Gulfstream Park News & Notes: 12.16.11
Soaring Empire Posts ‘Bullet’ on Way to Hal’s Hope Defense
Ol Memorial Stable and C.E. Glasscock’s 4-year-old colt Soaring Empire won the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) earlier this year at Gulfstream Park and appears set to bid for a repeat victory in the one-mile test when it is run on Jan. 14 after drilling a ‘bullet’ five furlongs in 59 2/5 over the track Friday morning.
“We were concerned that it was going to rain, but we got it done,” said trainer Cam Gambolati. “He’ll probably have one more good work and one easy one before the race and a little gate work along the way. Otherwise he’s set to go barring the unforeseen.”
A son of Empre Maker, Soaring Empire won the Hal’s Hope by 1 ½ lengths over Rule with Morning Line third in a strong field Jan. 8 and ran twice more at the meet, finishing second in the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G2) and Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) before finishing seventh behind Tizway in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in late May.
All three of Soaring Empire’s races at Gulfstream last winter were around one turn and Gambolati thought that was his best game at the time. However, he stretched out to two turns at Monmouth Park this summer to finish a game second in the Salvatore Mile Handicap (G3) on July 2 and won the Majestic Light Stakes over the track last out on July 31 with Kensei second.
“He’s grown up and matured since last winter,” said the trainer. “He should have won the Salvatore (bumped 3/16 pole), but two turns seems to be within his scope now as long he gets to sit back and make one run. Also, he didn’t have any of the gate issues that he sometimes had last winter. He just walked right in there in both races at Monmouth. If things go well in the Hal’s Hope, we’ll try him in the Donn (Handicap (G1) 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 11).”
Sinister Brew & Sisterhood Top Ginger Brew Nominations
Tracy Pinchin’s Sinister Brew and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Sisterhood each won a stakes race on turf in their last starts and the two 2-year-old fillies are prominent on a list of 37 nominations for the $60,000 Ginger Brew Stakes to be run at 1 1/16 miles over the Gulfstream Park course on Christmas Eve, Sat., Dec. 24.
Sinister Brew is a Florida homebred daughter of Milwaukee Brew and rallied to post a three-quarters length victory in the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf last out at Calder on Nov. 12 in her turf debut for trainer Jose Pinchin. Sinister Brew had one win and placed in two minor stakes in six main track starts at Calder before the John Franks.
Sisterhood is a Kentucky homebred by top turf sire Kitten’s Joy and won a hard-fought head victory in the $75,000 La Senorita Stakes on turf at Retama Park in Texas last out on Oct. 15 for trainer Wesley Ward. In two previous starts in New York on turf she finished fourth in a maiden special at Belmont Park in mid-July and fifth in another at Saratoga in early August.
Leparoux to Hollywood Park for Mount on Romans-Trained Cozzetti
Notably absent on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park will be jockey Julien Leparoux as he flies to California for the mount on Albaugh Stable’s 2-year-old colt Cozzetti in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood Park for trainer Dale Romans.
The roan/gray son of Cozzene was a $150,000 Keenland September yearling purchase and broke his maiden by five lengths last out at Churchill Downs going 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 16 on the main track after finishing a close-up fifth and fourth in his first two outings on turf at Belmont Park.
Cozzetti was shipped directly from Churchill to Hollywood to prepare for the CashCall, but will return to Romans at Gulfstream after the race to join the trainer’s other highly promising potential Kentucky Derby hopes here this winter – O’Prado Again, winner of the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct, and Dullahan., fourth last out in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs.