Gulfstream News & Notes: Dewey Square & Bambazonki Breeze For Palm Beach, Clearly Now & Merit Man Look at Swale, Change In Post Time

Gulfstream News & Notes: Dewey Square & Bambazonki Breeze For Palm Beach, Clearly Now & Merit Man Look at Swale, Change In Post Time


Dewey Square & Bambazonki Breeze for Palm Beach

Sienna Farms LLC’s Dewey Square worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 over the Gulfstream Park turf course Sunday morning and Lothenbach Stable’s Bambazonki was timed 1:01 flat for the same distance as both promising 3-year-old prospects tune-up to meet next Sunday in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

“He’s breezed on turf several times now and I’m pretty confident he likes it,” said trainer Dale Romans of Dewey Square, who will make his turf debut in the Palm Beach. “He’s not off the ‘Derby Trail.’ If things go well in the Palm Beach we’ll run in the Blue Grass at Keeneland,” referring to the $750,000, Grade 1 test to be run over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland on April 13.

A Kentucky homebred son of Bernardini, Dewey Square came to Gulfstream this winter with high expectations as a Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect after three starts as a 2-year-old. After winning his debut at Hoosier Park in September by 11 lengths, he won an allowance race at Churchill Downs in late October and finished a good third in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill on Nov. 24, beaten 1 ½ lengths.

However, Dewey Square threw in a bad race in his 3-year-old debut when finishing a distant seventh behind Itsmyluckyday in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) here on Jan. 20, a performance that got Romans to change his plans while not losing confidence that he was a good colt and still a potential Derby prospect.

Bambazonki is already a proven stakes-class performer on turf for trainer Chris Block, breaking his maiden over the Arlington Park course in September last year after a runner-up debut on Polytrack. The son of Hard Spun came to win a Keeneland allowance on turf and finished a game second by a half-length behind odds-on favorite Charming Kitten in the $100,000 Kittens Joy Stakes over the Gulfstream course on Jan. 20.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kentucky homebred Charming Kitten, a son of Kitten’s Joy, won the race named for his sire for trainer Todd Pletcher after losing a half-length decision as the favorite in the Dania Beach Stakes over the course on Dec. 15. He will likely be the favorite again in Sunday’s Palm Beach.

Clearly Now to Turn Back for Swale

Clearly Now finished a distant third behind Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby as a 42-to-1 longshot in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26 for trainer Brian Lynch, but will turn back in distance for his second start of the season to run in next Saturday’s $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at seven furlongs.

“He ran all right in the Holy Bull,” said Lynch Friday afternoon after saddling Original Cast to win the sixth race. “I just don’t think he’s ready for the horses he has to face down here right now going two turns, but the race in the Holy Bull is ideal to set him up to come back at seven-eighths. I still think he’ll stretch out with maturity when we get back to Toronto.”

A Kentucky-bred by Horse Greeley, Clearly Now made three starts at Woodbine in Canada last year, winning the first two sprinting in September and November before a third-place effort in the $150,000 Display Stakes on Dec. 1 after setting the pace to mid-stretch of that 1 1/16 miles test.

Merit Man Will Get a Look at Swale Stakes

Bruce Chandler and partners’ 3-year-old Merit Man won $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at six furlongs virtually wire-to-wire at Gulfstream Park on New Year’s Day for trainer Bob Hess, Jr., and came back to finish fourth in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at seven furlongs on Feb. 2, beaten 2 ¾ lengths for it all by Honorable Dillon.

“It was a disappointing race, but not terrible,” said Hess. “I probably over-instructed the jockey (Paco Lopez) trying to see if he could be rated. I think he’s best if you just let him run his race. We’ll enter in the Swale and take a look, see who is in it and what post we draw. If we don’t like it we can run him in the OBS race the next week.”

 Merit Man is a Florida-bred son of With Distinction purchased for $75,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old sales and made all three of his starts as a 2-year-old in California. After a winning debut at Del Mar in early September he won the Tim Conway Stakes by 5 ½ lengths at Santa Anita in early October before losing a nose decision to longshot Hightail in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Merit Man raced in third and fourth early in the Hutcheson and finished evenly. The $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) will be run here next Saturday and the $50,000 OBS Sprint at six furlongs will be run at the Ocala Training Center on Mon., Mar. 11.

Hess also was disappointed with the last race of another stable star when Schroeder Farm LLC and partners’ 5-year-old Irish-bred mare Kadaya, who won a pair of allowance races in her first starts in the U.S. here in December and January. She came back to finish non-threatening fifth as the 2-to-1 second choice in the $100,000 The Very One Stakes (G3) going 1 3/8 miles last Saturday, beaten 13 lengths by favorite Starformer.

“She had a legitimate excuse,” said Hess. “She suffered from the ‘thumps’ and was never in it. She’ll be okay and we’ll still consider the race at the end of the meet,” referring to the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) to be run at 1 ½ miles on turf on Florida Derby Day., Sat., Mar. 30.

The ‘thumps’ are the result of an electrolyte imbalance in a horse’s body caused by heat and/or dehydration with a number of solutions to prevent a recurrence. The ‘thumps’ affect heart rate and breathing.

A daughter of Selkirk, Kadaya won one of five starts with three seconds in as many starts at French provincial tracks in 2011 for breeder The Aga Khan and was purchased by her current connections thereafter at auction in France.

First Race Post Changes To 1:05 P.M. Beginning Wednesday

Gulfstream's first race post beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27 will change to 1:05 p.m.