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Off the Jak and Golden Mystery Take Florida Sunshine Million Sprint Races
Off The Jack Takes Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint
Just hours before going to the Eclipse Awards with a finalist in the Male Sprinter category in Trinniberg, trainer Shivananda Parbhoo saddled Off the Jak to victory in the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint by three-quarters of a length over Bahamian Squall. It was another half length to Little Drama in third.
When it was suggested that he was king of the sprinters, Parbhoo laughed and said, "It's something with sprinters."
Owned by Sherry Parbhoo, Off the Jak covered the six furlongs in 1:10.27 over a sloppy track. A 5-year-old son of With Distinction ridden by Jose Alvarez, Off the Jak has now won four of 18 starts. He entered the Sprint off second-place finishes in the Mr. Prospector (G3) Dec. 29 and the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Dec. 1.
"He's getting better and better. He's a nice horse," Parbhoo said. "He's more relaxed every time he comes out. Coming to the race today the groom actually had to pull him to come over. But when he goes to the gate he's a totally different horse."
Off the Jak broke well under Alvarez and stalked the leader Star Harbour behind a half in :45.32. Entering the stretch Off the Jak pulled away and had plenty to hold off Bahamian Squall.
"My horse ran great today, felt very good," Alvarez said. "He loves this track. When I came to the three-eighths I knew I had a lot of horse left. I was very confident."
Said Parbhoo; "He likes fast tracks. We train out of Calder. Some horses fit the track. He just loves a fast track. He has no issues and hopefully we'll find another spot for him. He had a very good trip. I told Alvarez, 'Just don't go on the rail.' Those were the only instructions I gave to him."
Golden Mystery Goes Out a Winner in F & M Sprint
Golden Mystery went out a winner Saturday at Gulfstream Park, capturing the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Fillies and Mares Sprint in her last scheduled start.
Slated to be sold by Farnsworth Stables, LLC at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Mixed Sale on Feb. 11, the 7-year-old daughter of Awesome Again returned to winning form just in time for the six-furlong dash for Florida-bred distaffers.
Golden Mystery ($6.00), who went winless in nine starts in 2012, slipped inside tiring pacesetter Becausei’mworthit leaving the turn into the homestretch, while favored R Holiday Mood made a bid for the lead on the outside. Under strong urging by jockey Luis Saez, the Marty Wolfson-trained mare pulled away from the 6-5 favorite to win by 5 ¼ lengths.
“I thought coming off that mile (Dec. 30), I knew she’d have the stamina. When they were going head and head, I knew she’s finish strong,” Wolfson said. “I didn’t know she’d win off by six, but I knew she’d finish strong. And that race (second) to DustandDiamonds (Dec. 8) was a good race.”
Golden Mystery, the 2-1 second choice, ran six furlongs over the sloppy track in 1:11.07.
“I knew I was going to win the race. This was the perfect weather for her because she has a problem sweating,” Saez said. “Once she got in front it was easy, all I had to do was ask her.”
Emma’s Encore, ridden by Junior Alvarado, closed to finish second, a neck in front of R Holiday Mood.
“We can’t take it away from the winner, who ran a big race. Emma’s Encore closed as she usually does, and we hope next time our number will come up,” said trainer Allen Jerkens, who had saddled Emma’s Encore for a Grade 1 victory at Saratoga last August.