Gives Gold and Jacks or Bettor Farm Florida Sires Stakes Sweep
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sing Praises darted from the starting gate to grab an uncontested early lead and continued on to capture the $100,000 Dr. Fager Stakes, giving trainer Stanley Gold and Jacks or Better Farm a sweep of both Florida Sire Stakes events held Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Earlier in the day, Gold saddled Leap Year Luck for a victory in the $100,000 Desert Vixen Stakes, giving Gold and Jacks or Better Farm their 13th Florida Sire Stakes success. Sing Praises’ gate-to-wire triumph subsequently put his trainer in the elite company of Frank Gomez at the top of the Florida Sire Stakes standings for trainers with 14 victories.
“I’m in good company,” Gold said. “We’ll put an asterisk there, because it’s a new series, a new place and a new time.”
The Florida Sire Stakes, inaugurated in 1982 as the Florida Stallion Stakes, was hosted for the first time by Gulfstream Park on Saturday, when Gold saddled the first two finishers in each of the stakes for 2-year-olds sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida.
Sing Praises broke alertly from his outside post to grab an uncontested lead under jockey Ramsey Zimmerman, chased along the backstretch by stablemates Of Course and Social Media. The 1-2 favorite in a field of eight juveniles continued to show the way around the turn and into the stretch before sprinting away from his pursuers. Of Course, ridden by Edgard Zayas, made a sustained stretch run but could get no closer than 1 ¾ lengths of his stablemate, who was never seriously challenged.
“I was home free (at the top of the stretch). I had so much horse. It was awesome,” Zimmerman said. “I went on an easy lead and kept him relaxed and moved when we got to the head of the lane. I never did hit him, so he probably still had some horse left.”
Sing Praises ran six furlongs in 1:11.38 while running back to his easy front-running victory in the $91,000 Birdonthewire Stakes on July 12. Of Course finished 3 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Jaiden’s Best.
“He ran right back to his last race. He broke good and was well in reserve and had plenty left. He went 57-and-change for five-eighths and kept going,” Gold said. “Of Course was inching up to him but he wasn’t going to catch him. Ramsey had him measured.”
Gold said both Sing Praises and Of Course would be pointed toward the $250,000 Affirmed Stakes, the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes scheduled for Sept. 6 at Gulfstream Park. The Affirmed will be accompanied by the $250,000 Susan’s Girl (fillies) on Sept. 6. The Florida Sire Stakes series will conclude on Oct. 4 with the runnings of the $350,000 In Reality and the $350,000 My Dear Girl (fillies).
Gold and Jacks or Better Farm have pulled off three Florida Sire Stakes sweeps with Jackson Bend (2009), Awesome Feather (2010) and Fort Loudon (2011) among their 14 successes.