Gulfstream News & Notes: Starship Truffles, Aubby K, Gleaves and $75,000 Cellars Shiraz
Gulfstream News & Notes
Starship Truffles May Enter Ring Sooner than Expected
Trainer Marty Wolfson had expected Starship Truffles to be sent to auction in November, aware that her broodmare stock has gone through the roof now that the 4-year-old filly is a Grade 1 winner. Yet, the 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, who won the Grade 1 Princess Rooney on Saturday, may very well go through an auction ring a whole lot sooner than her trainer had expected.
“She might be in the sale a week from Monday,” said Wolfson during training hours at Gulfstream Park Tuesday morning. “They called to try to get her in it, and I think she’s in it. I don’t know what’s going to happen after that.”
Obviously, Wolfson is hoping, should Starship Truffles sell at the Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale on July 15, that whoever may buy her will send her back to his newly situated Gulfstream Park stable. Starship Truffles has certainly flourished with Wolfson, who shipped his 26-horse stable to Gulfstream last weekend. The Kentucky-bred filly, who once raced for a $6,250 claiming price, has won nine of 13 starts since being privately purchased by Wolfson for the Chasing Tails Stable for $20,000 last summer.
“I bought her real cheap. I liked her form. She was a winner. She wanted to win,” he said. “I turned her into a sprinter. She’s a good horse.”
Starship Truffles isn’t the only horse Wolfson has transformed into a Grade 1 stakes winner this year. Swagger Jack, an underperforming turf horse whom Wolfson started training last fall, also made the grade, capturing the Carter Handicap (G1) over the main track at Aqueduct in April.
“He was a turf horse when they sent him to me. I didn’t think he liked grass. I looked at some of his races when (trainer) Darrin (Miller) had him, and he never really exploded,” Wolfson said. “On the dirt, his works were great. I ran him in an off-the-turf race at Calder and he won by nine. I just kept him on dirt from then on.”
The 5-year-old son of Smart Strike won back-to-back allowance races at Gulfstream last meeting before finishing second behind Fort Loudon in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G3) in February and second again behind Discreet Dancer in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) in March. He came right back in the Carter to beat both Fort Loudon and Discreet Dancer in the Carter.
Swagger Jack, who finished off the board in the Met Mile (G1) after encountering significant traffic problems in his most recent start, is being pointed to a $100,000 seven-furlong overnight stakes at Gulfstream on Aug. 3.
Wolfson expects to enter two horses, E B Ryder and Swinger’s Party, for Saturday’s $75,000 Cellars Shiraz Stakes at Gulfstream. Only one is expected to start in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies. E B Ryder, who has won two straight turf allowances, will be the designated starter, unless the race is taken off the turf as a result of rainy weather. In the event the race is moved to the main track, Swinger’s Party, who has won back-to-back, off-the-turf allowances in her last two races, will start.
Gleaves Settles Back In At Gulfstream Park
Trainer Phil Gleaves, who had stabled at Gulfstream during the winter before deciding to stay year-round at Calder four years ago, is back at the Hallandale Beach track with 10 horses.
“I’m happy to be back,” said Gleaves, a former assistant trainer to the legendary Woody Stephens. “I just think that it looks like the future of racing is at Gulfstream. It’s nice over here. Most of my help lives closer to here.”
Gleaves’ current stable star is Csaba, a multiple stakes winner who finished third in the Salvatore Mile (G3) at Monmouth last Saturday.
“He ran a good race, as he always does. He’ll go on to Saratoga, then he’ll be back here for some opportunities later in the year,” Gleaves said. “He loves this surface, so I can’t wait to get him back here.”
Csaba, a rare son of Kitten’s Joy who prefers dirt to turf, won a pair of stakes during the 2012-2013 meeting at Gulfstream: the Harlan’s Holiday and the Hal’s Hope (G3).
Gleaves said he didn’t expect his other horses to have any trouble adapting to the Gulfstream racing surface.
“It’s different certainly. It’s not as deep as the Calder main track,” he said. “So you just tailor the training to the needs of the horse.”
Nicks Points Aubby K Toward Saratoga's Ballerina
Trainer Ralph Nicks, who will have 20 horses stabled at Gulfstream by week's end, said Tuesday morning that Humana Distaff (G1) winner Aubby K will be pointed toward the $500,000 Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga August 23.
Nicks said the 4-year-old filly will train up to the Ballerina after her third-place finish June 29 in the Chicago Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park.
"She came back OK after her Arlington excursion," said Nicks, who added Aubby K came back with cuts and abrasions after the race. "I don't think she handled the surface (Polytrack) all that well. Even with that she still tried to close late."
Nicks, a winter fixture at Gulfstream dating back to the 1990s as an assistant with Bill Mott, said he's enjoying summer racing at Gulfstream.
"So far it's been great," said Nicks, who has been splitting time between Gulfstream and Saratoga. "The track is outstanding and the surface is in great shape. Sometimes (the track) speeds up, but I think that's due to the watering between races. I don't think we're going to see times as quick as we do in the winter."
Emotional Kitten, E B Ryder Lead Nominations for $75,000 Cellars Shiraz
Hilltop Stakes winner Emotional Kitten and Calder Oaks runner-up E B Ryder lead the nominees for Gulfstream's $75,000 Cellars Shiraz, scheduled Saturday over a 1 1/16th mile turf course.
Emotional Kitten, trained by Wesley Ward, broke her maiden in December across Gulfstream's turf course and then finished third here in an entry-level allowance race in March before winning at Keeneland and Pimlico. E B Ryder, who finished second in the Oaks across a sloppy track, is undefeated in her last three turf races for trainer Marty Wolfson, who also nominated Swinger's Party, who is undefeated in her last two races.
Kitten's Queen, trained by Wayne Catalano, was fourth May 27 in the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont Park before finishing second under allowance conditions June 22 at Churchill Downs. Trainer Bill Kaplan nominated four fillies for the Cellars Shiraz - Bama Rose, Cupids Messenger, Putitinmypocket and Putyourdreamsaway. Trainer Kirk Ziadie nominated Leave Me Alone runner-up Dreaming of Sophia and Dreaming of Susie for leading owner Frank Calabrese.