Gulfstream News & Notes: Nov. 15

Gulfstream News & Notes: Nov. 15

11/16/2011

Gulfstream Park News & Notes


Kaplan Eyes Florida Sunshine Millions for Musical Romance
Walder Moving in with Force Freeze
Brown Optimistic About Gulfstream Winter
Nominations Close Saturday for Spectacular Bid


 Kaplan Eyes Florida Sunshine Millions for Musical Romance

Pinnacle Racing and Bill Kaplan’s Musical Romance, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), was back on the track earlier this week and doing “fantastic,” according to co-owner and trainer Bill Kaplan.

“She couldn’t have come out any better,” said Kaplan from his Calder stable. “She ran 14 times this year and she seems to get better each time she runs and I don’t think she’s anywhere near her best.”

Kaplan said he plans to train the 4-year-old filly up to the January 28 Florida Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream in the $150,000 Filly & Mare Sprint. The daughter of Concorde’s Tune, purchased for $22,000 by Kaplan, has won nine of 33 starts and $1.2 million.

Kaplan believes his 4-year-old filly deserves strong consideration for an Eclipse Award after racing across five different tracks – dirt, turf and synthetic – and racing from January through November. Musical Romance won the Presque Isle Masters (G1) and was beaten a neck by Sassy Image in the Princess Rooney (G1).

“There’s no doubt in my mind she’s a deserving Eclipse winner,” Kaplan said. “She’s really an incredible filly. Just look at her record. We experimented running her long early in the year, but since she’s been sprinting every race she’s run has been dynamic. She got nipped by Sassy Image only because she never saw her coming. Since she started sprinting nine races back, she’s exploded.”

  Walder Moving in with Force Freeze

Trainer Peter Walder watched the first of his horses arrive Monday at Gulfstream Park. The popular trainer, known for his claiming prowess, is also getting noticed these days for the job he did last year with Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Force Freeze and the former claimer Sweet N Sour Nina.

Claimed for $50,000 last fall at Keeneland, Sweet N Sour Nina was stakes-placed in five starts, including Gulfstream’s Ocala Stakes and Delaware Park’s Obeah (G3), in which she finished third to Horse of the Year candidate Havre de Grace.

Meanwhile, Force Freeze, who was shipped to Walder by Saeed Nasser Al Romaithi of the United Arab Emirates over the summer, finished second, beaten only a neck Nov. 5 by Amazombie in the Sprint at Churchill Downs.

“He came out the race great and right now he’s in Ocala eating grass and just being a horse,” Walder said. “I’d like to run him once or twice at Gulfstream before shooting for the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) in May. Right now he’s just getting a little rest.”

Walder said he’s 90 percent certain the gelding won’t return to Dubai for the World Cup in March because “he’s a bleeder and he didn’t seem to like the synthetic surface over there.”

Along with Force Freeze, Walder is expecting another horse to arrive at Gulfstream from owner Romaithi in the form of Marinous, a Group II winner in France who finished sixth in the 2010 Arc de Triomphe.
 
           Brown Preparing Compliance Officer, Spring to the Sky for Winter

Trainer Bruce Brown has several horses at Gulfstream for the upcoming 2011-2012 meet, including his multiple-stakes winner Compliance Officer.

The 5-year-old gelding won five consecutive races over the summer and fall for Brown, including three stakes races for New York breds, before finishing 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

“The Breeders’ Cup was a tough race for him, breaking from the No. 12 post,” said Brown, who claimed Compliance Officer for $25,000 back in May. “We brought him down to Gulfstream to regroup. He had always run in New York and the Breeders’ Cup was the first time he had shipped and raced. Everything seems good, though. Right now he’s nominated to the Claiming Crown (Dec. 3) at Fair Grounds. That’s the short-term plan for the rest of the year. If we go there we will bring him back (to Gulfstream) and point for something a little later in the meet. But we haven’t made any firm decisions.”

Brown will also be shipping a promising 2-year-old colt to Gulfstream in the form of Spring to the Sky, who broke his maiden at first asking Sept. 24 at Belmont Park by 9 ¾ lengths. Brown said the son of Langfuhr may run one more time in New York before shipping south to prepare for Gulfstream’s rich, 3-year-old stakes program.

 
  Nominations Close Saturday For Spectacular Bid Stakes

Gulfstream’s 87-day meet begins Dec. 3 and nominations for its opening-day feature, the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes for 2-year-olds, and the $60,000 Sunshine State for 3-year-olds and up, close Saturday, November 19.