Gulfstream Today 1.5.2013
Lead: The eighth race allowance feature Saturday at Gulfstream Park produced a thrilling finish as Live Oak Plantation’s Kentucky homebred Za Approval and Joseph Witek’s Joes Blazing Aaron went nose-to-nose from deep stretch to the finish in the 1 1/16 miles turf test.
After a lengthy examination of the photo while both horses were walked outside the winners’ circle, the placing judges posted Za Approval the narrowest of winners by a nose with neither game 5-year-old gelding deserving to lose the hard-fought finish. Jockey Joel Rosario rode the winner for trainer Christophe Clement.
“It’s great to get our first win of the year with this horse,” said a relieved Clement. “He’s been an unlucky horse several times in his career, but today was his day. It’s particularly satisfying for us and the farm because I trained his half-brother Revved Up to win a lot of stakes races.”
Joes Blazing Aaron took command in the upper stretch under jockey Javier Castellano until joined on the outside by Za Approval with 50 yards to go as the two drew clear. Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Hyper finished third in the field of nine, 3 ¼ lengths behind the top two.
A roan/gray son of Ghostzapper, Za Approval was winning for the fourth time in 10 starts with three seconds, returning $5.80 for $2 to win as the favorite while timed in 1:41:78 for the 1 1/16 miles on ‘firm’ turf.
Revved Up won $1.6 million for Live Oak Plantation and Clement, including three consecutive renewals of the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup at Calder. Another half-brother out of the mare Win Approval was Miesque’s Approval, a winner of $2.6 million and North America’s Eclipse champion turf horse of 2006 for trainer Marty Wolfson.
Who’s Hot: The Saturday afternoon program of 11 races brought 11 different jockeys and trainers a one-time trip to the winners’ circle.
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $77,356.69