Gulfstream Park News & Notes - March 30
By Ed Gray & Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Trainer Richard Dutrow said Wednesday morning that he was ready to run the brilliant Flashpoint in either the Florida Derby (G1) or the Swale (G2) Sunday at Gulfstream Park, but the decision would be up to the undefeated colt’s owner.
Post position will be drawn Thursday at 1 p.m.
With the decision still pending, Dutrow worked Flashpoint six furlongs (1:13 3/5) last week.
“It was a good work for either race we decide to go in,” Dutrow said. “He’s been training good since he’s run. There are no issues with the horse. It’s just an issue of which race we decide to go in.”
Flashpoint, owned by Peachtree Stable, has raced only twice, including six-furlong maiden victory at Aqueduct on Jan. 15 by more than six lengths and a 7-1/4-length romp in the seven-furlong Hutcheson (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 26.
“It seems like in the Swale he’d be the horse to beat,” Dutrow said. “In the Florida Derby, it’s a question of if he can go that far with those horses. That’s what it all adds up to.”
European Imports Spice Friday Allowance Feature
Joseph Allen’s 4-year-old colt Army Scout and Haras du Quesnay’s 5-year-old gelding Right One raced in Europe through last year, and are entered to make their American debut for trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Christophe Clement, respectively, in Friday’s ‘two other than’ optional/allowance feature at 7 ½-furlong on turf.
Jockey John R. Velazquez gets the call on Army Scout in his first start since finishing a close-up third in a ‘Listed’ stakes at Deauville in France in March of 2010 for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The Kentucky homebred by Giant’s Causeway is out Irish-bred Volga, a multiple Graded stakes winner for Allen and McLaughlin, including a Grade 1 score in the 2002 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.
Jockey Julien Leparoux gets the call on French-bred Right One in the field 11 drawn for Friday’s race. A son of Anabaa, Right One shows two wins and three second from 10 starts in France for trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, winning a race on the all-weather surface at Deauville last out on Dec. 20.
A contender in the field coming off a winning race over the Gulfstream course is Gary and Mary West’s 4-year-old Upgrade, a dead-heat winner going a mile in an ‘a other than’ allowance on Feb. 20. Jockey Javier Castellano will be aboard for trainer Chad Brown. The son of Saint Liam is highly-consistent with a 10-3-4-1 record, all on turf.
Completing the field are Kinsman Stable’s El Commodore, Alan Garcia; Larry Foggle’s Just Playin Around, Jose Lezcano; Mac Nichol’s Sunshine Rambler, Ryan Curatolo; H B O Stable’s Almoradi, Paco Lopez; R A Hill Stable’s Rogue Victory, Kent Desormeaux; Tony Perkens’ Avenuenalleyways, Alex Solis; Saleh Y Al-Homaizi’ Sayif, Hector Berrios; and Mathew Moran’s Sarto, Jose Lezcano.
2010 Florida Derby Runner-Up Pleasant Prince Back to Work
A year ago at Gulfstream Park, trainer Wesley Ward sent out Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Pleasant Prince to finish second in the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) as a 29-to-1 longshot, beaten a heart-breaking nose by Nick Zito-trained Ice Box with favorite Rule third.
Ward took the tough beat in the Florida Derby as a positive that could lead him to a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but a dull performance finishing seventh in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on Polytrack and third-place finish in the Derby Trial (G3) at Churchill left the chestnut colt by Indy King short on earnings to get intro the Derby.
Pleasant Prince is back to work for another campaign at Gulfstream Park, breezing a half-mile in 52 flat Wednesday morning in his second recorded workout since finishing ninth with trouble in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6 as Blame and Zenyatta battled to the wire.
Between the Derby Trial and Breeders’ Cup Classic, Pleasant Prince ran four times, finishing 11th in the Preakness (G1) at Pimlico, winning the Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown, third in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Philadelphia Park and winning the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.
“He’s come back eager to train,” said Ward late in the morning. “I’m trying to get him to go as slow as possible right now, but the rider has had a hard time keeping him from doing more. We found out last year in the Blue Grass that he doesn’t care for the synthetic track, but we were just trying to get him enough earnings to get in the Derby. When he’s ready we’ll probably be looking at dirt races at Churchill or New York.”