Carotari Back for More in Saturday’s Janus Stakes
Lynch-Trainee at Home on Gulfstream Turf
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – William Branch’s Carotari, a winner of three turf sprint stakes at Gulfstream Park the past few years, has returned to South Florida with high expectations from trainer Brian Lynch.
Carotari is scheduled to defend his title in the $100,000 Janus, a five-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up, will co-headline the closing-day program of the Sunshine Meet at Gulfstream Park with the $100,000 Abundantia, a five-furlong turf stakes for fillies and mares. The 2022-2023 Championship Meet gets underway Monday.
Carotari, who captured the Silks Run back-to-back in 2020 and 2021 at Gulfstream, went right to the front and never looked back while posting a 1 ¾-length victory in the Janus last December. The 6-year-old gelding went on to win the six-furlong Turf Sprint on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico and most recently won the five-furlong Laurel Dash on turf Sept. 24.
“He loves it down here. We gave him a freshening looking to set him up for a winter campaign, because we know he likes it down here,” Lynch said. “There’s a series of stakes he’s banged out over the years. He’s doing really well and looking forward to Saturday.”
The son of Artie Schiller has been first or second in 16 of 28 career starts, including nine victories on turf.
“He’s one of those horses that, each year, he gets better and better,” Lynch said. “He’s always loved South Florida. Last year, he had a quarter crack after the Janus and missed the better part of the season down here. This year, he’s healthy and doing well.”
Luis Saez, who was aboard for Carotari’s Janus victory last year, will be aboard for a title defense.
Wingate Stables LLC’s Cloudy, a 3-year-old turf sprinter trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, is slated to take on Carotari and other older rivals Saturday. The son Noble Mission has made his last four starts on turf with three victories after finishing off the board on dirt in his first two career starts.
Cloudy, who most recently won a second-level allowance at Keeneland Oct. 23, will be ridden for the first time by Tyler Gaffalione.
Colts Neck Stables LLC’s Nothing Better enters the Janus in peak form, having won three of his last four starts, including triumphs in the 5 ½-furlongs Rainbow Heir on turf at Monmouth and the six-furlong Turf Sprint Championship at Aqueduct last time out.
Trainer Jorge Duarte Jr. has awarded the mount aboard the 5-year-old gelded son of Munnings to Irad Ortiz Jr.
Granadilla Stable’s Dubai Key, a multiple group-stakes winning Argentine-bred, is set for a return to Gulfstream Park, where the son of Key Deputy won his first two U.S. starts. The Amador Sanchez trainee won a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on Tapeta in his U. S. debut Nov. 13, 2011 before winning in an off-the-turf optional claiming allowance on Tapeta Jan. 5. After winning a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf at Del Mar, he finished off the board in a pair of graded stakes at Del Mar and Santa Anita.
Hector Berrios has the return mount.
Nicholas Cammarano Jr.’s Scaramouche, who won the Gallant Bob (G2) on dirt two starts back and who has never run on turf; Just For Fun Stable Inc.’s Warrior’s Pride, a multiple-stakes winner at five furlongs on turf at Gulfstream; and JFG Thoroughbreds and Maritza Weston’s Classicstateofmind, who captured the five-furlong Roar on turf at Gulfstream in the spring; are among the most prominent entrants in the Janus.
Averill Racing LLC and Winning Stable’s Feast, R. Larry Johnson and R D M Racing Stable’s Matta, Peace Sign Stables’ Belgrano, Kerri Raven’s Chess Master and Linda Juckette’s Agent Peter Graves round out the main body of the field.
Also eligible for the Janus are George Sharp’s No Angel, Rancho Alegre’s Panther Island, Tracy Farmer’s Chuck Willis and Princess Kathy Racing LLC and Red Rabbit Racing’s Novgorod the Great.