'Mega’ On the Move in $100,000 Eight Miles East Stakes at Gulfstream
By 'Mega’ On the Move in $100,000 Eight Miles East Stakes at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Megamove hasn’t just been consistent; he’s been consistently good.
In his last eight starts, the 4-year-old son of High Cotton has finished either first or second against allowance and stakes company, placing him among the top contenders for Saturday’s $100,000 Eight Miles East Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Yet, Megamove hasn’t always been so predictable. While his talent had always been obvious, his lack of focus held him back early in his career. Centaur Farms eventually and reluctantly faced the reality that its homebred colt needed to be gelded in order to realize his potential.
“After we cut him, we saw a lot of improvement,” trainer Ron Spatz said. “He was wasting too much energy.”
Megamove, who broke his maiden in his ninth start, has been putting all of his energy into his races in every start.
“Horses like him are hard to come by. Most horses with ability and class pretty much show up every time,” said Spatz, a former assistant to Jimmy Croll before taking out his trainer’s license in 1981. “Having speed helps too, helping to keep him out of trouble.”
Megamove has shown solid early and tactical speed every time out and should be a factor throughout the Eight Miles East, a 1-1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds and up over the main track. Leading rider Jilver Chamafi has the mount.
“He gets out of there and does his thing. He likes this racetrack and is training good,” Spatz said. “He’s in a different league now. He’s out of his conditions. He’s running against tougher competition. Coming in there with three months off and having to run as hard as he can run, we’ll see how he lives up to that. But he’s never had a problem coming off a layoff before. He always rose to the task.”
Megamove, who has four wins, 10 seconds and two thirds from 20 career starts, has a victory and three seconds from four starts at Gulfstream, where he has been rated second at 3-1 in the morning line for the Eight Miles East. Second in a pair of stakes appearances his last two outings, Megamove has been unraced since May 25.
“I would have much preferred a straight mile around one turn coming back,” said Spatz, whose gelding has turned in a pair of bullet workouts in preparation for his return to action. “He’s won around two turns, but I think he’s better at a one-turn mile. Going a mile and a sixteenth, he’s going to be full of himself most of the race.”
Megamove will need to be full of himself to take on Where’s Sterling, a graded-stakes winner and the 2-1 morning-line favorite. The 6-year-old son of Northern Afleet, who has earned more than $450,000 during a 16-race career that includes six wins and five seconds, returned from a long layoff on July 27 to win an allowance race with an eventful journey. Where’s Sterling took the lead in the stretch and appeared on his way to an easy score when he suddenly ducked to the inside and lost his momentum and the lead. The multiple-stakes winner got his mind back on racing when Two is To Many ran past him and rallied with a late surge to prevail by a head.
“He’s got a lot of ability and he likes to run with company,” said trainer Kirk Ziadie, suggesting that Where’s Sterling may have spied the starting gate in the stretch and shied from it. “When he gets in the clear, he’s like, “Ooh! Where’s everybody?’ So we need to time the race properly and get him up there at the right time.”
Owned by Frank Calabrese, Where’s Sterling will break from the rail post position under jockey Fernando Jara, who has three stakes victories to his credit during the summer meeting.
“He’s a game horse. He’s a nice horse. He’s an aggressive horse in his stall,” said Ziadie, showing a bruised finger recently bitten by Where’s Sterling. “He’s feeling real good and we’ve got him in the race the best we can get him. And he likes this track, too.”
Simmstown, rated third at 4-1, will step up to stakes company for trainer Marty Wolfson after capturing a first-level allowance by nearly nine lengths last time out. Quincy Hamilton, a recent addition to the Gulfstream jockey colony, has the mount.
Sr. Quisqueyano, a multiple-stakes winner of nearly $340,000, will return to the main track after a subpar performance on turf in the $75,000 Showing Up Stakes at Gulfstream on July 20. Making his debut on turf as the 9-5 favorite, the 3-year-old Florida-bred son of Exclusive Quality set a comfortable early pace before faltering to eighth.
“I don’t think he liked the turf too much. He didn’t handle it to well,” trainer Luis Olivares said. “This will be his first race against older horses. It’s almost September now, so he’ll be running against older horses from now on. So, we’ll see what happens.”
Rounding out the field for the Eight Miles East Stakes will be Numb Lips (Diego Gomez), Joshua’s Comprise (Shamir Maragh), Isutalkintome (Edgard Zayas) and Colizeo (Jose Alvarez).