Gulfstream News & Notes: Gombey Dancer Steps Up in Swale, Quinzieme Monarque in Palm Beach, Jocks to Make Weekend Trips

Gulfstream News & Notes: Gombey Dancer Steps Up in Swale, Quinzieme Monarque in Palm Beach, Jocks to Make Weekend Trips


Gombey DancerGombey Dancer Takes Big Step into Swale

Bermuda Limestone Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old Gombey Dancer is a talented young prospect who will take a big step up when making his third career start in Saturday’s $150,000 Swale Stakes G3) going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park with jockey Corey Lanerie to ride for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

A Kentucky homebred son of Dixie Union, Gombey Dancer finished second in his only start as a 2-year-old at Saratoga in mid-August, beaten less than a length in a good effort. He returned going six furlongs at Gulfstream on Feb. 3 as the 7-to-10 favorite in a maiden special test and drew off to score by three lengths.

“The seven-furlong distance is perfect and he got a good post for his second start off the layoff,” said Kenneally. “It’s a competitive field and should tell us a lot about where we stand and where we might go from there.”

Kenneally is in the enviable position of having three promising 3-year-olds that have raced at Gulfstream this winter training at Palm Meadows. He sent out Joseph Bucci’s Honorable Dillon to win a hard-fought half-length decision over probable Swale favorite Forty Tales in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) on Feb. 2 and then saddled Joseph Witek’s Majestic Hussar to a fourth-place finish last Saturday in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).

“Honorable Dillon is going to the Tampa Bay Derby and we haven’t decided where we’re going with Majestic Hussar just yet,” said Kenneally. “He came out of the race fine, but we’ll take a little more time to decide what direction we go with him from here.”

A roan/gray son of Tapit, Honorable Dillon finished second in an allowance race here on Jan. 4 in his 3-year-old debut after finishing third and breaking his maiden in two starts at Saratoga last summer. He will be making his first start around two turns in the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on Sat., Mar. 9.

Quinzieme Monarque Returns in Palm Beach Sunday

John M.B. O’Connor’s 3-year-old Quinzieme Monarque is entered to make his 2013 season debut in Sunday’s $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park for trainer Tom Albertrani, his first start since finishing fourth of 10 in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24 behind Overanalyze and Normandy Invasion.

“We thought the Palm Beach was a good place to get him started on a new season with the timing, the mile-and-an-eighth distance and the turf,” said Albertrani from Palm Meadows. “Although he ran all right on dirt last year, I think he’s a little better on turf, although I’d rather not see any rain. I don’t think he cared for the ‘yielding’ ground he got in the Pilgrim.”

A son of Rock Hard Ten, Quinzieme Monarque finished fourth in his career debut going seven furlongs on turf in mid-July at Belmont Park and cane back to finish fourth again in a seven-furlong ‘off the turf’ test over a ‘sloppy’ track at Saratoga in August.

In his third start, Quinzieme Monarque was very impressive stretching out to 1 1/16 miles back at Belmont in mid-September when he broke his maiden by 4 ¾ lengths before the fourth-place try behind Noble Tune in the Pilgrim Stakes (G3) at Belmont on Oct. 8 before the Remsen.

Rosario, Lezcano & Velazquez Make Day Trips Saturday

Jockeys Joel Rosario and John Velazquez rank third and tied for fourth in the Gulfstream Park standings and will be on the road for a day Saturday as they fly to New York for mounts in the $400,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct, but both riders will be back at Gulfstream Sunday with mounts in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3).
Rosario will be aboard Pick Six Racing’s undefeated Vyjack in the Gotham for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and Velazquez makes the trip to ride Repole Stable’s Remsen Stakes (G2) hero Overanalyze for trainer Todd Pletcher in his 3-year-old debut after a winter of training at Palm Meadows.

Another 3-year-old that trained in South Florida for his 3-year-old debut and making his first start this season in a stakes out of town is Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Kentucky homebred Admiral Kitten in the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park with jockey Francisco Torres to ride for trainer Mike Maker.

Admiral Kitten is a son of the Ramseys’ 2004 Eclipse champion turf runner Kitten’s Joy, who also is the sire of their Charming Kitten, the morning-line favorite in the Palm Beach Stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Admiral Kitten won both of his starts last year, a maiden victory on Polytrack at Keeneland when racing for a $50,000 claiming tag in early October and the $75,000 El Joven Stakes on turf at Retama Park on Nov. 10. He trained at Gulfstream until shipping to Maker’s division stabled at Turfway in mid-February.

Two other horse men based in South Florida during the winter will be in action at Santa Anita on Saturday with trainer Bill Mott sending out Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable’s 6-year-old Ron the Greek to defend his 2012 victory in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and trainer Graham Motion will be represented in the historic 1 ¼ miles test with My Meadowview Stable’s 4-year-old Kentucky homebred Stephanoatsee.

Ron the Greek, fourth to Fort Larned in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, tuned up for his Big ‘Cap defense winning the $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream by 11 ¼ lengths on Jan. 19. Regular rider Jose Lezcano, currently tied for fourth in the Gulfstream standings with John Velazquez, will go along for the ride.

Stephanoatsee is son of A.P. Indy and has spent the winter training at Palm Meadows and previously shipped to Santa Anita to finish second in the Strub Stakes (G2) there on Feb. 2, a race won by Guilt Trip, who will also line up in Saturday’s race along with Game On Dude in the field of 10.

Trujillo Takes Off Friday

Jockey Elvis Trujillo, who was kicked on the thigh by his mount in the walking ring before Thursday's ninth race, took off his mounts Friday due to soreness. Trujillo's agent, Cliff Collier, said Trujillo was expected to ride Saturday.