Gulfstream Park News & Notes

Gulfstream Park News & Notes

07/04/2014

Inspirational Grande Shores Set for Challenge in $75,000 Housebuster Stakes
Black Diamond Cat Set for Housebuster Defense at Gulfstream
Scandalous Act Set for Second Start Back in Cash Run
Fast Anna Back in Action in Sunday Allowance
 
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Grande Shores presents a constant challenge to Stanley Gold, who has adopted a strict hands-on approach while training the high-maintenance 6-year-old son of Black Mambo.
 
Due to a chronic digestive condition and a history of irascible behavior, the Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred requires continuous monitoring to be kept on track.
 
“It’s every single day, every day. My attention is always on him. I walk him – I’m the only one who walks him. He’s nasty. I don’t want him to hurt himself or hurt somebody else,” Gold said. “He stays on as consistent and strict a schedule as you can manage.”
 
In addition to being a constant challenge, the Florida-bred sprinter has been a source of inspiration for his trainer, who is slated to saddle him Saturday for a start in the Housebuster, one of five $75,000 sprint stakes on Gulfstream Park’s July 5th card.  
 
“He should be dead. He was sick for so long,” Gold said. “I guess that’s why he’s my favorite horse, because, by all rights, he shouldn’t be here.”
 
While Grande Shores’ bad-boy ways have tested his trainer, a chronic case of colitis has been a real life-and-death battle.
 
A half-brother to Jackson Bend, a Grade 1 stakes winner with $1.8 million in earnings, Grande Shores had shown ability right from the start of his career but became afflicted with colitis. He recovered sufficiently to return to the races, but he made it down to $8000 claiming company at Tampa Bay Downs in early 2013 before he began to blossom.
 
Grande Shores has steadily established himself as a model of consistency in allowance, starter allowance and stakes company.
 
“He looks like a million dollars. He’s what you’d want a horse to look like,” said Gold, who still has to pay close attention to Grande Shores’ diet. “You can see yourself in his coat. He’s got a beautiful head. He’s built like a sprinter. He’s short barreled, but he’s strong and sound.”
 
With nine wins and nine seconds from 33 career starts, Grande Shores has been ridden in his last 11 starts by Edgard Zayas, Gulfstream’s leading rider, but will have Abdiel Jaen on his back  in the 6 ½-furlong Housebuster. Zayas honored a commitment to ride Mr. Baker, who defeated Grande Shores by a half-length in a starter allowance at Gulfstream on May 3. 
 
“I’m disappointed that Zayas won’t be on him, but he had a commitment,” Gold said. “The horse has a mind of his own. It’s just easier to ride him if you’ve already been on him.”
 
Black Diamond Cat Set for Housebuster Defense
 
Black Diamond Cat closed from off the pace to capture the 2013 Housebuster Stakes at Gulfstream, drawing clear by 2 ¼ lengths.
 
The hard-knocking 7-year-old gelding is set to make a title defense in this year’s edition. Whereas the son of Wildcat Heir entered last year’s Housebuster in peak form, he will be making his second start off a layoff Saturday.
 
Black Diamond Cat, who won the Ponche Stakes two starts prior to last year’s Housebuster and came right back to win the Montbrook Stakes, came off a two-month layoff to finish third behind Mr. Baker and Grande Shores in a starter allowance race at Gulfstream on May. 3.
 
“I think we can build off of that. It didn’t knock him out and kind of set him up for this race,” trainer Larry Bates said. “That race put him where we wanted him.”
 
Black Diamond Cat has been a stakes regular in South Florida for several years, amassing earnings in excess of $475,000 for Bluestone Thoroughbreds LLC.
 
“He makes getting up in the morning a whole lot easier. I’ve been so fortunate in this business. We ran a lot of nice horses, more than one person deserves,” Bates said. “This horse gives you everything he’s got. He’s just so honest. He’s a pleasure to be around.”
 
Scandalous Act Set for Second Start Back in Cash Run
 
Scandalous Act, last year’s champion 2-year-old Florida-bred filly, is set to make her second start of the 2014 racing season in Saturday’s $75,000 Cash Run Stakes at Gulfstream.
 
Gil Campbell’s home-bred 3-year-old filly, who swept her division of the 2013 Florida Stallion Stakes (now known at the Florida Sire Stakes), overcame trouble to finish second in a six-furlong overnight stakes at Calder on May 31.
 
“She had an inside post and didn’t get out of there in the best order. She had a horrible trip and was stuck behind a wall of horses,” trainer Kathleen O’Connell said.
 
The daughter of Act of Duty, who captured the Desert Vixen, Susan’s Girl and My Dear Girl by a combined 22 lengths, concluded her 2013 campaign with a distant sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
 
“In the Breeders’ Cup, she was a little unsettled in the gate and didn’t get out of there good, and it was pretty much over after that because of the way that track is,” O’Connell said. “When she was making a run where I thought she might be fifth, a horse broke down on the turn. After that (jockey) Eddie (Nunez) didn’t push her. I was just happy she came back in one piece.
 
“The boss gave her plenty of time off after that, because she had a big campaign for a 2-year-old. We had the worst travel arrangements in America to go to the Breeders’ Cup. It was a lot to ask of a 2-year-old. I was proud of her.”
 
O’Connell couldn’t be happier with Scandalous Act’s physical condition but would have appreciated a little more distance in the Cash Run, for which she is rated second in the morning line at 3-1 behind 5-2 favorite Little Alexis.
 
“She’s awesome. I couldn’t be happier with her as far as looks and flesh,” O’Connell said. “Now that she’s grown up and gotten older, I really don’t like the 6 ½-furlong distance of the race this weekend.
 
Nunez has the mount aboard Scandalous Act.
 
Fast Anna Back in Action in Sunday Allowance
 
Impressive debut winner Fast Anna is scheduled to make his long-awaited return to action in Sunday’s ninth race at Gulfstream Park. 
 
“He’s doing great. I’m excited to get him back to the races,” trainer Kathy Ritvo said.
 
Frank Calabrese’s home-bred 3-year-old colt debuted with a swift front-running victory on April 12, scoring by 2 ¼ lengths under apprentice jockey Michael Ritvo.  The son of Medaglia d’Oro coasted to victory in the six-furlong maiden test in 1:09.92 after leading by as many as 5 ½ lengths.
 
Out of Dreaming of Anna, Calabrese’s 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion, Fast Anna was nominated for Saturday’s $75,000 Cherokee Run Stakes at Gulfstream.
 
“It just makes sense when there’s a never-won-two there to take advantage of it,” Ritvo said.