Voodoo Storm a ‘Jewel’ of a Claim for Glyshaw
Grip Hands Back on Gulfstream Turf in $125,000 Emerald
Walder Prepares Three for Claiming Crown
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After claiming Voodoo Storm for Hoosier Daddy’s Stable in August, trainer Tim Glyshaw quickly determined that the $25,000 paid for the son of Storm Cat was money well spent.
“He looked like he was a pretty quality horse, and there isn’t much available in Kentucky for $25,000,” Glyshaw said. “The only negative thing I saw was that he didn’t have any allowance conditions left – that’s why we started him for open $50,000 (claimer) at Churchill.”
Glyshaw didn’t have any reservations that the 5-year-old runner would be competitive in his first start for his new connections; he was just concerned that it might have been the last start for his new connections. Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s reputation for claiming horses, particularly with the Claiming Crown looming, preceded them.
“We had him long enough for two weeks to know that he was better than he had been showing. I was just praying that the Ramseys wouldn’t claim him, because that happens quite a bit,” Glyshaw said.
After finishing second at Ellis Park in that race, Voodoo Storm returned to a relieved Glyshaw’s barn and, two starts later, will compete in event that the Ramseys have dominated in recent years. Voodoo Storm has been entered for the $200,000 Jewel, one of eight races in Saturday’s $1 million Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park.
Although he was also nominated for the $125,000 Emerald, a turf race, Voodoo Storm is scheduled for a Jewel clash with Bernie the Maestro, who provided the Ramseys with a victory in the Rapid Transit last year at Gulfstream, where they won four of seven Claiming Crown events.
“I told the owner, ‘Why do we want to change things now?’ This purse is bigger, and going into the race, at least in my mind, I think it has to be us and Bernie the Maestro as the favorites,” Glyshaw said. “I think it’s going to be a nice race between those two. But I’m not throwing anyone out.”
Following his runner-up finish at Ellis Park, Voodoo Storm came back to romp to victory in an allowance race and the $130,000 Mountaineer Mile at Mountaineer Park.
“To be honest, in that prep at Mountaineer, even though he got a 99 Beyer (speed figure), I wasn’t sure who he was running against. I don’t think the competition was much,” Glyshaw said. “But when he ran in a stake and did the same thing again and won by even more and ran 99 again, I thought that was what he was.”
Voodoo Storm, who had won a pair of turf races for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey earlier in his career, takes very much after his sire Storm Cat. Like many offspring of Storm Cat, the Kentucky-bred horse can get a little hot and unruly prior to his races.
“He’s a little quirky. He gets riled up in the post parade; he gets riled up in the paddock,; he’s always sweating. If you’re a handicapper watching him in the paddock, you wouldn’t bet him because he’s washed out. He was washed out at Mountaineer when it was 30 degrees,” Glyshaw said. “That’s just him.”
Deshawn Parker, who was aboard for his two recent wins, has the return mount on Voodoo Storm.
Glyshaw kicked off last year’s Claiming Crown at Gulfstream by saddling Tiban for a relatively fortuitous half-length victory in the Express. Although Tiban was bumped and steadied during the early going of the six-furlong sprint, he benefited by another rider misjudging the finish line and standing up before the race was over.
Grip Hands Back on Gulfstream Turf in Emerald
Grip Hands, who has won three of his last four starts entering Saturday’s $125,000 Emerald, is sharp form. The 5-year-old gelded son of Giant’s Causeway’s victories came on synthetic surfaces, but trainer Graham Motion expects him to be able to transfer his solid recent form to the Gulfstream turf course.
“It’s possible that he’s a synthetic specialist, but I’ve always found that synthetic horses seem to handle grass as well, nine times out of 10,” Motion said. “I think it’s more of a coincidence that his best races have been on synthetic surfaces and not grass.”
Grips Hands has been victorious once on grass, showing promise with a 2 ¾-length victory over the Gulfstream turf on Dec. 3, 2011.
The West Point Thoroughbreds’ gelding will seek his third straight victory, having captured a $25,000 claiming race over Presque Isle Downs’ Tapeta surface in August and run off with a Keeneland $32,000 claiming race over Polytrack by nine lengths in October.
“He’s always been a horse that’s worked very well in the morning. He’s a very aggressive horse, hence his running style. He tends to be close to the pace,” Motion said. “He’s put a string of decent races together. He’s a horse that seems to run well fresh, which is why we decided not to run him between Keeneland and now.”
Edgar Prado will ride Grip Hands.
Walder Prepares Three for Claiming Crown
Peter Walder, who finished among the top 10 trainers last winter at Gulfstream in wins, is preparing three contenders for Saturday's $1 million Claiming Crown – Toh's Grey Cat in the $110,000 Iron Horse at 1 1/16 miles, Loveyouallthetime in the $110,000 Rapid Transit at seven furlongs, and Edie in the $125,000 Tiara over a 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Toh's Grey Cat, a 6-year-old gelded son of D'wildcat, was claimed at Gulfstream Sept. 2 for a $7,500 tag. Walder brought Toh's Grey Cat back six weeks later for a victory in a starter optional claimer at Calder.
“We claimed him just for the Claiming Crown,” Walder said. “He worked (Saturday) in 1:00 2/5 and he did it well, so we're looking for a good effort from him. He really is one of those horses who seems to be getting better with age.”
Loveyouallthetime was claimed by Walder in July for $10,000. The 6-year-old gelding has since won three of his four races for Walder. Edie is being shipped to Walder from New York by owner Island Wind Racing. The 5-year-old daughter of Eddington has placed in six of nine turf starts.
“I think the Claiming Crown is a great idea,” said Walder, who's saddled three horses previously in the series. “It's nice to have it in your backyard, and Gulfstream does a great job with it. I'm looking forward to a big day of racing.”
GULFSTREAM PARK is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at [email protected] or call 954.457.6451.