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Gulfstream Today 2.8.2013
Lead: Making her first start since November at Churchill Downs, Elizabeth Valando’s 4-year-old Kentucky homebred filly Free as a Bird rallied from fifth down the backstretch to win a hard-fought neck decision over Robert S. Evan’s 30-to-1 longshot Transgression in the 1 1/16 miles allowance feature Friday on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Ridden by Edgar Prado, Free as a Bird had finished fourth in her last start on turf at Churchill on Nov. 21 after an impressive 7 ¼ lengths maiden score over the Belmont Park course in September. The daughter of Hard Spun began her career showing some promise earlier in the season sprinting on the main track.
“She simply broke bad in her last start,” said winning trainer Ian Wilkes of Free as a Bird's race at Churchill on Nov. 26. “She was very impressive breaking her maiden before that in New York. I also think she appreciates going longer than she had before. We’ll look to get her through another condition (allowance) and then see where we stand.”
Ridden by Edgar Prado, Free as a Bird paid $16.20 for $2 to win and was timed the 1 1/16 miles on ‘good’ turf in 1:43:58. CFC Stable’s Lady’s Lunar Luck finished third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Transgression in the field of 11 fillies and mares
Ready, Set, Claim: There has been plenty of action at the claim box during the first half of the Gulfstream meet this season, but horsemen over-stuffed the claim box before the seventh race Friday with 14 claims for Mr. Amore Stable’s 4-year-old filly Blues and Silvers, who led all the way to score by 1 ¼ lengths in the one-mile turf test as the 3-to-5 favorite.
The new owner-trainer for $25,000 after the 14-way shake was trainer Michael Pino on behalf of Nick Sanna Stables LLC. A daughter of Eurosilver, Blues and Silvers was winning for the fifth time in seven starts.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Joel Rosario had a good day Friday riding three winners on the card to bring his total for the meet to 46 tallies, trailing only Javier Castellano on top with 54 wins and Luis Saez second with 48 victories.
Rosario, riding at Gulfstream full-time for the first time this winter season, can look forward to what could be his best day of all on Saturday as his mounts include Flat Out as the morning-line favorite in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) and Animal Kingdom favored in the $300,000 Kittens Joy Gulfstream Turf Handicap (G1).
Jockey Jose Lezcano won two races on the Friday program
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