Gulfstream News & Notes
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - The progressive Parranda stands a solid chance to record the biggest payday of her career in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The chestnut has won four of nine starts over this course, including her career debut as a 3-year-old in February, and will get the firm conditions on which she flourishes.
Sidelined after finishing fifth in the 2012 Calder Oaks, Parranda emerged from two outings at the $50,000 claiming level to become a contender in added-money company last summer. She was a close fifth in the Matchmaker Stakes (G3) at Monmouth on July 28, then came up just a head short in the 11-furlong Omnibus Stakes at the Jersey Shore track a month later.
“From day one, she showed ability,” trainer Rodolfo Garcia reflected. “She had a little mishap and had to take a few months off. When she came back, it took her a while to get in gear. We shipped her to Monmouth because the weather here in the summer doesn’t help and she seemed to get back to her form from her 3-year-old season.”
Upon her return to Gulfstream, Parranda dispatched state-bred company in a pair of stakes races, the Our Dear Peg Stakes on September 28 and the Millions Filly & Mare Turf Preview Stakes on November 9.
“She really started to come around and from that point on she seems to be doing everything well,” Garcia continued. “I think it was more a matter of her maturing than anything else—the ability was always there.”
It was back to graded company in her most recent appearance in the My Charmer Handicap (G3) at Calder on December 9, but Parranda found herself boxed in behind dawdling fractions and could only manage fourth, beaten just 1 ½ lengths for the trophy.
“The pace turned out to be extremely slow and she wanted to be close,” Garcia explained. “When she first started, she was a horse that needed to be dead last and came flying late. Now she can be closer to the pace. The jockey [Gabriel Saez] rode her very safe, but sometimes you have to take a chance.”
Jose Lezcano, who partnered Parranda in her last win at Gulfstream, will be back in the irons on Saturday. Bred in Ocala by Kinsman Farm, Parranda was purchased by Lone Stable for just $13,000 as a 2-year-old in training. She has bankrolled $268,655 while winning six of 18 career appearances to date.
“Every time she goes out, she gives her best,” Garcia said. “She’s a Florida-bred and it gives her more options. I know that Tom Proctor is sending a nice horse [Wishing Gate], so it’s going to be interesting.”
Wildcat Red Works For Holy Bull
Wildcat Red had his lone tuneup for the Jan. 25 $400,000 Holy Bull (G2) on Thursday morning, breezing five furlongs over Gulfstream Park’s main track under jockey Paco Lopez.
Trained by Jose Garoffalo for owner Honors Stable Corp., Wildcat Red went out at 7:30 a.m. following the first renovation break, and was clocked in 1:01.85, ranking seventh of 13 horses. It was his only work since finishing second in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day.
“He went pretty good,” Garoffalo said. “It was a routine workout and he came out of it in good shape, so we will be entering in the Holy Bull on Wednesday. I think the horse is ready for the next race.”
A bay son of Grade 1-winning sprinter D’wildcat, Wildcat Red has two wins and two seconds in four lifetime starts. He crossed the wire first in each of his first three races, but was disqualified to second in his third outing, the Nov. 9 Juvenile Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream, for interference.
In his most recent start, Wildcat Red stretched out to one mile for the Gulfstream Park Derby, where he dueled with winner General a Rod through sharp fractions of 23.14 and 45.91 seconds and 1:10.25 before settling for second, beaten a head.
“He proved to me that he has the class and that he belongs in these kinds of races from now on,” Garoffalo said. “He showed a lot of class and he showed that he can handle the distance, which is good. One of my concerns in the beginning was how he was going to handle the mile, but he did it pretty good. I think that he’s going to handle the mile and sixteenth the right way.”
Lopez will be back aboard for the Holy Bull, to be contested at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 25. It is run on the same card as the $200,000 Forward Gal (G2) for 3-year-old fillies.
“From now until the race he’s going get into his routine gallops, maybe one strong gallop in the middle of the week, and then that will be it,” Garoffalo said. “So far everything looks good for the Holy Bull.”