Gulfstream Park News & Notes: 12.22.11

Gulfstream Park News & Notes: 12.22.11


By Brian Skirka and Jack Will


Amy Tarrant’s 2-year-old filly Ready Signal is bred for the turf. 
For starters, she’s out of More Than Ready, one of the top turf stallions in the world. Ready Signal’s dam, Marwood, was Grade 3 placed on the grass and finished second in the 2005 Sunshine Million Filly & Mare Turf. The dam’s sire, Marlin, earned over $2 million on the turf including multiple Grade 1 victories.
That would seem to indicate Ready Signal’s maiden win last out on the Belmont lawn fell under the category of “it’s all in the family.”
“When we first got her, my initial thoughts were, ‘Wow, she can be a superstar for us,’ ” said owner/trainer Tarrant. “The more I looked at the female side of her pedigree, the more I realized she belongs on the grass…being by More Than Ready kind of helped along that decision as well.” 
Ready Signal followed up two disappointing efforts on the main track at Monmouth Park this summer with a wire-to-wire win on the Belmont turf last out at 36-1.
“The instructions to the rider that day weren’t to go to the front,” Tarrant said.  “But the jock next to us came out of the gate whipping his horse for speed and that had an affect on us. From there, our rider (Jorge Chavez) did a great job of slowing it down and putting everyone to sleep. She came home with plenty left”
A 13-horse field in Saturday’s $60,000 Ginger Brew might relinquish Ready Signal a little further off the pace.
“I think she’ll stalk and then go,” Tarrant said. “She’s really been training well since getting to Palm Meadows. I think that race at Belmont woke her up. Her first work down here (a bullet five furlongs on turf in :58 around the dogs) just blew me away.”
While the switch to turf may have awakened Ready Signal, Tarrant says she’s seen something special in her filly from the very beginning.
“I’ve always just had a feeling about her,” she said. “She has such a big, beautiful body and such a great head for a 2-year-old. I really do believe she can be something really special.”

Trainer Tom Bush acknowledges his 2-year-old filly Wholelottashakin might need to do a quickstep to handle the class jump from New York-bred maiden special weight turf sprinters to Gulfstream Park stakes runners.
But the conditioner feels his daughter of Scat Daddy is up for the challenge.
“This is a big step up for her, but we were delighted with how she ran on the turf last time,” Bush said. “When her first start came off the turf, we were really nervous running in the slop, but she ended up handling it well and got some good experience and conditioning out of it.  I’ve been patient with her since then. She was entered in a stakes in New York the day Belmont cancelled and then we entered her in another stakes and it was rained off the turf.”
Bush says the way Wholelottashakin was able to settle in her six-furlong maiden win leads him to believe she will be able to handle Saturday’s stretchout to 1 1/16 miles.
“She was covered up very nicely while sprinting last time and was able to relax,” Bush said. “Plus we have Alex Solis riding and he’s as good as it gets when it comes to getting horses to settle on the turf.”

Capt. Candyman Can on Target for Mr. Prospector

Rosemary Zell and David Zell’s 5-year-old gelding Capt. Candyman Can breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 Tuesday morning at Palm Meadows for trainer Ian Wilkes and will get his South Florida winter campaign underway in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on New Year’s Eve, Sat., Dec. 31.
The Kentucky homebred by Candy Ride will be making his first start since finishing third in the Aristides Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on June 4. “He had some minor (physical) issues and we had to stop on him,” said Wilkes. “He’s doing well and we know he likes the track at Gulfstream. We’re going to take his campaign one race at a time and see where he takes us. Calvin (Borel) will ride.”
Capt. Candyman Can has won eight of 16 career starts, capturing the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) here as a 3-year-old early in 2009 before a fourth-place effort behind Quality Road going one mile in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). Capt. Candyman Can finished that season finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs, although beaten only 3 ½ lengths for it all in a respectable try.
Capt. Candyman Can didn’t run again until early this year when he won the Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in early February and then captured the Sir Shackleton Handicap in his third career start over the Gulfstream track on Apr. 3 when he won by a neck over Regal Ransom with Nathan’s H Q third going 6 ½ furlongs.
Capt. Candyman Can’s rivals in the Mr. Prospector may include Thomas Carey’s Nathan’s H Q, Donald Dizney’s Apriority, Sundance Thoroughbreds’ Gibson, Stud El Aguila’s Indiano and possibly Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Zero Rate Policy.