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Gulfstream News & Notes
Fort Larned ‘Walking Good’ Sunday Morning after Fall
Trainer Ian Wilkes reported Sunday morning that Fort Larned came out of his fall at the start of $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) with a grabbed quarter. Otherwise, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic victor seemed to have escaped further injury after stumbling and falling heavily to the track in his 2013 debut Saturday.
“He’s walking good this morning. We’ll keep a close eye on him a couple more days to make sure nothing else comes up. Otherwise, he looked good this morning,” Wilkes said. “He grabbed a quarter. It wasn’t too bad. It could have been a lot worse.”
Two jumps out of the starting gate, the 5-year-old star, who was sent to post as the 4-5 favorite, stumbled badly and tumbled to the ground, unseating jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., who escaped injury.
“You don’t like to get started like that,” Wilkes said. “Hopefully, we got all the bad luck out of the way and we just moving ahead. You had this race mapped out for four months and you know your horse is on the top of his game and ready to run. It was just a bad step. He was too sharp out of the box. It’s just one of those things in racing.”
As disheartening as he found the incident to be, Wilkes was able to count his blessings Sunday morning.
“How lucky do we get? The horse fell on his head; he’s lucky he didn’t really hurt himself. He could have ripped his whole heel off or he could have broken his leg. The way he fell, his whole head hit the ground,” Wilkes said.
Churchill Downs spring meeting would be a likely spot for Fort Larned’s return to action, but his trainer is concentrating on the immediate future with the son of E Dubai.
”I just want to make sure he’s OK. The next few days we’ll keep a close eye on him and we’ll evaluate where we’re at,” Wilkes said. “You just want to be sure he’s 110 percent before you start making plans.”
Golden Mystery to Lead Wolfson Team for Inside Information
Trainer Marty Wolfson confirms that Regis Farms’ 7-year-old mare Golden Mystery is set to make her first start for her new owners in Sunday’s $150,000 Inside Information Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park after being purchased for $625,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed sales on Feb. 11.
Wolfson saddled Golden Mystery to an impressive 3 ½ lengths victory in the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream the day before the Kentucky sale. She was then shipped to Kentucky for the auction and was back in Wolfson’s barn at Calder by the end of that week.
“I had hoped they (Regis Farm) would send her back to me,” said Wolfson Saturday. “She’s just doing so well this winter. She’s in the best form of her career. She worked good (Saturday morning, a half-mile in 48 1/5, second fastest of 75 horses timed at the distance).
“She only missed training for about five days, which is as long as she would have had off anyhow after a race even without going through the sale. I think seven-eighths is probably her best distance
“Actually I could enter up to four in there (Inside Information). If one of the others hits the board in a Graded stakes it could possibly double their value.” Wolfson has five fillies and mares nominated to race – Thoroughbred Futures Racing’s 5-year-old Nakano, Chasing Tails Stable’s’ 4-year-old Starship Truffles, Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old Spectacular Sky and Silverton Hill LLC’s 5-year-old Bahia Beach.
Nakano finished third in the Hurricane Bertie. Starship Truffles has won her last five starts, the last three here racing in starter/allowance and optional/allowance races. Spectacular Sky won the Manatee Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 9 in her first start since finishing sixth in the Chilukki Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.
Gulfstream Horsemen in Action at Ocala Championships Monday
Monday, a ‘dark day’ on the Gulfstream Park schedule, will not be a day off for more than a half-dozen jockeys based at Gulfstream as they and a number of horses based at South Florida tracks and training centers will be in Ocala to participate in the four OBS Championship stakes races for 3-year-olds worth a total of $300,000 to be run at the Ocala Training Center.
Jockey John Velazquez is named to ride Gary Barber’s Jack Milton for trainer Todd Pletcher in the $100,000 OBS Championship for Colts & Geldings at 1 1/16 miles after the son of War Front won his debut on turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 12 and finished second in an allowance over the course on Feb. 9.
Rosario is named to ride Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Brazilian in that race after breaking his maiden by 19 ½ lengths last out going a mile at Gulfstream on Jan. 30 for a $50,000 claiming tag and no takers. The Harlan’s Holiday gelding was claimed by the Ramseys and Maker for $50,000 from his previous start on Dec. 29.
Other jockeys making the day trip to Ocala include Edgar Prado, Joe Rocco. Jr., Manoel Cruz, Patrick Husbands and Juan Leyva. Other trainers shipping horses for the OBS races include Mark Casse, Tom Albertrani, Eddie Plesa, Jr., Bill Kaplan, Steve DiMauro, Josie Carroll and Donna Green.