Gulfstream Today 1.30.2013
The Lead: Skylander ($8) rebounded from a disappointing effort to score a 1 ¾ -.length victory in the featured ninth race, a $54,500 optional claiming allowance at five furlongs on turf.
The Wesley Ward-bred and –trained 3-year-old gelding, who finished fourth as the favorite from the No. 1 post in the same condition in December, pressed the pace from the outside Wednesday before driving to victory through the stretch.
“I think it was the post. I don’t think he likes the inside,” said Ward, whose 3-1 second choice broke from the No. 8 post in the field of 10.
The Florida-bred son of Bring the Heat, who broke his maiden at Keeneland by nine lengths last spring before returning to action at Gulfstream with a fourth-place finish, ran five furlongs in 55.85 seconds. City of Weston closed under Luis Saez to finish second, a nose ahead of Holy Command and jockey Pedro Monterrey.
Skylander was entered for a claiming price of $75,000 in Wednesdays race for 3-year-olds who had never won two races lifetime or a race other than a maiden, claiming, starter or restricted.
“He had such a disappointing race last time, I put him in for $75,000. We’ll probably put him in this same race again and then we’ll be over at Keeneland, and we’ll see what he’s made of,” said Ward, who also saddled Off the Page for a victory in the fifth race.
Skylander was the third winner on Wednesday’s card for jockey Joel Rosario.
Who’s Hot: Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker and Rosario teamed for two wins, visiting the winner’s circle with Brazilian Court ($3), a 19 ¼ -length winner in the first race, and Pontus, a 10 ½ -length victor in the third race.
The Ramseys, who also visited the winner’s circle with the Ward-trained Off the Page ($7.80) after the fifth race, now lead defending titlist Frank Calabrese, 24-10, in the owner standings.
Maker added a third victory on the day when he saddled Brandy’s Secret ($2.80) for a dominating triumph in the seventh. Maker moved out of a three-way tie to claim second in the trainer standings with 15 victories, six behind nine-time defending champ Todd Pletcher.
Rosario’s three winners moved him into second place in the jockey standings behind defending champion Javier Castellano, who leads 46-41.
Jockey Joe Rocco Jr. continued his hot hand with a pair of winners: Saratoga Blitz ($19.40) in the eighth and Dr. Goldfarb ($8) in the 10th.
10-cent Rainbow 6 Carryover: $918,581.31