Gulfstream News & Notes
Dewey Set to ‘Square’ Up Against Shanghai Bobby in Holy Bull
After raising the expectations of trainer Dale Romans in his three-start fall campaign, Dewey Square will have the opportunity to prove himself Saturday in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/16-mile stakes for Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls has attracted a 10-horse field exceptionally deep in achievement and potential, led by undefeated Shanghai Bobby, the 2012 Eclipse Award-winning juvenile, and supported by multiple-stakes winners Bern Identity and Itsmyluckyday.
“I don’t remember all the Holy Bulls, but it’s a tough race,” Romans said. “But it’s time to get him started and see where he fits with the best.”
After breaking his maiden at Hoosier Park by nearly 12 lengths in September and capturing an entry-level allowance at Churchill Downs by four lengths a month later, Dewey Square stepped up to Grade 2 company to finish third in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill on Nov. 24 after racing wide.
“He ran a good race. He’s still a little bit green,” Romans said. “I think he’s better now than he was then. He’s gotten a little more confidence, and he’s doing good.”
The son of Bernardini has trained well at Gulfstream Park and prepared for his start in the Holy Bull with a ‘bullet’ five-furlong workout in :59 1/5 last Saturday.
“I think he’s developed mentally more than anything,” said Romans of Dewey Square’s development since his last start. "He seems to have more confidence out there than he did back then.”
Corey Lanerie, who has the return mount aboard Dewey Square, will have options depending on how the Holy Bull unfolds.
“I think you can do anything you want him to do,” said Romans, who was honored with the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer in 2012.
Tulira Castle On Track for Holy Bull
Trainer James DiVito pronounced Tulira Castle ready for a start in Saturday’s $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream, where he will meet undefeated Shanghai Bobby in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds.
“I think he’s coming around at the right time. He’s bigger and he’s more mature. We haven’t over-raced him and I think his development is good right now,” he said.
Tulira Castle is coming off an impressive 2 ¾ -length victory under Javier Castellano in a one-turn, entry-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 8. Previously, the son of War Pass raced on Polytrack at Arlington Park and Keeneland, producing a pair of seconds and a maiden score.
DiVito understands that Tulira Castle faces a huge task in the Holy Bull, but he has confidence that his Kentucky-bred colt won’t back down from the challenge.
“He’s a very, very aggressive horse. When he’s in company or in a race, he’s a horse that thrives on competition,” DiVito said. “It’s all about heart, just like with any athlete.”
Tulira Castle will make his first start around two turns in the Holy Bull.
“He seems to handle his works good and he handles the turns good,” DiVito said. “Castellano seems to think he’ll handle two turns good. His breeding said he should.”
Rosario Gets Mount on Animal Kingdom
Trainer Graham Motion and owner Team Valor International have named Joel Rosario to ride 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 9.
Rosario, who is riding full time at Gulfstream for the first time, will replace the injured Ramon Dominguez, who suffered a skull fracture in a racing accident at Aqueduct on Jan. 18. Dominguez, who is recovering at New York Presbyterian Hospital, had been recently named to ride Animal Kingdom, who was ridden to a troubled second-place finish behind Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Champion Groupie Doll to be Turned Out for Three Months
Unhappy with the way Groupie Doll had been training since shipping to Gulfstream, trainer Buff Bradley and his partners have decided to turn out their Eclipse Award-winning sprinting mare for three months.
“We could not find anything conclusive, so we’re just going to give her more time. We’re going to give her three months off, we decided,” Bradley said. “We’re not going to do anything to her. We’ll just monitor her. Everything looks good on her. Her legs are cold and tight.”
Bradley expects to send Groupie Doll back to his Kentucky farm in about a week.
“People said, ‘You can still breed her this year.’ That’s not what we’re looking for. We love to race. When it’s time to breed her, we’ll breed her,” Bradley said.
“She’ll be 110 percent when she does run. When you run against the class she’s going to run against, you need to be 110 percent. She’s not 110 percent right now.”
Groupie Doll, who captured the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita before losing a narrow decision to Stay Thirsty in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct in her 2012 finale, had been tentatively scheduled to run in the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream on March 17.
The daughter of Bowman’s Band, if all goes well, will have a three-race fall campaign.