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Gulfstream, Palm Meadows Horses Shine At Saratoga
From opening day to the final holiday weekend, horses that raced and wintered at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows made a huge impact during Saratoga’s memorable 143rd season.
Saratoga’s 2011 summer meet, which concluded September 5, included a number of highlights, and many of them came courtesy of horses that raced and wintered at Gulfstream or its state-of-the-art satellite training facility Palm Meadows. In fact, of the 14 Grade I events contested at Saratoga for 3-year-olds and up (not including steeplechase), eight were won by Gulfstream and Palm Meadows alumni.
Many of the country’s biggest stars will be returning to Gulfstream and Palm Meadows in less than 60 days as stable areas open at both facilities October 19 to prepare for Gulfstream’s live meet, which runs this year from December 3 through April 8.
One of the meet’s biggest stars was Mike Repole’s Stay Thirsty, who wintered at Palm Meadows and finished seventh in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1). The colt found the winner’s circle on two of Saratoga’s biggest days, winning the $1 million Travers (G1) and $500,000 Jim Dandy (G2) to become the country’s leading 3-year-old.
Tizway, another winter resident of Palm Meadows who started his season with a third-place finish in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2), stamped himself as one of the top older horses in the country August 6 by winning the $750,000 Whitney.
Hilda’s Passion, winner of Gulfstream’s Inside Information (G2) and Hurricane Bertie (G3), won the Ballerina (G1) while Jackson Bend, second in Gulfstream’s Skip Away and fifth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G3), won the Forego (G1). Hilda’s Passion wintered at Palm Meadows as did Saratoga’s Diana (G1) winner Zagora, who shipped to Palm Meadows November 10 and stayed through April 1 for trainer Chad Brown.
Sean Avery, who started his 2011 campaign with a victory April 15 against optional claimers, won the Vanderbilt (G1) while It’s Tricky, a Palm Meadows resident who finished fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), won the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).
Others graded-stakes winners at Saratoga who wintered at Palm Meadows or Gulfstream included Winter Memories (Lake George), Tar Heel Mom (Honorable Miss), Big Blue Kitten (Hall of Fame), Hungry Island (Lake Placid), Hot Summer (Victory Ride) and Brilliant Speed (Saranac).
A number of other horses from Gulfstream and Palm Meadows won non-graded events, including Seal Cove (Gleaming Stakes), Bridgetown (Troy), Ibboyee (John Morrissey), Turbo Compressor (Curlin), Gitchee Goomie (Yaddo) and Cascadilla Falls (Lucy Scribner).