Tate’s Landing Gets Big Test in Wide-Open Dania Beach
Copper Penny Stable’s Tate’s Landing, winner of the $100,000 Laurel Futurity impressively by 3 ¼ lengths last out on Oct. 27 in his first try on turf, will face a bigger test in a deeper field of 10 2-year-olds drawn for Saturday’s $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes (G3) going one mile over the Gulfstream Park course.
Jockey Alex Cintron will be back aboard Tate’s Landing, a son of Orientate purchased for $72,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old sales. He made three starts sprinting on dirt before the Laurel race, winning his career debut at Delaware Park by 5 ½ lengths, finishing second in an allowance at Parx and fifth in a Delaware allowance, setting the pace and favored in all three.
“We always thought he was a nice horse,” said trainer Michael Pino, who has eight horses stabled at Palm Meadows and divisions at Parx and Laurel as well this winter. “He won his first start impressively and got beat (second) by a pretty nice horse in his second race at Parx. Then he got in a speed duel and tired in his third race.
“We decided to change his style for the Laurel Futurity and take him off the pace, and it obviously worked out well. I really don’t think it was just the turf that made the difference. We’ll certainly consider going back to dirt at some point.”
Another accomplished juvenile with a stakes victory already on his resume and with one previous start on turf is Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday, a $110,000 OBS March 2-year-old sales purchase with Paco Lopez in the saddle for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr.
A son of Lawyer Ron, Itsmyluckyday won three out five starts at Calder, including the Foolish Pleasure Stakes going a mile and 70 yards on the main track by three lengths in September. He was somewhat of a disappointment last out finishing sixth in the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) going 1 1/16 miles at Delta Downs on Nov. 17.
“A lot of things seemed to go against him in that race,” said Plesa. “The circumference of the track (three-quarters of a mile) was new to him, and he wasn’t as close to the pace as we had hoped – several factors were involved and it really wasn’t that bad a race (6th, beaten 7 ¼ lengths).
“All of his races before that were good and he ran well on the turf the only time we tried him (third sprinting in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park in early August). He worked very well on the dirt here (Calder) the other day. We’re hoping this race tells us what he’s going to be – turf or dirt – or both.”
Plesa’s brother-in-law John Servis also has a promising contender in the Dania Beach in Main Line Racing Stables and Thistle Spring Stable’s Hard to Name, who will be making his first start on turf and first around two turns under jockey Joe Bravo.
A son of Hard Spun, Hard to Name has won his last two starts sprinting on dirt at Parx after a pair of seconds there to begin his career, but shows a turf work since arriving into Palm Meadows for the season last month.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten with John Velazquez aboard in his first start since finishing ninth when ‘bumped hard’ in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) run over Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 8, although beaten only 4 ¼ lengths for it all.
A Kentucky homebred by Kitten’s Joy, Charming Kitten won his career debut on turf at Saratoga in late July and came back with a good third-place try over the Spa course in the With Anticipation Stakes in late August when beaten only 1 ¼ lengths by highly-regarded Balance the Books.
Completing the field for the Dania Beach are John Davidson’s Mystic Love, Elvis Trujillo; Steven Michael Bell’s Newfound Zapper, Joel Rosario; William Churly’s Thunder Calls, Jose Lezcano; Donegal Racing’s Squall King, Corey Lanerie; Shivananda Racing’s All Keyed Up, Luis Saez; and Gilbert Campbell’s Reporting Star, Eduardo Nunez.
Rosa Stephany Taveras’ Sr. Quisqueyano was entered to run ‘main track only’ by trainer Luis Olivares.