Gulfstream Today 2.17.2013
Lead: Rashard Lewis of Miami Heat and Jake Ballis’ 4-year-old Cigar Street took command early as the 4-to-5 favorite in Sunday’s fourth race allowance at Gulfstream Park, and rather easily turned back a mild challenge in the upper stretch of the 1 1/8 miles test as jockey John Velazquez looked back a time or two for a threat that never came.
A son of 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Street Sense, Cigar Street held a clear margin of 2 ½ lengths over Dogwood Stable’s 4-year-old Big Screen at the wire in the field of seven with Donegal Racing’s 4-year-old O’Prado Again another 1 ¼ lengths back in third. Cigar Street paid $3.60 for $2 to win and was timed in 1:50:06 over the ‘fast’ track.
Cigar Street was making his second start for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and posted his second victory at the meet following a lengthy layoff from a fourth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2) on Apr. 1 last year when trained by Steve Margolis and based at Fair Grounds.
“He suffered a hairline fracture in a hind ankle,” said Mott. “It took a few screws to repair and he has come back good. We couldn’t figure out before the race who would have the lead, so we decided just to play it by ear. It would have been nice for him to have a target to run at, but that didn’t happen and he just kept going.
“He needs to take a step up in class now. There is a race at the end of the meet at a mile-and-three-sixteenths we’ll consider,” referring to the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) to be run on Florida Derby Day March 30, a race won last year by Fort Larned that culminated with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita.
Who’s Hot: Leading Gulfstream Park rider Javier Castellano rode the winners in four of the first six races Sunday to extend his lead in the standings with 63 winners, nine more than Joel Rosario second at 54. Castellano's winners were Wickersheim ($4.20) in the second, Lemons to Lemonade ($5.20) in the third, Evil Powder ($7) in the fifth and Aventurine ($6) in the sixth.
Trainer Bill Mott won three graded stakes over the weekend, with two-time champion Royal Delta in the Sabin (G3) on Sunday, and Amira's Prince in the Mac Diarmida (G2) and Starformer in The Very One (G3) on Saturday.
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $2,965,688.90
Rainbow 6 Consolation (6 of 6 winners): $1,523.78
Sup Hi-5 Carryover: $6,375.65.