Gulfstream News & Notes
Madame Giry Finds Right Spot in Thursday Feature
As a turf sprint specialist on a five-race win streak there are limited opportunities for Nutmeg Stable’s 3-year-old filly Madame Giry. But Thursday’s third race allowance feature at five furlongs on turf should fit her just right with jockey Jose Lezcano riding for trainer Cam Gambolati.
A Maryland-bred daughter of Castledale, Madame Giry launched her streak breaking her maiden over the Belmont Park course in July, won a pair of allowance tests at Saratoga, and stepped up to capture the Smart N Fancy Stakes back at Belmont in September before another impressive tally in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes over the Keeneland course last out on Oct. 12.
“It took a week for the race to go, but we’re still pretty much on schedule with her,” said Gambolati Sunday morning. “I don’t get to use her regular rider Eddie Castro. He’s got five or six mounts in New York that day, but I’ve got Jose Lezcano, who worked her last week.
“My biggest concern is that the course has been speed-oriented in turf sprints. They just go to the front and don’t come back. We’ll just hope she can stay up close enough early to have a chance against the bias. The timing works well for her to make her next start in a stakes at Tampa and then a race here in late February if all goes well.”
The Tampa Bay Downs race is the $75,000 Lightning City Stakes at about five furlongs on Sat., Jan. 26 and the Gulfstream race is the $60,000 Ladies Turf Sprint at five furlongs on Feb. 24.
Madame Giry faces five rivals in Thursday’s race that carries a purse of $65,000 with her most dangerous rival likely to be William Schettine’s 4-year-old Rosa Salvaje to be ridden by leading rider Joel Rosario for trainer Lisa Lewis.
A daughter of Chapel Royal, Rosa Salvaje was an allowance winner sprinting over the Gulfstream course early this year on Jan. 16 and didn’t run again until scoring in the Shakespeare Cross Stakes at Saratoga on July 30. In one start since she finished an even sixth behind Inspired in the $200,000 Turf Amazon Stakes over the Parx course on Sept. 3.
Little Distorted Stakes-Bound for Second Start
Silverton Hill Farm’s 2-year-old Little Distorted flashed brilliance winning his career debut by 2 ¼ lengths at Belmont Park on Oct. 28 for trainer Michael Mareina and owner Kuehne Racing. The colt was later sold privately to Silverton Hill Farm with Darrin Miller taking over the training.
The new connections actually left the Distorted Humor colt with Mareina for a time after the sale and he brought him to Gulfstream Park last month before moving to Miller’s winter headquarters this season at Payson Park on Dec. 2, where he breezed five furlongs in 1:02 on Saturday morning.
“We plan on running him in either the Gulfstream Park Derby or the Spectacular Bid, but haven’t decided which one just yet,” said Miller Sunday morning of the two stakes to be run on New Year’s Day, Tues., Jan. 1. The $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby is run at one mile while the $100,000 Spectacular Bid is contested at six furlongs.
“We think this is the logical next move. I haven’t had him that long, but I like what I’ve seen so far.”
Rosario & Velazquez in Action Wednesday at Santa Anita
Current leading Gulfstream Park jockey Joel Rosario and two-time meet champion John Velazquez will make a day trip Wednesday to California to accept mounts in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (G1) on opening day at Santa Anita, returning to Gulfstream to ride Thursday.
Rosario has a return call on Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 3-year-old gelding Politicallycorrect, who ships from Gulfstream for current leading trainer Wesley Ward. They teamed up at Santa Anita on Breeders’ Cup Sat., Nov. 3 as the son of Kitten’s Joy won the $100,000 Damascus Stakes early that afternoon.
That same day Velazquez rode Barry Schwartz’ 3-year-old The Lumber Guy to finish a game second behind Trinniberg in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and they are re-united for the Malibu.
Rosario, who leads the Gulfstream standings with 17 wins after 16 days of the session, also will be aboard Glen Hill Farm’s 3-year-old filly Creditcardroulette for trainer Tom Proctor in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1) earlier on the Santa Anita card Wednesday.