HALLANDALE BEACH, FL– Ron Sanchez reported that his Rontos Racing Stables Corp. is ‘close to a deal’ to sell a majority interest in undefeated sensation Social Inclusion, but he said he’s prepared to proceed on the Triple Crown trail if a deal isn’t done Friday.
“We’re very close to a deal. The deadline will be tomorrow at 4 maybe, because we have to continue to train the horse. If they don’t bring the contract, we’ll breeze the horse (Saturday) and decide where we’re going and go into the race. If they don’t bring the contract, we’ll keep going. I’m a risk taker,” said Sanchez, who has been considering the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on March 29 and the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5.
The Manny Azpurua-trained 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile has won his only two starts, both coming at Gulfstream Park, capturing his debut by 7 ½ lengths on Feb. 22 and defeating highly regarded Honor Code in March 12 allowance by 10 lengths in the track-record time of 1:40.97 for 1 1/16 miles.
Meanwhile, Sanchez and Azpurua visited the Gulfstream winner’s circle Thursday with Border Song following his ¾-length victory over heavily favored Declan’s Warrior in the eighth race.
Claimed out of a third-place finish on turf for $50,000 on Feb. 7, the 5-year-old French-bred horse finished a troubled second in his first start for his new connections and first start on dirt on March 12. The 5-2 second choice came back broke from the outside post under Luis Saez in Thursday’s $35,000 optional claiming event, stalked a swift pace from the outside and outkicked Declan’s Warrior to the wire.
“He was bred for turf, but this horse is 2-for-2 on Polytrack. The first time we trained him, he showed a lot of talent, so Manny decided to try him on dirt,” said Sanchez, whose recent acquisition ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16:08. “It paid off. First time out he was second after getting bumped. This time, he was in a good spot, had a good jockey and got a good ride and he won.”
Border Song, who campaigned in Europe before embarking on a U.S. career about a year ago, is likely to run next at Keeneland on Polytrack, Sanchez said.
Nick Zito-trained Declan’s Warrior, idle since being pulled up in the King’s Bishop (G1) last August at Saratoga, attended the fast early pace and held gamely in the stretch before giving way to Border Song. Declan’s Warrior, who finished 1 ½ lengths ahead of stablemate Catholic Cowboy, enjoyed much success as a deep closer last season.
“I was a little shocked he was on the lead. I would have preferred if he let (Border Song) go and close because that’s his game. (Jockey Jose Lezcano) said he was so fresh and he broke so good, he took him there. He knew (Border Song) was the horse to beat,” Zito said. “Declan’s funny. He likes to be on the outside. He doesn’t like to be inside. I said to him before the race, just sit there and if you make your move, come out. If you want to, save ground but then come out. I never dreamed he’d be on the lead. (Lezcano) said he was fresh and sharp. He ran his guts out. Hopefully, we’ll build on this and be OK.”
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot climbs to $3.5 Million
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved at Gulfstream Park Wednesday when multiple tickets with all six winners were sold, resulting in a carryover jackpot of $3,530,905.26 for Friday’s 10-race program.
Tickets with Thursday’s winning combination of 5-1-4-8-7-6 on the last six races were worth $3,288.82. In order to win the carryover jackpot, a bettor must hold the only ticket with all six winners.
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 was last hit on Jan. 10 for $30,670.26. The Rainbow 6 has undergone two changes for the current Champions Meet.
The base wager was raised from 10 cents to 20 cents in order to accommodate bettors in Canada who had previously been unable to wager at the former minimum, thus were ineligible to win the jackpot. Also, on days when there is no jackpot winner, 70 percent of the daily betting pool is returned to those ticketholders with the most winners, while 30 percent is added to the carryover pool. The split had previously been 60-40.
The record payoff for the 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot is $3,591,245.44, which was won by a New Jersey bettor on Feb. 22, 2013.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Jose Lezcano road a pair of winners: McIlroy ($4.80) in the fourth and Stormy Rush ($5) in the ninth race.
Rainbow 6 carryover: $3,530,905.26