Gulfstream News & Notes: March 13
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Stronach Stable’s Kentucky homebred Smart Sting, winner of her only start on turf at Woodbine in October, and Lael Stable’s Subpopena, fourth last out in the Good Mood Stakes on turf at Belmont Park in late October, look like the horses to beat in a full field of 12 3-year-old fillies entered in Wednesday’s $55,600 ‘a other than’ allowance feature at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Alex Solis will ride Smart Sting for trainer Roger Attfield in the one-mile turf test. The regally-bred daughter of Smart Strike is out of Stronach’s 2000 Eclipse champion turf mare Perfect Sting and won her lone start on Oct. 23 going a mile by a nose. She has posted a steady string of strong workouts on turf and dirt at Payson Park in preparation for her return.
Jockey Jose Lezcano will be aboard Subpoena for trainer Michael Matz as she makes her 2011 debut. The Kentucky homebred daughter of Afleet Alex rallied from ninth to fourth in the Good Mood at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Oct. 31 after an impressive maiden score on turf at Laurel Park earlier in the month. She began her career with two dull tries on the main track at Delaware Park.
Completing the field are Cobra Farm and Stan Hough’s Praviana, Jacks or Better Farm’s Ridge Kitten, Lally Stable’s Lago Mar Lady, Elite Equine’s Dagney Darling, Caroni Stable’s Canaima, J D Farms’ Prize Informant, Four Fifths Stable’s Erma Lee, Alan Brodsky’s Mount Holiday, Edward A. Cox, Jr.’s Atlantic Voyage and Farnsworth Stables’ Mending Hearts.
Chiefswood Stable’s Kindersley is entered to run ‘main track only’ and Harry Rosenblum’s Crown Princess is on the ‘also-eligible’ list.
Lopez Named on One Mount Wednesday, Seven on Thursday
Defending Gulfstream Park meet riding champion Paco Lopez appears set to return to the saddle for the first time Wednesday since sustaining an elbow injury in a spill here on Feb. 18 as he is named on one mount Wednesday and seven more on Thursday’s program.
Lopez, 26, held a double-digit lead in the standings before the injury and will return to competition in third-place as Javier Castellano leads with 46 victories going into Sunday’s card, three more than John R. Velazquez second with 43, followed by Lopez with 38 wins, Rajiv Maragh fourth at 35 and Jose Lezcano fifth with 34.
Castellano, Velazquez, Maragh and several other Gulfstream-based jockeys will be in action at the annual, one-day Ocala Championship races Monday at the Ocala Training Center along with a large contingent of South Florida-based horses entered in the four events worth a total of $300,000.
The victory of Repole Stable’s undefeated Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Uncle Mo in the $100,000 Timely Writer Stakes Saturday at Gulfstream with Velazquez aboard extended trainer Todd Pletcher’s lead in the standings to 12 over his closest rivals as he bids for an unprecedented ninth meet championship here.
Pletcher has sent out 26 winners to lead David Fawkes, Nick Canani and Wesley Ward in a three-way tie for second at 14 apiece and Chad Brown is fifth with 13.