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Gulfstream News & Notes
Kauai Katie Set to Return in Old Hat Stakes
The marquee name among horses expected to run in the four stake races on the New Year’s Day program at Gulfstream Park will be Stonestreet Stable’s star filly Kauai Katie. The daughter of Malibu Moon will get her 3-year-old season underway in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) at six furlongs.
A $490,000 OBS March 2-year-old sales purchase, Kauai Katie was brilliant winning her three starts in New York this year before tiring to fourth last out after prompting the pace set by winner Beholder in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
“It wasn’t a bad race. It was probably a little farther than she wants to go,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “She’ll probably be best at sprint distances for now and this is a good spot to get started. If that goes well then we’ll look at the ($200,000) Forward Gal (G2),” referring to the seven-furlong test on Jan. 26.
Kauai Katie drilled a sharp five furlongs in 59 4/5 Wednesday morning at Palm Meadows. She won her career debut by 12 lengths at Saratoga on July 20 and followed with rather easy scores in the Adirondack Stakes (G2) at the Spa and the Matron Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park before the trip to California.
Pletcher also reported on plans for Stonestreet’s other top 2-year-old filly of 2011, Dreaming of Julia, a winner of her first three races in New York before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Dreaming of Julia, a Kentucky homebred daughter of A.P. Indy, has not yet posted a workout since arriving at Palm Meadows from California after the Breeders’ Cup. Pletcher indicated that the first target for her will likely be the $250,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) going 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 23.
Pletcher has E. Paul Robsham Stable’s 4-year-old filly R Holiday Mood nominated for the $100,000 Ocala Stakes to be run at one mile on Sun., Dec. 30, a race she won last year following a seven-month layoff, but she will not be up to defending her title.
“I just ran out of time with her,” said Pletcher of the Florida homebred daughter of Trippi. Following her victory in the Ocala, R Holiday Mood came right back to capture the Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) here in mid-February and finished a close-up fourth last out behind 2011 Eclipse champion Musical Romance in the Inside Information Stakes (G2) in Mar. 17.
Take Charge Indy Gets Back to Work
Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s 3-year-old Take Charge Indy, winner of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in late March, breezed three furlongs in 36 4/5 Friday morning at Palm Meadows in his first workout since finishing a game second by a length in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23.
“He’s right on schedule,” said trainer Patrick Byrne, who has spelled out plans for the A.P. Indy colt to make his first start of 2013 in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) to be run at 1 1/8 miles on Sat., Feb. 9. “He went real well and we’ll come back and work again in eight or nine days
More immediately, Byrne will send out Jack Mandato’s 6-year-old homebred Zimmer as a longshot in Saturday’s $75,000 El Prado Stakes as the son of Empire Maker makes his first start since finishing sixth in the Ack Ack Handicap (G3) on the main track at Churchill on Nov. 2.
Zimmer has been very consistent in just five career starts on turf with two wins, a second and two thirds. In his last start prior to the Ack Ack, Byrne shipped him to Del Mar for a rich allowance race going one mile on turf on Aug. 23, winning by a neck.
“Mike Smith gave him a great ride that day,” said Byrne. “They had that bonus to ship and the race was worth more than $90,000, so it was worth making the trip. The big thing with him though is track surface. He wants it firm to do his best.”
Consistent Brave Dave on Target for Spectacular Bid
David Melin and Laurie Plesa’s Florida homebred colt Brave Dave will celebrate his 3-year-old birthday with a start in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes going six furlongs on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream Park as the son of Put It Back bids for a fifth victory in seven starts for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr.
Brave Dave ran a very good race to finish second a length behind Purple Egg in the Inaugural Stakes last out at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 1.
“I have a lot of respect for Jane Cibelli’s horse (Purple Egg) that beat us, but there were some things that worked against us," Plesa said. "First, he (Brave Dave) had to ship up there and then we had a little bug in our barn at the time and when we scoped him he had a little mucous. He’s 110 per cent now.”
After a winning career debut at Calder in late June, Plesa took Brave Dave and his usual summer string to Monmouth Park. Brave Dave shipped to Saratoga for the Sanford Stakes (G2) on July 22 and was in a duel for the lead from the start. He appeared to be running a very big race to near the eighth pole when he began to drift out, finishing fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths for it all by Bern Identity.
“All I can say is that he seemed to lose focus,” said Plesa. “It wasn’t really a bad race.”
Following the Sanford, Brave Dave reeled off three straight victories beginning with the Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth in early September and then the Birdonthewire Stakes and Jack Price Juvenile back home at Calder in the fall.
Plesa has one other stakes runner in action over the holiday weekend with Live Oak Plantation’s 5-year-old mare Successful Song to run in the $100,000 Ocala Stakes on Sun., Dec. 30 in her first start since finishing third as the favorite in the Elmer Huebeck Distaff Handicap on Florida Million Day at Calder on Nov. 10.
“This will probably be her last race,” said Plesa. “They plan to bring her home to be bred in the spring.” A Florida homebred daughter of Successful Appeal, Successful Appeal has been a steady stakes performer for several seasons with a record of 25-6-5-5 for earnings of $357,000.
A three-time stakes-winner, Successful Song ran two of her best races when finishing second here to Awesome Maria in the Rampart Handicap (G3) in 2011 and runner-up in the Molly Pitcher Handicap (G2) at Monmouth this summer.