Gulfstream Today 2.22.2013
The Lead: Janis R. Whitham’s Fort Larned, winner of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last time out, schooled in the paddock with the second race Friday afternoon in preparation for a scheduled start in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) on March 9.
The Ian Wilkes trained 5-year-old was a handful throughout the session in the walking ring and heading back to the barn.
“That’s him most of the time,” said Wilkes, who relieved one of the handlers for several turns. “He grew up and was more mature last year and he’s probably even a little stronger this year.
“Everything has gone on schedule for him in his training this winter. He worked last Tuesday (five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 at Palm Meadows on Feb. 19). Having done something different with him today (schooling), I’m not sure when he’ll work again.”
Regular jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. will be on hand for the mount in the one-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Fort Larned won five of nine starts in 2012, including the Skip Away Stakes (G3) going 1 3/16 miles over the Gulfstream track on Florida Derby Day (Mar. 31) last year.
He went on to post victories in the Cornhusker Handicap (G3) at Prairie Meadows and the Whitney Handicap (G1) at Saratoga, followed by a third-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park before his had-fought half-length score over Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Pino Named Woolf Recipient: Mario Pino, who was announced the recipient of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award at Santa Anita Friday, made his first appearance at Gulfstream Park in Friday’s fifth race. The 51-year-old winner of 6,484 races rode Lunar Event, who was saddled by his brother, Michael, before finishing off the board.
“I’m so pleased,” Pino said. “I was nominated four times before, so I’m very pleased to get the award. It means a lot.”
The award, which honors jockeys with high standards in riding and personal conduct during their careers, was voted on by his peers in the Jockey’s Guild.
Pino has moved from Maryland, where he has been a dominant force during his career, to Boynton Beach.
“I’ll be going up to ride at Presque Isle when they open, so I’m just trying to get my feet wet a little here,” said Pino, who has been galloping horses at Palm Meadows getting ready for the 2013 season at the Pennsylvania track.
Who’s Hot: Edgard Zayas, a 7-pound apprentice, scored a pair of upsets: Smoking the Field ($53) and Odalys Halo ($36.80).
Trainer Marcos Fernandez and jockey Ronald Hisby both visited the winner’s circle for the first time in their respective careers following Ke4yner Veloz’s 56-1 shocker to kick off the 10-cent Rainbow 6 in the fifth race.
10-Cent Rainbow 6 Payoff: $3,591, 245.44