Gulfstream News & Notes
Indiano to Get Second Chance in Mr. Prospector
Stud El Aguila’s 4-year-old Indiano, third and beaten a half length by Apriority in last year's $100,000 Mr. Prospector, will get a chance to improve on that result in next Saturday’s edition of the six-furlong dash.
A son of Indian Charlie, Indiano has made only three starts since the Dec. 31 Mr. Prospector, punctuated by two significant layoffs. The first went from the Mr. Prospector until July when he finished second to Gantry in the Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) at Calder before following that up with a victory in the Giant Ryan overnight stakes there on Aug. 4. He was sidelined again until Dec. 8 when he finished second last out in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
“The first layoff was because he had a long campaign and we decided he needed four or five months off,” said Wolfson. “The second was because of a bad lung infection that took time to get over. He ran a big race in Tampa off just four works.”
When not sidelined, Indiano has a highly-consistent record of 16-9-4-2 for earnings of $427,000. After winning the first five starts of his career in Panama he came to Wolfson at Calder early in 2011 and made his first two starts here at Gulfstream, finishing second in an allowance race in March and second to Travelin Man in the Swale Stakes (G2) in April.
Wolfson also will have a starter in Sunday’s $100,000 Ocala Stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares at one mile with Miller Racing LLC’s 6-year-old mare Golden Mystery. The daughter of Awesome Again finished a good second last out behind heavy favorite Dust and Diamonds in the Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) going six furlongs here on Dec.8.
Action Andy Expected for Mr. Prospector
Robert Gerczak’s 5-year-old gelding Action Andy breezed a half-mile in 49 2/5 Saturday morning at Tampa Bay Downs and trainer Carlos Garcia confirmed plans to ship to Gulfstream Park to bid for a fourth consecutive stakes victory in next Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at six furlongs.
“He’s a good horse doing great right now,” said Garcia. “We’re going to do things a little different than when we brought him down there last year and he didn’t run very well. Instead of shipping down the day before we’ll come several days ahead to let him settle in. John Velazquez is going to ride him.”
A Maryland-bred son of Gators N Bears, Action Andy has won 11 of 30 career starts with eight seconds and four thirds for earnings of $560,000. He has never been better than on his current streak as he swept to victories in the Maryland Million Sprint and Frank DeFrancis Memorial at Laurel Park in October and a powerful 2 ¼ lengths victory last out over Indiano in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay on Dec. 8.
In his only previous start at Gulfstream early this year Action Andy finished sixth behind Travelin Man in the Sir Shackleton Stakes.
‘Duke’ is ‘Fine’ Following Harlan’s Holiday Dud
Trainer David Fawkes cautioned ahead of last Sunday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park that the race was “just a starting point” for Alex and Joann Lieblong and partners’ 6-year-old Duke of Mischief. After all, it was his start since finishing second in the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) in West Virginia on April 14.
The winner of $1.9 million was never a factor and eased in the stretch of the 1 1/16 miles test under jockey Joe Bravo, who has ridden the chestnut son of Graeme Hall more often than not the last two years.
“He came back just fine. He wasn’t even tired,” said Fawkes of the puzzling effort. “He either cheated on us or just threw in a clinker. Regardless, we’ll give him another chance and try to find the right spot. He won’t go to the Sunshine Millions (Classic) like we had hoped, but maybe the right overnight race.”
Fawkes also sent out Larry Fugate’s 5-year-old gelding Cash Rules in the Harlan’s Holiday in a bid for a fifth consecutive stakes victory. The gelding finished an even third behind Csaba and Delegation. Fawkes did confirm the gelding to start next in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Sat., Jan. 19.
Fawkes has a pair of promising soon to be 3-year-olds nominated for stakes races here on New Year’s Day –Fawkes Racing and Dick Wilson’s gelding Capital City for the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes and Arindel Farm’s filly Vitameta for the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3).
Capital City finished third in the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs last out on Dec. 1 and Vitameta was a game second by a half-length in the Sandpiper Stakes there the same afternoon.
“They are both going back to Tampa for their next starts. I tried Vitameta against Kauai Katie once before at Saratoga and that was enough,” said Fawkes, referring to the fact that trainer Todd Pletcher has confirmed Stonestreet Stable's high-class filly to run as the likely odds-on choice in the Old Hat.
In Vitamenta’s second career start after a winning career debut at Calder she met Kauai Katie in Saratoga’s Adirondack Stakes (G2) on Aug. 12 with Kauai Katie winning rather easily as Vitameta tired to last of five after acting up in the gate and chasing the winner in second to the stretch.
Six Stakes Set for New Year’s Holiday Weekend
The New Year at Gulfstream Park will get off to a fast start with six stakes races scheduled for the holiday weekend, four on New Year’s Day, Tuesday Jan. 1, including the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby at one mile and the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at six furlongs.
Those two races for 3-year-olds will be a potential first step toward Gulfstream’s series of Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown previews climaxed by the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) to be run at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday, March 30.
The holiday stakes action starts with renewals of the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday, Dec. 29, followed by the $100,000 Ocala Stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares at one mile on Sunday, Dec. 30.
New Year’s Eve, Mon., Dec. 31 will be a ‘dark day’ on the schedule as will Wednesday, Jan. 2 for this week only. In addition to the Gulfstream Park Derby and Spectacular Bid to be run on the New Year’s Day program will be editions of the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs and the $75,000 Ginger Brew Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf.