gulfstream in preparation for his 2013 debut.
“We don’t have anything firm yet,” said Romans, regarding a schedule for the Kentucky-bred colt. Romans also sent out Rightfully So, a 3-year-old who has come off a year layoff to post two victories in three starts, including a seven-length allowance win at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25. The son of A.P. Indy breezed five furlongs in an easy 1:02. Romans also trains Little Mike, the popular turf specialist who captured three Grade 1 stakes this year, including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
‘Little Mike should be champion turf horse if not Horse of the Year,” said Romans, who is a serious candidate for the Eclipse Award for 2012’s outstanding trainer.
Little Mike started off his 2012 campaign with an allowance victory and a Florida Sunshine Millions Turf score at Gulfstream Park.
The Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 19 for the first time. Romans is pointing Little Mike to the $5 million Sheema Classic on the undercard of the $6 million Dubai World Cup. “Nothing definite, but we might run him twice in Dubai,” said Romans, who has penciled in the Dubai World Cup for Dullahan, his Pacific Classic (G1) winner.
Tulira Castle Targeted for Florida Derby
Veteran trainer Jim DiVito had high hopes for Curtis Green’s Kentucky homebred colt Tulira Castle going into a one-mile allowance test at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 8, and the son of War Pass re-affirmed his confidence when drawing clear to score by 2 ¼ lengths under jockey Javier Castellano. Tulira Castle was making his fourth career start after finishing second in his debut and breaking his maiden in his second start in August at Arlington Park. He finished second again in a Keeneland allowance race in mid-October, all three races run over Polytrack.
"He worked very well since we got here, so I really wasn’t worried whether he would handle dirt,” said DiVito Friday. “He’s run a good race every time. He’s got a great disposition and I’m thinking he’s a stakes horse now. I’m thinking about the Florida Derby. It’s just a matter of how we get there. “I haven’t ruled out running him back around one turn in the Gulfstream Park Derby (Jan. 1), but I would really rather he went two turns, which I think he’ll handle with no trouble. The ($400,000) Holy Bull Stakes (G3) is definitely a possibility,” referring to the 1 1/16 miles test to be run Sat., Jan. 26.
Decisive Moment ‘Drops’ into Allowance Wednesday
Just For Fun Stable’s 4-year-old Florida homebred colt Decisive Moment has banked more than $707,000 with four victories in 21 career starts for trainer Juan Arias, but hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since capturing the $125,000 Delta Mile at Delta Downs on Nov. 19, 2011.
Wednesday, Decisive Moment is entered to run in the $60,500 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park going one mile in a field of six, marking the first time he has run in anything but a stakes race since the third start of his career as a 2-year-old at Calder. The son of With Distinction finished fourth last out behind Prospective when attempting to defend his Delta Mile title.
Career highlights for Decisive Moment have included finishing second in the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) in the fall of 2010 and runner-up to Animal Kingdom in the Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park in 2011 before finishing 14th of 19 behind that one in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Decisive Moment will be equipped with ‘blinkers on’ for Wednesday race. “As horses get older you sometimes have to change their menu a little bit, shake them up,” said Arias Saturday morning from his Calder headquarters.
“This is a tough little field, but he ran pretty well over there against tougher horses last winter,” referring to finishing fifth behind Jackson Bend in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) and fifth behind Force Freeze in the Gulfstream Sprint Championship (G2). “We hope he’ll get a little confidence back in this race.”
The field for Wednesday’s feature may be small, but Decisive Moment is not the only experienced stakes performer in the field with his rivals including Golden Goose Enterprises and James Covell’s 5-year-old Citrus Kid for trainer john Terranova and Lets Go Stable’s 3-year-old El Padrino for trainer Todd Pletcher.