Gulfstream News & Notes - March 2

Gulfstream News & Notes - March 2

03/02/2011

Soaring Empire likely for Gulfstream Park Handicap
Cheyanne Nation Faces Recent Winners in Friday Feature
Lebron One Short of Milestone 1,000 Victories

 

Soaring Empire likely for Gulfstream Park Handicap

Soaring Empire, who worked four furlongs in :47 3/5 at Gulfstream Park Monday, is likely to run next in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on March 12.

Soaring Empire’s chronic bad gate behavior has cost him a chance to win on more than one occasion, most recently in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship, in which he reared up and unseated Jose Lezcano prior to the start of the seven-furlong stakes.

“He might have been a little stiff a day or two, but he seems fine now. He worked good Monday,” said Gambolati, whose stable star turned in the fastest of 22 workouts at the distance. “We’ll probably go in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

The 4-year-old son of Empire Maker had previously demonstrated model behavior at the start of the Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream on Jan. 8, when he ran down even-money favorite Morning Line to post a 1-1/2-length victory over Rule.

After his troubled start from the rail post position in the Gulfstream Sprint, Soaring Empire made a strong late run to fall two-lengths shy of Tackleberry.
           
“He causes his own problems. He’s been difficult. Unfortunately, we drew the one-hole, which is out of everybody’s control. It’s just racing luck, I guess, but he did close a lot of ground. In the first quarter mile, he was just galloping,” Gambolati said. “I don’t know if he was dazed or what. By the time he got in gear, they’d been racing for five-eighths of a mile, and he’s spotting them 10 or 12 lengths.”

Does Soaring Empire’s high level of talent make his gate behavior easier to take?

“I think it’s more frustrating. All you’re praying for is to break with the field and his ability will take it over,” Gambolati said. “ I think it’s more frustrating because of his ability.
 

Cheyanne Nation Faces Recent Winners in Friday Feature

Gary and Mary West’s 5-year-old Cheyanne Nation established his credentials in New York last summer breaking his maiden at Belmont Park in mid-June and finishing a close-up in three allowance races thereafter, and is entered to make his first start since October in Friday’s ‘a other than’ allowance feature at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Javier Castellano will be aboard Cheyanne Nation for trainer Chad Brown in the 1 1/8 miles turf test facing eight rivals. A son of Gulch, Cheyanne Nation finished second in ‘a other than’ allowances at Saratoga and Belmont after the maiden score, and ran another good race finishing fourth behind Prince Will I Am in an allowance at Saratoga in early September.
Cheyanne Nation’s rivals include Live Oak Plantation’s 4-year-old homebred Slews Answer with Rajiv Maragh to ride for trainer Graham Motion and Brushwood Stable’s 4-year-old Mr. Ryder and jockey Joe Bravo in the saddle for trainer Christophe Clement. Slews Answer in a son of Ghostzapper and won his only career start over the Gulfstream course on Jan. 15.
Mr. Ryder was an $800,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase and broke his maiden by 2 ¼ lengths at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 13 in his third start. The son of Giant’s Causeway finished an even fifth in his debut last spring at Belmont Park in early June and fourth in a Tampa Bay maiden test in late December.
Completing the field for Friday’s feature are Alma and Roy Lomas’ Green Bluff, Orlando Bocachica; Sumaya US Stable’s Longboarder, John R. Velazquez; Farfellow Farms’ Icy Strait, A.A. Gallardo; Darley Stable’s Capital Market, Elvis Trujillo; William A. Kaplan’s Green Lite Special, Manoel Cruz; and James Street, Alex Solis.

Lebron One Short of Milestone 1,000 Victories

Jockey Victor Lebron has won three race with limited opportunities at Gulfstream Park this winter where the competition is the deepest of any track in the world, but is on the verge of a major accomplishment for rider jockey as he needs only one more win to hit the 1,000 career victory mark and has a solid chance with his lone mount of the afternoon in the sixth race Wednesday.
Lebron, a 26-year-old native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, has been based here this season, but made a couple of day trips to Turfway Park where he has ranked among the leading riders the last two years and posted his 999th victory there Sunday on a horse trained by Mike Maker.
Lebron’s mount Wednesday is 4-year-old filly Peach Bottom in the sixth race for trainer Wayne Catalano and is the 7-to-2 second choice in the morning line.

Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino is a multi-use entertainment facility and the premier destination of its kind in South Florida. Recognized for its world-class thoroughbred racing, Gulfstream Park is also home to more than 850 slot machines, high-stakes, no-limit poker, and the finest restaurants and shops at The Village at Gulfstream Park. Gulfstream’s world-championship, 2011 thoroughbred meet will run from Jan. 5 through April 24. For further information contact David.Joseph@gulfstreampark.com, or call 954.658.7156.